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Guest Alex

How Much Salt Do You Have In Mind When You Say Salt Loading?

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Guest Alex

In light of the recent conversations here on salt loading, I think it's reasonable to "define" salt loading.

How much salt do you actually have in mind - how many grams/teaspoons/tablespoons/tablets a day? Is/was this amount suggested by your dr or did you figure it out by trial and error? I'd also be curious to know (if you're willing to share) how did your dr determine the amount of salt s/he suggested for you?

My dr was quite vague when he suggested that I should increase my salt intake, but I wanted an exact number from him and he said up to 15 g a day. He suggested that much because when I had my first 24 h urine sodium checked, my level was a bit low (60 nmol/L) and apparently the target for a POTS patient is around 170 nmol/L. Last time I had my sodium level checked it was 180 nmol/L and I was no longer on any meds (like florinef) that would increase my salt retention, nor was I salt loading. I could never stomach that much salt anyway. Moreover, whenever I went over 5 g of salt I retained water (swollen ankles, fingers, face) and my BP was uncomfortably high, but this is aside the point.

So please share your opinions if you'd like. What is the amount of salt you have in mind when you say salt loading?

Thank you.

Alex

Edited by alex74alex

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Guest Hanice

I guess I should datart measuring. But I'm not adding extra salt to my diet anymore after yesterday. Now I havea weird throbbing pain in my left side next to my pelvis bone.

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I do not "salt load". I try to keep my water drinking down to a reasonable amount. I drink electrolyte drinks, v8, and I salt my food.

I actually don't love salt and have to remember to add it to my meals. I do not retain water but when my rings are super loose I know to up my salt. I can't stick to a certain amount of salt each day because my need for it changes based on how much I sweat and how I'm feeling.

I'm sorry I can't answer you very well. Some days I have LOTS and some days not so much.

I generally don't eat any unhealthy foods (excluding sports drinks and occasionally potato chips :P ). I'm gluten free, and was raised on a healthy natural unprocessed diet. Poor diet (or excess salt) was not a factor for me getting sick. I was the kid who got the " perfect school attendance award", never broke a bone, never had a cavity, and had the energy to play any sport I wanted.

Makes me thankful to my mom who was very strict about what I could eat.

I got way off topic- sorry- but I think where I'm going is that most of my salt comes from foods naturally or I add sea salt.

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I don't measure, but I add salt to everything except my drinks. (For now!) :) I eat a disgusting amount of salt though, watermelon covered in salt, sauted mushrooms covered in salt, super salty vegetable soup...you name it. To be honest though, it doesn't seem to make any difference for me. My b/p still *****, and all of my fluid goes straight through me! (Tmi, I know, but I have to pee ALL THE TIME!!!) But I would estimate I add about 4-5 Tbs of salt to my intake each day. :)

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I read lots of articles by various doctors that indicated POTS patients could need anywhere from 4 to 20 grams of salt. When I started taking my son's blood pressure hourly, I noticed the pattern in his blood pressure. That's how I figure out how much salt that my son really needed in addition to salting his food and drinking his homemade Gatorade. Since he is off his florinif, he needs the same amount of salt tablets (9 grams) a day. He drinks about 2-3 liters of fluid a day. However, when he gets sick and drinks more fluids, I do have to increase his salt. So I have come to the conclusion, if he drinks too much, he will flush the salt out. Since he is off the florinif, he does not have the puffy fingers either. I understand why salt loading may be necessary, but it is not the same amount for everyone.

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One other thing that my son does is alternate the types of fluids that he drinks. He drinks a cup of water with midodrine before breakfast. After breakfast, may son takes 2 grams of salt and mid-morning he has a protein shake made with milk and takes 1 gram of salt. After lunch ( around 1pm) he takes his midodrine and 2 grams of salt. Around 3;30pm, my son has another shake with 1 gram of salt. After supper 6:00pm, my son has 2 grams of salt. At 7:00pm, my son takes his midodrine and l gram of salt (3 thermotabs). I read in an article somewhere that the salt would absorb better and stay in the body longer when taken with food. My son has never used potassium supplements. However, in a recent blood test, his potassium levels have come up. I assume this may have happened because he is no longer taking the florinif. He has been off the florinif for 6 weeks. So the amount of fluid, type of fluid and timing of taking the salt may play a role in salt loading and how much your body can tolerate. Hope this is helpful. This is a schedule that I try to keep my son on and it seems to work very well so far. However, when we get off schedule or a virus plays with the body, it shows up in the blood pressure readings. Also throughout, the day, my son alternates with 16 ounces of water and 16 ounces of homemade Gatorade.

