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Need for salt

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  • Need for salt

    Hello! I am new to this forum but have been reading Mark's Daily Apple for some months now. My sister tested positive for gluten intolerance earlier this year, so at the beginning of June I gave up eating grains. I also did a round of hCG in August. That's important from the standpoint that the stabilization phase of the hCG diet is essentially Paleo--fat and protein and very few carbs. The stabilization phase normally lasts for 3 weeks, but I have just extended that and that's the way I eat. I cannot tell you how much better I feel.

    However, I seem to have developed a rather weird problem since I started eating Paleo. On hot days, especially, I am having trouble keeping my electrolytes in balance. I seem to be peeing off too much salt, and if I am not careful about replacing it, I get heart palpitations when I lie down in bed at night. My blood pressure is also low. I saw my doctor this week (a naturopath who is 100% behind me doing Paleo) and we discussed this. The great irony is that I used to have issues with HIGH blood pressure.

    I cook almost entirely from scratch, so any salt I might have been getting from processed foods has been removed from my diet. I salt my food liberally with sea salt and I also carry around a homemade "gatorade" mix with me to drink if I am going to be outside on hot days. I am just kind of surprised at how much salt I need. Last night for dinner I made a version of chicken cordon bleu with ham and chicken and swiss cheese, and after eating the ham I finally felt better than I had in a few days.

    Has anyone else experienced this?

  • #2
    Yes, I've had to add natural salt to my dinner every day, and keep avocados on the menu for their potassium. I get musculoskeletal cramps that are too painful and body-wrenching to describe if I forget the salt and potassium. Also added a magnesium supplement in case that was part of the problem, but dropped it experimentally for a week and so far so good.
    Crohn's, doing SCD


    • #3
      I add seasalt also to my food. Hubby had high bloodpressure and now has low, and mine is VERY LOW!


      • #4
        I, too, must eat a high salt diet or I get lightheaded, fatigued, and sometimes approach fainting. Its due to a condition called Neurally Mediated Syncope. It involves improper bodily responses or overreactions to orthostatic stresses. The firstline treatment is to increase blood volume by taking more salt and drinking more water (drink beyond satisfying thirst). I use salt pills with about 500 mg of KCl and NaCL in each, and take usually 4 per day on humid days or days I'm feeling poorly. So an extra 2 grams above what I get in food.


        • #5
          Originally posted by montanamomma View Post
          Has anyone else experienced this?
          When I first dropped processed foods 3+ years ago (preprimal, but strictly gluten, dairy, corn, soy free--NO foods from a box) I was lightheaded and shaky for a month+ until I added in sea salt. I like real salt (full of minerals). It made a huge positive difference in how I felt, and I have continued to salt my food to taste.
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          • #6
            Salt junkie here! We only use sea salt, but I am very prone to leg cramps if I don't include salt in my diet, but then again, I drink a LOT of fluids during the day (over a gallon) so I know I flush it out too.
            Success is getting what you want, Happiness is wanting what you get~Brother Dave Gardner


            • #7

              I add Himalayan pink salt to everything, including my daily BAS and BAJ (bigass (green) juice). I feel surprisingly better this way.

              Coconut water is outstanding at maintain proper electrolyte balance as well. Once you have the fresh stuff, you'll never go back to the naxty tetrapacks and cans.
              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


              • #8
                "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


                • #9
                  Thanks, everyone for your responses. I do drink a lot of fluids (10-12 cups of herbal tea during the day, can't do caffeine for various reasons). Will look into the salt tablets just to keep on hand.

                  I have not had problems with cramping. The only muscle problem I have is an annoying facial tic that goes away as long as I remember to take enough magnesium.

                  TigerLily, I will try coconut water, but I live in Montana. Fresh coconuts may either be hard to find or prohibitively expensive (my daughter is in college in Tacoma and I am astounded at the variety of fruits and veggies to be had there). I did see coconut water at Coscto but have not yet tried it.

                  Mostly it is good to know that others have experienced this issue, too.