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Migraines, Cramps, Here’s Why and What To Do About It

Are you using filtered Reverse Osmosis water every day in your life as I did? Learn why you need to supplement your RO water with some trace minerals below.

I have used RO water for over 5 years since water in Arizona is not very clean. I have also tested my RO water for heavy metals and other contaminants and I am quite confident in using it for me and my family. Of course, I did not realize at that time that I am stripping my RO filtered water from all minerals. So, my recommendation to my clients and myself is to add a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan salt or Celtic salt to the water before drinking it. Before I started doing it, I was using trace minerals, but I had to discontinue using them as I was not sure what was causing a high perchlorate level in 2 out of 3 members of my family. So, read on to see why sodium is important for our bodies and make smart choices when it comes to getting not too much and not too little sodium in your diet!

Hyponatremia

Hyponatremia – is a fancy medical term for a lack of sodium in the body. Usually, mentioning sodium immediately causes associations with salt and the need to limit its use. However, sodium is not an enemy at all; its moderate use is vital for health. Actually, the ancient Romans’ currency consisted of salt as a payment, that is how important salt is for our bodies!  

So, why do we need sodium and how does its deficiency influence your body?   

What is Sodium? 

Sodium is an electrolyte, a macro element that participates in the blood circulation and metabolic processes in the body. Together with potassium, it supports the water-salt balance in the human body and regulates the activity of the nervous and muscular systems. 

Why is sodium (salt) needed? 

  • Salt is necessary for the normal functioning of the body. 
  • Sodium is important for the normal functioning of nerve cells and the conduction of an electrical impulse. 
  • In addition, sodium helps to maintain the activity of the cardiovascular system, a positive effect on the heart muscle. 
  • Sodium is also needed by our brain, because it improves the functioning of brain cells, helps us maintain a “clear mind,” promotes concentration. 
  • Important: Sodium performs all these functions successfully only at a certain concentration in the body. Both a decrease and an increase in its level leads to serious disorders of metabolic processes. 
  • Sodium supports water-salt balance in the body – remember that we are 65% water.
  • Prevents dehydration and muscle spasms/cramps. 
  • Sodium maintains normal osmotic pressure between cells and tissue fluid. 
  • Sodium provides penetration into the cells of glucose – the main source of energy for the metabolic processes. 

Nutritionists believe that we need from 1500 to 2300 mg of sodium per day. 1 g of ordinary table salt contains 0.4 g of sodium.   

Hypernatraemia: Elevated Sodium 

One of the most common problems is an excess of sodium in the blood. It’s all about the amount of salt absorbed from processed foods. Excess sodium is harmful to your health: high sodium may cause increased blood pressure, leg swelling, and more…   

Symptoms of sodium deficiency? 

Despite the fact that most often people suffer from sodium oversupply due to over-salted food, this also happens. That is why the lack of sodium is more difficult to diagnose. A person begins to feel weakness, lack of energy, loses weight. The most severe symptoms manifest themselves at the brain level: migraines are replaced by confusion, heaviness in the head, inability to properly express one’s thoughts. Such symptoms are especially difficult to detect in children and older people suffering from dementia. When a person does not have enough sodium for a long time, the health effects can be dire. From muscle convulsions to the most extreme forms of apathy.   

Causes of Sodium Deficiency 

Hyponatremia can be determined by routine blood tests. It is more difficult to understand what caused this condition. Often, hyponatremia is a consequence of dehydration caused by vomiting. It is a vicious circle: an insufficient amount of sodium causes vomiting, and with it sodium is flushed out of the body. Renal failure, hormonal imbalances, heart disease, excessive sweating can also lead to hyponatremia. Finally, malnutrition and excessive fasting can also cause sodium loss.

How to Increase the Level of Sodium in the Blood? 

Prepare a homemade electrolyte drink. Use it before, during or after exercise or any event where you have to sweat profusely. If you have hyponatremia, in any case, do not use diuretics, they will only aggravate the situation. So, sodium is an indispensable trace element in the human diet and its lack of diet can cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, confusion. 

Fortunately, coping with hyponatremia is easy. Just do not start using the salt shaker or tons of processed foods. It is better to add a sufficient amount of vegetables.

Do not forget about the moderate use of water and electrolyte drinks to supply the body with electrolytes. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain an optimal level of sodium in the body.

Zhanna Tarjeft, FNP-BC is a Functional Medicine Family Nurse Practitioner specializing in gut health issues such as SIFO (Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth), SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), leaky gut, IBS, Mold illness (CIRS, Biotoxin illness) and in thyroid disorders such as hypothyroid and autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroiditis). For more information on how to become a patient, please contact our office.

References:

  1. Dietary Sodium and Health: More than Just Blood Pressure.
  2. Sodium.
  3. Sodium intake and cardiovascular health.
  4. Sodium Intake Recommendations: A Subject that Needs to be Reconsidered.
  5. Trace Elements
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