Vivoo Salinity Box

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Sodium is a necessary nutrient for good health. Along with maintaining normal fluid balance, the mineral also plays a crucial role in many other body functions, including nervous and muscular systems control, plus blood pressure regulation. As a result, having either too high or low sodium levels in the body could negatively impact health.

Related: Overhydration: Is Drinking Too Much Water Dangerous?

Sodium

Sodium is an essential nutrient. A major source of the mineral in most diets is added salted (i.e., “table salt”) in the form of sodium chloride. The human body requires a small amount of sodium to maintain the proper balance of water and minerals, contract and relax muscles, and conduct nerve impulses. In other words: it’s key to maintaining the body’s optimal functions. 

In healthy individuals, the kidneys help regulate the body’s sodium levels by adjusting the amount excreted through urine. It’s worth noting that excess sodium can also be secreted. Unfortunately, though, there’s a problem with excess sodium in the blood: the kidneys can’t keep up with the necessary excretion rate in most people. As a result, as sodium accumulates, the body desperately holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases the volume of blood in the bloodstream and the amount of fluid surrounding cells. This, in turn, means more pressure on blood vessels. In other words: maintaining your sodium intake at the recommended levels is crucial for optimal health (in terms of fluid balance and blood pressure regulation).

Recommended sodium dietary recommendations

  • The World Health Organization recommends limiting daily salt consumption to 5 grams to protect bone health and prevent many diseases – including hypertension, stroke, kidney diseases, obesity, and cancer.  
  • The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults limit their daily sodium intake to less than 1,500 mg for optimal blood pressure and body fluid regulation.

*1 gram of table salt contains 400 mg of sodium.

salinity and salt

Possible Results:

Note that urine sodium levels are conservative estimates of daily salt consumption. That’s because it doesn’t account for other non-urinary sodium losses like sweat. Still, it’s worth noting that roughly 90% of dietary sodium intake is excreted through the urine. 

Score: 8/10, 5/10 Label: Low, Value: 100 mg/dL Sodium, 0 mg/dL Sodium

Low urinary sodium level occurs when the sodium level in your  urine is lower than average.

Sodium deficiency typically results from low salt consumption. That’s why it’s so crucial for you to pay attention to your intake of minerals; doing so prevents sodium deficiency.

Causes of low urine sodium:

  • Eating a diet low in sodium
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Kidney problems
  • Chronic diarrhea and fluid loss
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Uncontrollable vomiting and diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Thyroid disorder

Mild symptoms include:

*Although excessive sodium intake is harmful to health, you shouldn’t severely restrict your consumption of the mineral. That’s because too little sodium can also be detrimental to your health. In other words: you should strive to consume the recommended amounts of sodium daily; this ensures optimal health and wellbeing in the long term

Score: 10/10, Label: Optimal, Value: 200 – 400 mg/dL Sodium

Optimal urine sodium levels indicate that you’re likely getting the recommended amounts of sodium through the foods and drinks you consume. 

Sodium’s functions in the body include:

  • Regulation of fluid balance
  • Transmission of nerve impulses
  • Contraction and relaxation of muscles
  • Maintenance of blood pressure.
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Acid-base balance

blood pressure

Score: 3/10, Label: High, Value: 500 mg/dL Sodium

High urine sodium levels indicate that you’re consuming way too much sodium than your body truly needs. 

 Causes of high urine sodium:

  • Too much sodium in the diet
  • Diuretics
  • Excessive consumption of table salt
  • Adrenal disorders
  • Hypothyroidism

Mild symptoms include:

  • Intense thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Involuntary muscle contraction

Sodium Sources

People are more prone to over-consuming sodium than under-consuming it. That’s why you should pay extra attention to the sodium you’re getting through the diet. First, focus on eating more fresh foods and minimally-processed foods (e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables) containing minimal amounts of sodium. Steer clear of delicatessen and other processed meat products. Instead, opt for fresh meat as it has less sodium than your typical processed meats. Also, opt for low-sodium options when purchasing ready-to-eat meals. Finally, be mindful of the sodium you’re adding to your meals when cooking. Reduce the amount of salt you use. You could do so by choosing low-sodium sauces (e.g., salad dressings, and other condiments). An easy way to cut down on the sodium you use during cooking would be to use herbs and spices as flavoring agents instead of salt-based, ready-made sauces. 

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