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Home :: Sodium

Sodium - Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

What is Sodium?

Sodium is one mineral you don't need to worry about getting enough of. The typical modern diet has more than enough in the form of sodium chloride - otherwise known a table salt - found in processed foods, cured meats, canned vegetables, salty snacks and condiments. Sodium is a silver-white, highly reactive, alkaline, metallic element. Sodium is an electrolyte that plays a crucial role in maintaining blood pressure. It is soft and malleable. It is normally found inside the body and outside it in combination with other elements. Sodium is soft and malleable.

It is normally found inside the body and outside in combination with other elements. Along with potassium and chloride , it regulates fluids and acid-base balance in the body. It is also involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction, including the heartbeat.

Uses and Benefits of Sodium

Sodium is necessary for maintaining proper water balance and blood pH. It 1s also needed for stomach, nerve, and muscle function. Although sodium deficiency is rare-most people have adequate (if not excessive) levels of sodium in their bodies-it can occur. This condition is most likely to affect people who take diuretics for high blood pressure, especially if they simultaneously adhere to low-sodium diets. Some experts estimate that as many as 20 percent of elderly people who take diuretics may be deficient in sodium. In some cases of disorders such as fibromyalgia, studies have shown that moderate amounts of sodium may be needed as well (natural sea salt is recommended).

Recommended Dosage of Sodium

The Recommended Dosage for Sodium are :-

  • Men - 500 mcg.
  • Women - 500 mcg.

Deficiency Symptoms of Sodium.

Symptoms of sodium deficiency can include abdominal cramps, anorexia, confusion, dehydration, depression, dizziness, fatigue, flatulence, hallucinations, headache, heart palpitations, an impaired sense of taste, lethargy, low blood pressure, memory impairment, muscular weakness, nausea and vomiting, poor coordination, recurrent infections, seizures, and weight loss. Excessive sodium intake can result in edema, high blood pressure, potassium deficiency, and liver and kidney disease.

Rich Food Sources of Sodium

Virtually all foods contain some sodium. Some common are bacon, bread, butter, clams, green beans, ham, milk, olives, pickles, processed foods, table salt.

Cautions and side effects of Sodium

High sodium diets, common in modern society, may lead to water retention and hypertension. A proper balance of potassium and sodium is necessary for good health. Since most people consume too much sodium, they typically need more potassium as well. An imbalance between sodium and potassium can lead to heart disease.

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