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Salt And Potassium: Importance In Body Growth And Blood Pressure

Most people have too much sodium in their diet. The main source of our sodium is regular table salt. Sat contains 40 percent sodium. On the flipside, most people do not have enough potassium in their diets. Salt and potassium both have an effect on health and specifically on blood pressure. While salt can raise blood pressure, potassium lowers it.

The American Heart Association indicated the number of U.S adults diagnosed with high blood pressure is 74.5 million. If not treated, high blood pressure can lead to heart attack or stoke and be fatal. Potassium and sodium also play in important part in overall body growth and maintenance.

What are Salt Levels and Why are They Important?

Table salt and processed foods contain sodium. The average American consumes between 2,900mg and 4,300mg of sodium per day. The recommended intake is less than 2,300mg of salt per day.

What are the Sources of Salt and Sodium?

Ingredients with the words “salt” or “Na” contain sodium. Salt has 40 percent sodium in it. Other sources with sodium in them are: MSG, baking soda and baking powder.

Avoid or minimize the following for healthy salt levels:

  • Snacks that are salty
  • Frozen or prepared fish, battered or canned
  • Deli meats, hotdogs, sausages
  • Canned items with salt
  • Commercial foods: meat pies, hash, frozen dinners
  • Cheese, buttermilk
  • Seasoning salts, MSG
  • Ketchup, mayo, salad dressings and sauces

About Potassium Levels and Blood Pressure

Potassium is important to body function and lowering blood pressure. It can also help prevent bone loss and reduce risks of developing kidney stones.

On average, most people do not get enough potassium in their diets. Those who have too much potassium in their bodies develop a condition called hyperkalemia. Symptoms of hyperkalemia are tingling sensation in extremeties, muscle fatigue and even temporary paralysis. Abnormal heart rhythm is a serious complication associated with hyperkalemia and can cause cardiac arrest.

Food Sources of Potassium

Some of the best foods to get potassium from are fruits and vegetables. Some potassium-rich foods are also high in calories. If weight control is an issue, potassium supplements may be necessary.

Foods with high levels of potassium are:

  • Bananas
  • Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Tomato and prune juice
  • Prunes
  • Molasses
  • Potatoes

How Potassium and Sodium Work Together

The positively charged ions in the fluid of inner cells is made of potassium. The fluid on the outside of cells is mainly composed of sodium. According to The Linus Pauling Institute, potassium levels are about 30 times higher on the inside versus outside of cells. On the same note, sodium levels are ten times lower inside cells than outside.

The difference in concentration between potassium and sodium makes up what is called membrane potential. When at a good level, this membrane potential promotes proper nerve impulse transmission along with muscle contraction and proper heart function.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the …

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Allergies & Hay Fever: Causes and Symptoms

Allergies and hay fever are caused when your body reacts to a certain allergen. Although the allergen may be harmless, your immune system may perceive it to be a threat and attempt to repeatedly attack it. You may be allergic to something year-round like pet dander, dust or perfumes, or possibly something seasonal such as tree pollen, smoke from farmer’s burning their fields or freshly cut grass. The term hay fever is not limited to contact with hay. While some people are, in fact, allergic to hay, the term hay fever came when harvesters would develop allergic reactions during crop season.

The most common symptoms of allergies and hay fever are:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing and clear runny nose
  • Nasal congestion (and even sinus congestion)
  • Eye irritation
  • Excessive tearing in eyes, may even seal eyes shut when sleeping
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Nose bleed
  • Loss of smell

The more severe the allergy, the more severe the reactions. The longer the body is suffering from the allergy, the more worn down it can get and possibly lead to serious, long-term health problems.

Side Effects of Allergies & Hay Fever

For minor allergies, the reaction can simply be an inconvenience and make you feel as you do when you have cold. However, for more severe allergies or for people who have weakened immune systems, the side effects can be much more serious.

Moderate to Serious Side Effects from Allergies & Hay Fever:

  • Anaphylaxis – Most common with drug or food allergies or insect venom
  • More Allergies – Having one allergy makes you more prone to developing other allergies
  • Asthma – If you don’t already have it, you are more likely to develop asthama if you suffer from allergies or hay fever
  • Skin, Ear and Lung Infections – You may develop skin rashes, like eczema, or infections of the lungs or ears

Any allergy that is allowed to continue over a long period of time will increase your risk of developing more serious side effects. The longer your immune system tries to fight off a perceived invader, the quicker it can tire and open the door for other illnesses to invade.

Natural Home Remedies and Treatments for Allergies & Hay Fever

Your best bet is to get a handle on the allergies and hay fever and stop your body from attacking what is not a real threat. There are many home remedies as well as natural supplements that you can try. Remember to always consult your medical provider if symptoms worsen or do not improve. If you have trouble breathing or your lips are bluish, seek medical help immediately.

Some natural home remedies and treatments for allergies & hay fever:

  • Acupuncture: Using a combination of herbal supplements and stimulating certain points of the body, acupuncture strives to help the body as a whole, to make it strong so it is not affected by any outside stimuli (ie. dust, pollen, pets etc.)
  • Dust-free/Pet-free: Depending on your allergy, keep your living area as clean as you can.