TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Many opinions salt is a taboo for people with high blood pressure or high blood pressure hypertensivei, a specialist in medical oncology hematology subspecialty, Professor Zubairi Djoerban, through his Instagram account discussed high blood pressure with the title “Why Are People With High Blood Giving Salt instead?”
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a condition when the blood pressure is above the threshold. If not treated immediately, hypertension can cause serious life-threatening diseases, such as heart failure, kidney disease, and stroke.
Blood pressure is divided into systolic and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure when the heart pumps blood around the body while diastolic pressure is the pressure when the heart relaxes before pumping blood again.
What is sodium? Sodium is one of the substances in the body that includes electrolytes. Other electrolytes in the body are potassium and chloride. One of the functions of electrolytes is to maintain the stability of body fluids. Then, what will happen if the sodium in the body is low?
Sodium levels less than 135 nmol/I will cause hyponatremia. Hyponatremia is an electrolyte balance disorder when the sodium level in the blood is lower than normal. Sodium content is expressed as the amount of sodium (mmol) per liter of water. Hyponatremia occurs when a lot of sodium is expelled or the amount of water absorbed by the body increases.
What are the effects of too low a sodium level?
-Fainting and causing fluid in the blood circulation to be diluted
-To normalize sodium concentration, fluid will move from blood vessels to body cells.
-The lower the sodium level, the more fluid will move.
Is low sodium fatal? If it occurs in brain tissue, fluid that accumulates will cause brain cells to swell. As a result, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headache, and drowsiness arise. If it gets worse, there can be a decrease in consciousness, even fainting to coma.
Who is prone to hyponatremia? The elderly are very at risk because there are frequent disturbances in the process of regulating water storage and sodium balance.
What is the organ that regulates sodium balance? The amount of water in the body is regulated by the mechanism of thirst and the release of certain hormones (antidiuretic hormone / ADH), the regulation of sodium balance is mainly carried out by the kidneys and is influenced by the work of the heart and blood pressure. This increased release of the ADH hormone causes a lot of water to be absorbed in the kidneys and less excreted through urine. Regulation of sodium balance will be more severe when accompanied by heart and kidney disease.
Hyponatremia can also occur if sodium is excreted in excess, as in vomiting, diarrhea, and administration of urine-stimulating drugs (diuretics). Diuretics are sometimes given to treat high blood pressure. There is about 60 percent of hyponatremia in the elderly caused by impaired ADH secretion. This disorder is partly due to certain diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, or the use of diuretic, antirheumatic, antidepressant, carbamazepine, and chlorpropamide drugs.
How to prevent hyponatremia? If there are drugs that have been consumed and suspected to be associated with hyponatremia, then the drug must be discontinued plus additional sodium intake is given via NaCI capsules, including limiting drinking, to 1-1.5 liters per day.
Then, why are people with hypertension advised to consume salt? Hyponatremia is a special condition for people who require additional salt intake from the outside. To be known, blood pressure influenced by many factors, not only by sodium balance.
Read also: Is it better to take hypertension medication in the morning or at night?