How Does Salt Effect Kidneys?

Brr it is freezing here in FL, today.  No walk for me this morning, but I did do an old aerobic video that was one of my favorites way back in the 90’s.  I will share that in a later post.

As promised, today I would talk about Salt and how exactly it effects the kidneys.  As I mentioned before all humans need some Salt, or Sodium, in their diet for survival.  Most of us, however, consume way more than is needed.  If you are risk for kidney disease, or already have it, then you know you should be consuming a lower salt diet.  I personally feel like anyone can be at risk for kidney disease, and everyone should be consuming less salt.   Unless of course someone already follows a lower salt diet.

Sodium, works along with Potassium to maintain fluid balance in the body. Through a process called Osmosis, Sodium and Potassium pull fluid across the wall.  The fluid comes out of the bloodstream, across the wall, and into collecting channels in the kidney.  Too much Salt, or Sodium,  inhibits this process decreasing the amount of fluid that is removed from the bloodstream, causing Hypertension.  Hypertension can then cause an a decrease of kidney function, by putting strain on the kidney to work harder.  This is a very basic way of explaining how Osmosis works for kidneys.

Something I did not know, but learned while researching this topic, is that higher Sodium levels causes Protein levels in the urine to be elevated.  So, just by lowering Sodium intake Proteinuria can improve.  Having Protein in the urine is not normal, and is an indicator of possible kidney disease. Even though most kidney stones are caused by Calcium, increased Sodium also can be a cause of kidney stones.

As stated in my previous post the maximum daily amount of Sodium is 6GM, or 6,000 mg.  That is quite a bit of salt, but still most people consume closer to 8 GM, or 8,000 mg and still more for some people.  I know it sounds like everyone in the health field is nagging about this, but if you just do some research and see how it effects the body, it might help to convince you.

I didn’t think I was consuming too much Salt.  But, once I started actually calculating it out, my goodness.  Plus, I feel better now that I have reduced my Salt intake.  Remember, I have stage 3 CKD, and I am working hard at getting my kidney function back to stage 2.  I definitely can tell the difference between a high Salt day, and a low Salt day.  Try it and see the difference in how you feel when you become mindful of what you are consuming.

March is Kidney Awareness Month.  Love your kidneys, get checked, lower your risks.  The sooner you know the better, trust me.

If you would like more info about controlling the Salt you consume, or to meet your Salt intake goals, message me using the contact form below, for a free email health assessment and conversation when done via email.

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Image below is from the National Kidney Foundation.