If you’ve just been diagnosed with high blood pressure, this is one clear sign that you may be overdoing it on the salt. Yet, while salt may be the culprit of such a disease, it turns out that having too much salt in your meal may leave you feeling uncomfortable. Here are five, surprising, short-term symptoms that may occur within your body if you consume too much salt.
1. Your ring finger feels too tight
If the ring on your finger suddenly feels two sizes too small, it could very well be caused by water retention, which can happen when you load up on salt. The body works in a complex way. It must maintain the balance of fluids and electrolytes. Therefore loading up on sodium may trigger your brain to release hormones that tell your body to hold onto as much water as possible.
2. Your mouth is dry
One of the reasons why your mouth may feel dry is because of salt. After loading up on foods that are rich in sodium, your body will start to sense that your salt and water levels are off. Consequently, your brains sends out thirst signals as drinking more water will have things returned back to normal.
3. You have a headache
A study published in the British Medical Journey found that there’s a strong link between high blood pressure and headaches. It was found that heavy salt eaters were more likely to get a headache, even if their blood pressure was normal. In the study, adults who ate 3,500mg of sodium per day had nearly a third more headaches in comparison to those who only took in 1,500 mg. So, if you do feel a throbbing headache coming on, try cutting back on the salt.
4. You feel a need to keep going to the bathroom
Drinking too much water may be the reason you need to urinate so often. Yet it is not the only cause. Eating too much salt can have the same effect. When you include too much salt in your diet, your kidneys have to work overtime in order to clear the extra salt out, which may cause you to pee more than usual.
5. Your brain is in a fog
If you are overdoing it on salt, you may end up dehydrated. As a result, dehydration may affect your ability to think clearly. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, mildly dehydrated women performed worse on cognitive tests measuring concentration, memory, reasoning and reaction time compared to when they were hydrated. The study also found that the dehydration sent their moods plummeting too.
Quick Fix Tip
No matter what symptoms you are dealing with, one of the best ways to slash your sodium is to cut back on processed foods and drink more water. This will allow your body to catch up and get back into balance. Once your sodium is back to normal again, try to keep your salt intake under control. The U.S. dietary guidelines recommend eating less than 2,300mg per day.