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What medical conditions cause salt cravings?

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Quick Answer

Salt craving is a common symptom of Addison's disease, dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. It can be a symptom of a rare kidney disorder. A craving for salt is also common during pregnancy, states Healthgrades.

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Full Answer

Addison's disease occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, such as aldosterone and cortisol. These two hormones regulate the salt and fluid balance in the body. Salt craving occurs in about 16 percent of Addison's disease patients when the body cannot hold on to salt. Addison's disease is a rare disorder and affects about one in 100 000 people, notes Healthgrades.

Dehydration is caused by a loss of body fluids and electrolytes. Sometimes salt craving can be a sign of severe dehydration which can be life-threatening, and should be treated immediately, explains Healthgrades.

Bartter's syndrome is a rare kidney disorder. It is an inherited defect in the renal tubules and causes low levels of potassium and chloride. This can cause metabolic alkalosis, a condition that causes the body to gain too much base. Salt craving is one of the symptoms of Bartter's syndrome, notes The Bartter Site.

Salt craving is not always a sign that something is wrong. Salt makes food taste better, and some people crave salt more frequently than others, especially when they are feeling stressed. When the cravings are new and excessive, however, there may be a more serious underlying cause, notes Healthgrades.

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