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Salt and Autoimmunity

Salt can be a useful tool in your health arsenal, when used properly.

It can boost your electrolytes, help with fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle function. Although salt is not in itself harmful, Americans are guilty of eating way too much, more than the human body was ever designed to process.

Salt and Autoimmunity

Fast foods, junk foods, and snack foods are all heavily salted to increase palatability, shelf life, and mask their inherent poor quality. While everyone should be avoiding excess salt found in today’s food, those who should be especially wary are people suffering from high blood pressure, heart disease, and those with autoimmune diseases. 

Autoimmunity is when your body’s immune system starts attacking its own cells, and our extreme consumption of salt raises the risk of the body’s immune system destroying viable tissue. Examples of common autoimmune conditions are:

  • Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus
  • Type 1 Diabetes

Should You Stop Eating Salt?

The gradual tissue destruction that comes along with autoimmunity, along with the inflammation generated from the autoimmune attacks, causes a wide array of chronic and seemingly unsolvable symptoms. Does this mean you should stop eating salt?  Not necessarily. The focus is on paying attention to the foods you put into your body, avoiding overly processed and junk foods, and reducing extra salt intake. The USDA daily recommended intake of sodium is 2300 mg, which is the equivalent of only one teaspoon of salt. Ultimately lowering salt intake can produce beneficial, anti-inflammatory changes in the immune system.

For more information on managing autoimmune conditions and maintaining a low-salt diet, get in touch with our office.

Meet the Author

Dr. Boyle D.A.C.M., LAc., DiplOM.

Dr. Boyle D.A.C.M., LAc., DiplOM. is the founder of the Holistic Wellness Center of the Carolinas where he is the Director of Functional Medicine. He holds a Diplomate in Oriental Medicine and is acupuncture physician and primary care physician in the state of Florida. His post-graduate focus has been in the fields of functional neurology, functional immunology, and functional endocrinology.

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