Consuming a diet higher in salt will sometimes help restore a more normal blood pressure. One of the most common – and treatable – problems identified in those with NMH (Neurally Mediated Hypotension) is a low dietary salt (sodium) intake. Salt helps us retain fluid in the blood vessels, and helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. Salt has received bad press in the last couple of decades because a high salt diet in some individuals with high or high-normal blood pressure can contribute to further elevations, and thereby to heart disease and stroke. This has led to general health recommendations to cut down on salt. As we are finding, this general recommendation isn't right for all people.
Consume extra salt and drink more fluids during hot weather and while sick with a viral illness, such as a cold or the flu.
Most commercial sports drinks have modest sodium content in order to make them more palatable. A person exercising in heat needs as much as 2gm of sodium per liter for proper recovery – which would make sports drinks taste like seawater (there is about 0.5gm of sodium per liter of Gatorade). Drinking large amounts of plain water is not ideal in itself because it shuts off the sense of thirst and produces more urine which results in further fluid loss even though you are dehydrated.
You can increase your sodium intake by eating sodium-containing foods. Some people believe that table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) is not a good way to get your sodium (note that there is 1gm of sodium in every 2.5gm of table salt), but others say that it is necessary.
Sea salt should be included in the diet, unless contraindicated for other reasons, as it benefits adrenal gland function. When seasoning foods, use as much salt as tastes good to you.
The concentration of sodium in the blood plasma depends on the total amount of sodium and water in the circulatory system. Hyponatremia, can be corrected either by increasing sodium or by decreasing body water.
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