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My EP actually prescribed salt pills 10 yrs ago but I don't remember the amount now. I'm one of those odd people whose blood pressure decreases with salt intake. When I have a flare up my bp tends to go up, along w my hr rate. Adding salt tends to make it go down. When I was hospitalized w severe POTS (no diagnosis) my blood sodium was low.

Typically I don't add extra salt to my food these days. But if I develop symptoms b/c of a relapse I will. I used to add salt to orange juice--maybe a quarter of a tsp to a glass. Often after 2-3 glasses taken throughout several hours I would feel better. I learned the hard way that it can be dangerous, or at least not wise, to over-do the salt. Too much salt can cause the body to excrete potassium. I will still add salt when feeling poorly, like an extra sprinkling on food or perhaps in a drink, and am more focused on making sure I am getting adequate potassium. I found that coconut water (if I drink a liter a day) helps me feel better in a relapse. One "serving" contains 15% of RDA of potassium.

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I take 2 one gram salt tabs twice a day and then also salt load everything else. I am supposed to get a minimum of 6 grams a day and drink 2 liters of water. But for the salt to work I take florinef as well, twice a day.

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Guest maia

I was told to have as much as possible and aim for around 15 grams a day with the caviat that some worked better with less and others needed up to 20 grams a day. I was offered tablets because i was told that its hard for some to get enough salt without them but preferred to try and do it without the pills because i was also told they can cause gi upset so i used teaspoon measurements. I think a teaspoon is 5 or 6 grams about? I dont think there was any determining factor except that my doc thought all pots patients were supposed to have about 15 grams a day with florinef and gatorade and a beta blocker. Those were my initial precriptions. I dont think my sodium levels were ever checked while i was trying to salt load per the recommendations and i have no idea what they were prior.

Sometimes I could tolerate a teaspoon in a glass of warm water in the morning, most often not. I also tried to eat as many salted chips as i could and that even had negative effects if i had too many. I could feel my limit though i dont know in grams what that was. I love salt on my food though so i still do that. Its definitely not loading but i probably still get about 5 grams a day without any effects positive or negative.

I should add that i use himalayan salt not table salt.

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Hi Alex. I just posted and interesting link in my thread 'what to do when midodrine and florinef aren't helping with blood pressure'. The latest research conflicts with the benefit of salt loading. Salt can cause autoimmune disorders. I've provided the link in my latest post on that thread.

PLEASE, everyone, I'm not advocating we all stop salt loading!! I'm just wanting to inform you of the latest research and am only saying that the latest data flies in the face of conventional treatment for POTS!!!

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sorry, i tried to add the link in my post above but it wouldn't work for some reason. If you want to see the article, you'll have to go to my thread.

And I should say "Salt MAY play a role in Autoimmune Disease". Sorry if I led anybody astray!

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Charlotte- I recently read the same article. Plus salt has been linked to so many other health issues.

In my experience: I avoided salting for the above stated reasons until about two weeks ago (I've been sick since feb 2012). My new neuro really insists on it... I'm prescribed 3 grams of salt tabs (1g 3x/day). For the past week I've only had one or two per day... I have such a mental block about it. Plus my BP isn't super low, and lately has been fluctuating a lot (hypo then normal then hyper, lol). Anyway, she insists so starting today I am upping to 3g/day. In addition I have been salting my food. I don't really notice anything yet... Possibly some nausea/bloating, possibly helping retain fluids, but not sure yet.

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My Mayo Neurologist recommended 6 grams of salt daily as a starting point. At present I consume 9 grams daily. I divide it up into three doses. I used to take salt tablets but now measure out sea salt instead. I dissolve it in water and just drink it down. I also salt my food. I drink about 2.5 liters of fluid per day which was also recommended. I have no ankle or foot edema which I am thankful for as it allows me to wear compression leggings as opposed to hose. In spite of all of this I am constantly having to void. My Neurologists recommendations were based on all of his findings and my diagnostic work up. My volume status will be reevaluated on my next visit.

Janet

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