Salt tablets, also known as salt pills, may aid in the replacement of low sodium levels in the body. Sodium is a mineral and an electrolyte too. Electrolytes are required by the body to regulate fluids in the body, ensuring hydration and assisting the body in functioning properly.
When a person has hyponatremia or low levels of sodium in the blood, a doctor may prescribe or recommend salt tablets. Normal blood sodium levels range between 135 and 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).
Hyponatremia can be caused by a number of factors. According to the National Kidney Foundation, it includes:
• Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to remove excess fluid from the body.
• Diuretics (water pills), which increase sodium in the urine
• Congestive failure of heart, when excessive fluid builds up in the body.
Exercise can also result in exercise-associated hyponatremia. This occurs when athletes, particularly long-distance runners, consume excessive amounts of water during physical activity, depleting natural sodium levels.
Benefits of taking salt tablets
People take salt tablets for a variety of reasons, including:
• Enhance hydration during exercise, especially endurance activities
• Maintain a healthy electrolyte balance in the body following illness or exercise
• Manage underlying condition symptoms and side effects.
Salt tablets may be an effective treatment for hyponatremia, according to some research.
A study conducted in 2020 investigated salt tablet use as a treatment for hyponatremia and discovered a small increase in sodium blood levels when compared to people who did not take salt tablets.
However, there is less proof that they are actually effective in preventing long-distance running-related illness.
Side effects of salt tablets
At the recommended dosage, salt tablets should not cause any side effects. However, if a person takes far more than the recommended dosage, they may develop hypernatremia, which is a condition in which the body has far too much salt.
Hypernatremia symptoms include:
• blood pressure too high
• fast heart rate
• swelling of the tongue
If you are taking salt tablets and notice any of the above symptoms, please discontinue using them immediately and consult a doctor.