Reserving Medical Disease Clinic
Electrolyte imbalances include the minerals one finds in your food
like sodium, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, just to give you an example. Commercially they can be sold as over-the-counter supplements/vitamins. Or can be prescribed as a prescription drug. If either electrolyte(s) are too high or too low, it can lead to serious consequences.
A common laboratory test called a CMP (complete metabolic panel) will measure in your blood the levels of these minerals commonly spoke of amongst doctors as your electrolytes. Some of these minerals also are measured in your urine.
The below article is an example of a mineral we are all too familiar with sodium chloride known as salt.
Sodium chloride is the chemical name for salt.
This is an essential mineral that our body doesn’t know how to make itself. A blood test, ex. CMP, if the sodium level is too low (<125 mEg/L ) one can have seizures and die. A high value (>150 mEg/L ) indicates one is dehydrated or dry.
Sodium in nature is not the only mineral in ‘salts’. Sodium can be found with carbon, calcium, iron, sulfur, zinc, manganese, potassium, copper …I did say it is a mineral…on and on. If you go to a well stock grocery store you will find different types of salts, different colors, from different countries. There are salt mines that still exist from 500 years ago in certain parts of the world. Generation of salt farmers -a trade pass on to this day.
Our life depends on a certain amount of sodium and in fact, some of us genetically are made to handle more salt than others. That is those who retain more sodium are less likely to be hypotensive or dehydrated. A theory as to why African Americans may be more prone to excessive salt causing leg swelling and high blood pressure.
Now before we start talking about the recommendations on limiting sodium in the American diet let’s be clear as to why. First of all, there is a high level of sodium in almost every single food product that you can find in a grocery store. From can goods to package foods. Secondly looking at how man process sodium we must realize that ‘refine salt’ like ‘fortified milk’ means that the process has stripped some valuable vitamins/proteins/minerals away from the item before the manufacturers attempt to add them back.
The average recommended daily sodium intake is:
3,426 mg (approximately 1 ½ teaspoons of salt)
1,500 mg (approximately 2/3 of a teaspoon of salt) which is recommended daily.
2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) which is the daily maximum above which sodium becomes unhealthy for most adults.
**180 to 550 mg is how much our bodies need**
If we choose a better quality of this mineral-alone with the other trace minerals- we only need a pinch of salt while cooking or afterward to sprinkle on top of our meal.
I train my clients not to cook with salt. This way they learn a new flavor profile while using other spices AND by measuring one teaspoon in a baby cup to use for the entire day, my clients can visualize the amount of sodium intake.
I briefly go over food labeling but as stated in another section I am not trying to teach my clients biochemistry.