Medical Officer at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Dr. Henry Kusi Appiah, has explained how excessive salt intake contributes to hypertension, popularly known as high blood pressure.
Hypertension also known as high blood pressure is a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Usually, hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90, and is considered severe if the pressure is above 180/120.
Among the modifiable causes of hypertension is the excessive intake of salt.
Dr. Kusi Appiah explaining how high salt intake increases the blood pressure told Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show: “Salt draws water from our system and so that mounts the pressures within the cells and volume of the blood in the system goes up. And when that happens, it brings about hypertension”.
He further stated that our bodies produce salt which is only excreted by the kidney if it becomes excess in the body. “So, imagine taking excess salt into the body. That will be overwhelming for the system such that the kidney is unable to remove unwanted fluids and toxin from the body; causing the volume of the blood to go high,” he said.
Taking in too much salt makes it difficult for our kidneys to remove fluid which then builds up in our system and increases blood pressure.
It is recommended that people living with hypertension or people who are at risk of high blood pressure reduce their salt intake. Foods that are high in sodium include processed foods, canned foods, and some snacks such as popcorn, peanuts and chips. It is thus wise to avoid these foods altogether or limit their intakes.