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What are the side effects of consuming too much sodium?

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Quick Answer

Possible side effects of consuming too much sodium include water retention, dehydration and hypertension. If other health conditions are already present, consuming an excessive amount of sodium may also lead to a higher risk for developing stomach cancer, kidney stones or osteoporosis, according to SFGate.

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Full Answer

Sodium collects on the exterior part of cells, and the sodium level on the external cell surface denotes how much water the body retains, explains SFGate. If excess sodium is consumed, the kidneys reduce the amount of water released through urine to balance out the extra sodium on the external cell, resulting in increased blood volume. Increased blood volume induces swelling in various body parts.

When a person consumes excessive amounts of sodium, the body balances the extra sodium by pulling out water from within the cells, causing dehydration. Symptoms of dehydration include extreme thirst, nausea, dizziness, stomach cramps and vomiting or diarrhea, as stated by SFGate.

A high level of sodium in the blood increases the blood volume which raises blood pressure. Consuming too much sodium over a lover time period induces a chronic increase in blood pressure, according to SFGate. It also damages blood vessel walls and leads to a predisposition for hypertension.

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