Salt is an important chemical component in the human diet. It gives taste to foods. Thus, it makes it possible to realise sweetness in several foods. Its major function however, in the body is to help regulate the content and amounts of liquids in the body (Burgess 2001). It works to maintain a proper quantity of water in the body. The sodium ion content in the compound also acts to make active the electrical signals in the nervous system. From the foregoing therefore, it is evident that this compound is of relevance to the body of any human being. However, use of excessive amounts of salt promises its side effects both long term and short term. The effects are sometimes adverse if not controlled early enough. They can lead to one’s death and long-term suffering due to the use of excess salt amounts. Only appropriate quantities should be consumed lest one finds himself or herself on the wrong side of the salt effects and statistics. The harmful effects of consuming excessive quantities of the compound are analyzed here below.
The Harmful Effects
High intake of salt has been blamed for causing swelling and water retention in the body (Burgess 2001). When there are big quantities of salt in the body, the kidney is under so much pressure to maintain the electrolyte solution in the body (Burgess 2001). This overworks the kidney leading to its failure to effectively perform the duty of regulating the amount of water in the body. Since the kidney cannot cope with the high intensity of the presence of the salt, it cannot draw the water in the body as fast as it ought to be. This therefore leaves much water in the body thereby causing water retention and swelling in the bodies of the victims. This is a health risk on the suffering individuals.
Too much content of salt is also said to cause high blood pressure in the body (Beard 2009). High levels of the salt may cause an increase in the force of blood moving through the body. The heart is therefore, required to have the energy to perform this extraneous exercise. The body is also under much pressure to get an adequate supply of oxygen in order to pump the blood to the various organs of the body where it is required. This is a major health risk as it poses a great danger upon the victims’ lives.
Excessive consumption of salt content, no doubt leads to heart diseases (Withrow 2001). Due to the hypertension, the heart has to work extremely hard in order to satisfy the body’s needs of an adequate supply of blood. Blood carries all the necessary nutrients required by the body. Where the heart fails to meet such a vital demand, oxygen, which is another vital component, is not availed to the body organs. This can lead to immediate death of the culprit. Therefore, this presents a dire situation on the health of the individual (Caruso 2010). Moreover, in this case, the heart is burdened with the duty of supplying blood to the rest of the body. Such makes the heart develop complications due to such heavy burdens. Where the pressure on it is too much, coupled with poor attention to the condition, the heart is likely to have even more serious complications. Given the relevance of the heart as an organ of the body, any such ailments to it require urgent care and treatment lest the victim lose their lives. This is because with an unhealthy heart on non-functioning, the duties to be performed are not done. This unfortunately leads to the loss of lives (Smithers 2008). This is because the body can no longer meet its needs as blood is not sufficiently supplied to the necessary organs for appropriate functioning.
Stroke is a disease that is also caused by the consumption of excessive salt content (Taylor 2010). Where the body of an individual suffers from hypertension, there is a huge demand for oxygen in the body. This demand leads to failure by the body to contain excessive fat deposits along the arteries. These deposits of cholesterol serve to block the arteries which carry blood to various parts of the body. This worsens the situation of the body by hindering the flow of blood that the body really urgently requires (Alden 2005). Where the arteries are blocked, this may lead to their bursting. This condition is referred to us stroke. It may lead to death if not attended to appropriately. This therefore calls for caution in the amounts of salt content in any foods to be consumed. This would allow for the control of any diseases that may be caused by the excessive use of salt and thus afford to have control measures early enough and thereby easy to check the ailments and contain them. This would save on money and afford good health, which is necessary for humans to go about their duties.
In acute effects, too much or too little salt in the body leads to muscle cramps (Taubes 2012). It can also lead to dizziness or electrolyte disturbances which may cause a situation known as neurological condition. This condition is deemed to be dangerous as it may cause death to the victim. Drinking of too much water without sufficient salt content leads to water intoxication. Consuming of too much salt at a go for example confusing salt with sugar leads to instant death. This is when it reaches a level of one gram per kilogram of body weight. Emergence of these health problems would adversely affect one’s way of life. It may curtail the activities which one engages in as he or she goes about their daily chores in order to earn a living thereby underlying the importance of maintaining a good health. Therefore, this shows that only appropriate quantities of salt are beneficial to the body without causing any harmful effects to the health of the body (Cowen 1999). A balance must therefore, be struck that would have regard for the need to equip the body with the necessary minerals fir its efficient functioning and the need to realize that excessive or unavailable amounts of salts would present challenges to one’s health. The aim should be to have amounts of the salt content that guarantee health and proper functioning of the body.
From the above discussion, it has been revealed that it is important to consume salt but only within the reasonable little amounts as directed by the doctors. In case of excessive use, the consequences are dire (Zacharias 2000). Therefore, the content of salt in the bodies of humans is vital but must be regulated to ensure it remains within the limits that do not compromise the health of the users. Where it is consumed as advised by the medical fraternity, it promises health to the consumers. Where the expert advice is ignored, and excessive amounts consumed the health hazards call for immediate attention or else lead to both short-term and long-term suffering upon the victims. The use of salt must therefore, be in respect to the need for healthy living through consumption of the correct amounts as guided by the doctors. Apart from the negative effect associated with overuse, salt is an important component that is necessary for the well functioning of the human body.