The client is on a 'low sodium' diet, however, the family has removed ALL salt from his diet!

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And now, I am noticing he is acting somewhat strangely. I believe we all need a certain amount of salt, right? To sweat, etc?
Any one have any thoughts on this? It would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!

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I was only addressing the question, which is reducing sodium intake. If the patient cuts out ALL sodium, they will DEFINITELY have a sodium-to-potassium imbalance with similar symptoms.
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Pstiegman, please don't recommend lite salt if you don't know what someone's kidney function is and other health conditions are. There are times that the potassium in lite salt is dangerous to people's health. Using lite salt can, in certain situations, lead to elevated Potassium levels. Potassium levels that are too high can lead to irregular heart rhythms and death.
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I had a client who had high blood pressure. He literally went on the no-salt diet on his own to try to control his high blood pressure. He avoided soy sauce, bacon, sausages, anything that had specificly mentioned salt/sodium. Well, something happened. (I didn't ask because he was a new client and I didn't want to be rude by asking too much questions.) He's now on a low-sodium diet. But he did ask us, "Did you know that avoiding all salt is not good for you?" I said, "Yes." I asked him if the doc specifically gave him advice on what salt to take. He said no. But from my reading, the In-thing is sea salt because it's natural. And sea salt doesn't have the iodine that our body needs. I'm just saying that it's been mentioned in articles and in the news that more and more people are avoiding salt and health conditions are popping up. And more and more people are turning to sea salt - which from my reading and the news, it has no iodine.

I Rarely use salt in my cooking. When my body starts to crave salt, I buy these packet of dry sea weed and munch on it as a snack. Or buy potato chips and eat it until my body no longer craves salt. I don't avoid salt for health reasons. I just don't like salty food. I like my food somewhat bland - just enough salt to give it taste. When I scramble eggs, I don't add salt because the sausage is already salty. The best source in which the family will listen to is his doctor. The doctor will need to give them examples of what a Low-sodium diet is.
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I agree with bookluv ive read into this too we all need x amount of salt per day im not sure how much but a no salt diet is not a good idea. I use a herbal salt BUT being a smoker i know that my salt intake is not good and i need to cut down. Ask her doc and tell doc to tell family that no salt is too extreme.
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I recommend Morton's Lite Salt, because it has balanced electrolytes. It has more potassium than sodium and also contains magnesium and calcium.
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The chemical formula for table salt is NaCl, or sodium chloride. Sodium is a positive ion and chlorine is a negative ion. They form a chemical bond and remain stable as a salt in the dry form until they ionize when dissolved in water. Thru hydrolysis in the bloodstream, salt breaks into Cl- and Na+. The sidium is taken up into the blood cells. What balances the fluids in the bloodstream is Potassium (K+), which exists in the plasma of the blood. When the cells swell with sodium and there is not enough potassium in the plasma to equalize pressure, you get fluid retention (edema) and usually a rise in blood pressure. Diuretucs such as lasix and hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) that are given for this essentially burst the cell walls, allowing the sodium to leak out and the pressure to equalize, generally reducing swelling and lowering blood pressure.

Salt is a flavor enhancer and a preservative. The problem is, in our society, we get too much salt in our diet (therefore too much sodium) and not enough potassium, especially if we eat processed or fast food. When doctors place their patients on low sodium diets, they generally mean no added salt. But that doesn't mean a person isn't getting sodium, as many foods do contain sodium naturally.

Salt in its natural state does not contain iodine. Only iodized salt contains iodine. Even though it comes from the ocean, where you find the natural source of iodine in sea fish and seafood, as well as seaweeds, sea salt is supposed to be "natural", hence no additives, therefore sea salt does not contain added iodine.

Just as milk does not contain natural vitamins A&D (our government ads A&D to milk as what they consider to be the best source of getting those vitamins into people), our government adds iodine to salt, as what they think is the best way to get iodine into people and prevents thyroid problems such as goiter. Folks who eat adequate sea fish, seafood and seaweed don't need additional iodine. But many, because of a distaste for fish or seafood, concerns over mercury toxicity, allergies, or no dietary training in cooking with seaweed (such as a macrobiotic person would have), need added iodine. This can easily be obtained from very inexpensive kelp tablets (which can be swallowed as pills or ground in a mortar and pestle and mixed into liquid or solid food. Caution is required, however, as some folks are actually allergic to iodine. If you were, you would most likely know this already.

As we age, our digestive ability tends to diminish, especially for protein foods. I believe this is due to a diminishing of hydrochloric acid that should be secreted by the stomach. It is the primary digestive juice to dissolve protein material. Hydrochloric acid is manufactured in the body from hydrogen and chlorine, making HCl. Here's the problem: the Cl- needs to be gotten from the table salt (NaCl) we use so liberally. Chlorine, however, is a gas and is vaporized when heated. Add salt when cooking and you get all sodium and no chlorine from that food. So, how can your body make HCl acid to digest protein? It can't. Then your body must rely on pancreatic enzymes, not all of which are for digesting protein, and which are present in smaller amounts. I believe this puts a tremendous strain on the pancreas.

The solution is to cook your food without salt and add just a pinch of salt to the top of your food before serving. It will give your body the chlorine you need, only a very small added amount of sodium (beyond what already is in the food) and the small amount of salt on top of the food will appropriately tantalize the salt receptors (taste buds) on the tongue, making the food taste as if its been salted as usual. NO salt shakers at the table!

Generally, the only way a person could suffer from a lack of sodium because of not salting their food is if they eat absolutely no natural foods that contain sodium and too many foods that contain potassium, and usually this is highly unlikely. It could happen from an all fruit diet over a long period of time but I believe other problems would occur before you reach that point., as that would not be considered a very balanced diet for the long term.
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A low-sodium diet, particularly for persons with certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, has been standard health advice for decades. Recently there have been studies questioning the validity of that advice, or trying to determine the minimum that we need. So the topic is controversial. Not all "experts" agree.

Are you a hired caregiver? I think it would be useful if you would document the "somewhat strange" behavior, with descriptions and when they occur, and share these with the family. Unless you have appropriate training or knowledge I'm not sure you should try to diagnose why these behaviors are happening. But family should be aware of any new symptoms their loved one is showing.

Especially if you prepare meals or feed your client, you might ask for clarification about the salt restriction.

Even if we give up all salt from a shaker, most of us take in some salt from things like granola and breakfast cereals, canned food, prepared foods like frozen dinners, pickles, olives, ketchup, lunch meat, sausage, cheese, bread, etc. Are all of these sources restricted, too?

People need iodine. It occurs naturally in some soils and in sea foods. To prevent deficiencies in people living in areas where iodine is not in the soil (and the food grown in it), iodine was added to salt many years ago. You can generally buy salt that has been iodized or not. It is far less important than it once was, because our food now comes from all over the country and not just from the soil where we live. Unless someone is on a strict "local food only" eating plan and is in an area without iodine in the soil, it is probably not an issue.
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It is important to intake salt. And not just any salt. Our body needs Iodine Salt to maintain our thyroid gland, especially goiter. From my readings, Sea Salt has no Iodine. Intaking sea salt will not provide the iodine needed by our body.

Here is an excerpt that I found (other than it being helpful for thyroid):
Salt is also an essential nutrient for the human body. Salt is present in the tissues and cells of our body and it facilitates contraction of muscles, conduction of nerve impulses, and transportation of nutrients to the cells.

People with NO salt diet have run into more health issues Other than their original health problem.
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