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Salt Cravings - 4 Common Reasons Behind It!

Dt. Sonal 90% (304 ratings)
M.Sc Dietetics and Food Service Management, B.Sc. - Dietitics / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Hubli-Dharwad  •  23 years experience
Salt Cravings - 4 Common Reasons Behind It!

Salt craving refers to the craving for food that contains excessive amount of sodium. When a person is more inclined towards the consumption of high sodium food, or you find him or her sprinkling extra table salt over the food, then that person is probably craving for salt. There can be a number of reasons behind a sudden or chronic craving for salt, and they can be: 

  1. Low Sodium Level: One and the foremost reason for a salt craving could be low level of sodium in the body. This can usually lead to neurological disorders and hypertension, if it is not treated on time. One of the primary symptoms of a system suffering from sodium depletion is excessive sweating which can lead to further loss of water and sodium from the body. This can also happen due to stress or a lot of physical exertion. One must keep drinking water in order to replenish one’s reserves, during a workout or any sports activities.
  2. Addison’s Disease: This is another condition that can lead to salt cravings. In this condition, the body goes through a fluid imbalance because the adrenal glands do not secrete the required hormones in the appropriate quantity. This also leads to excretion of urinary sodium, which can also cause symptoms like dehydration and pain in the abdomen. When these hormones are not secreted properly, the kidneys cannot regulate the sodium level which can lead to high sodium cravings. Therefore, one must get a proper diagnosis done with urine and other lab tests so that any damage involving the kidneys can be studied and reported.
  3. Menstrual Cycle: There are a number of hormonal changes that happen when women go through their menstrual cycle or monthly period. When a woman is going through bleeding as well as ovulation, the hormones that are released can cause one to crave sodium rich food. This is because these hormones can cause an alteration of the taste buds.
  4. Opiate Withdrawal: Patients who are addicted to opiates and are going through withdrawal symptoms after they have stopped the consumption of opiates end up going through severe sodium cravings. This kind of addiction is usually caused by neurological reactions within the brain. This happens when the sodium and pleasure seeking centre of the brain gets stimulated.

How to Treat Salt Cravings: To begin with, one will have to get all the tests done so as o find out the exact cause of the sudden cravings. Also, it is imperative to bring down your intake of sodium and specially processed food, which is usually very high when it comes to sodium content. One should not have more than 2400 Mg of table salt in a day, as per varied medical reports. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.

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