Could a low-salt diet send your blood pressure soaring???

A few very rare people are salt-resistant.  Dr. Brent M. Egan, a blood pressure specialist, told the audience at a recent annual American Heart Association meeting that a low-salt diet may actually be harmful for some people.  He and his colleagues studied 27 men who were put on a very low-salt diet for one week.  They then ate their regular diet for 2 weeks and the repeated the low-salt diet once more.

Some of the men with normal blood pressure were “salt-resistant,” says, Dr. Egan, meaning that their blood pressure did not automatically fall when their salt intake was reduced.  In fact, blood pressure actually increased by as much as five points in some men who reduced salt intake, he reports.

Studies have shown that insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, in some cases contributes to hardening of the arteries by helping the body produce excessive cholesterol.  Insulin also encourages the body to retain salt in the kidneys, the report says.

Many men in the study had higher levels of insulin, and Dr. Egan suggests that the body nay “adapt” to a low-salt diet by producing more insulin.  If your blood pressure doesn’t fall after two months on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor.  There could be some underlying decease or deficiency that your body has.

My husband used to eat salt like he eats rice.  His blood pressure is a little high and I told him to gradually go to a low-salt diet.  I don’t want his body to be in shock if he immediately to go a very very low-salt diet.  Eventually, his blood pressure became normal and stable.  Like I always say, ‘everything we eat or do has to be in moderation.”

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