You must have heard your healthcare provider tells you to reduce the consumption of salt. Many times cutting an intake of salt is a necessary step to prevent the development of certain diseases. But have you ever wondered why? How an intake of sugar in a large amount affects health? Well, there are many reasons for it.
Research suggests a strong dose-dependent relationship between consuming too much salt and the development of several health problems. It is true that sodium is essential for the normal functioning of the body but in a small amount.
Salt is necessary to maintain a balance of the physical fluids system and is also essential for the functioning of nerves and muscles. But consuming salt in high level can cause damage to the kidneys and increases the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Risk of Heart Attack And Stroke.
According to studies, heart problems are the leading cause of death and disability in the United States each year. Also, most Americans consume too much salt and many researchers believe that high salt intake is one cause that widely contributes to the development of heart disease. It is estimated that nine in every ten Americans suffer from high blood pressure at some point in their lifetime.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is considered to be a risk factor for multiple health problems, including cardiovascular disease. There is considerable evidence that suggests that salt is an important cause of hypertension. Hypertension is a medical condition that is characterized by a high force of pressure on the walls of arteries.
The process by which salt affects heart health is that extra salt in the bloodstream pulls water into the blood vessel that that increases the total amount of blood inside the blood vessels. When there is an increase in the flow of blood through the blood vessels, blood pressure increases.
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a strong risk factor for the development of heart disease. The health-related quality of life of an individual is severely affected by the occurrence of heart disease. Heart disease is one of the causes of an increased rate of morbidity and mortality.
Whenever the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscles is altered, it increases the risk of developing heart disease. Coronary arteries are the main arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart and whenever this supply is blocked, heart disease develops. High blood pressure or hypertension causes strain on the coronary arteries causing them to become narrow. Over time, this leads to the build-up of fat on the walls of arteries which blocks the flow of blood. As a result, a heart problem occurs.
Damage The Kidneys
There is considerable evidence that suggests that excess salt intake can promote renal dysfunction and the development of chronic kidney disease. A condition in which kidneys are damaged and fail to function normally is known as kidney disease and when kidney disease becomes prolonged and doesn’t go away, it becomes chronic kidney disease.
Kidneys perform many important jobs in the body such as it removes waste products and extra water from the body, helping to make red blood cells, helping to control blood pressure, and keeping the bones healthy. Primarily, there are two causes of kidney dysfunction – high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.
As stated above, there is a strong relationship between high salt intake and high blood pressure. Numerous studies have claimed that high blood pressure contributes to kidney disease. Increased blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys, which reduces their ability to function normally. High blood flow can weaken the blood vessels of the whole body, including that of the kidneys.
As a result, high blood pressure impairs the functioning of the kidneys which causes kidneys to stop removing waste and extra fluid from the body. This extra fluid in the blood vessels severely affects the body.
High salt intake is associated with gastric cancer
Gastric cancer is one of the most common types of cancer across the world and in the United States, the survival rate is less. Gastric cancer is a type of cancer that develops from the inner lining of the stomach. Cancer begins in the stomach but can spread to other parts of the body such as the liver, lungs, lining of the abdomen, lymph nodes, and bones.
Several environmental and dietary factors have been known to contribute to the development of gastric cancer. Multiple studies have reported that a variety of salted foods are associated with the occurrence of gastric cancer. In general, consumption of salty food increases the risk of gastric cancer as salted vegetables or a higher intake of salted fish.
The possible explanation for salt being a risk factor for gastric cancer might be that high salt intake can cause damage to gastric mucosa that causes susceptibility to gastritis. This increases the synthesis of DNA and cell proliferation. These changes lead to chronic atrophic gastritis that results in the development of gastric cancer.
Gastric cancer is associated with a wide range of symptoms. At an initial stage, it causes symptoms like indigestion and a burning sensation. But as this disease progresses it causes symptoms like loss of appetite, stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and nausea and vomiting.
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