What Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Cause Cravings for Salty Foods?


Quick Answer

A craving for salty foods may indicate low levels of calcium, potassium or iron, according to Women's Health. With calcium shortages, eating salt temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood, causing the body to believe that the problem has been addressed. Studies show that a lack of calcium, potassium or iron causes animals to eat large amounts of table salt.

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Full Answer

A craving for salty foods, in addition to being an indicator of mineral deficiencies, can also signal low levels of sodium in the body, states Healthgrades. This low level of sodium may be a result of the body's inability to maintain an appropriate sodium level or a sign that the body has lost large amounts of sodium, such as in dehydration.

A persistent craving for salt may also be a symptom of Addison's disease, a disease in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones, as noted by Healthgrades.

If a craving for salty foods is due to a temporary condition such as dehydration, the craving should only last until the body is properly hydrated and sodium levels have reached a normal level, according to Healthgrades. If, however, the salt craving is the symptom of a more serious health problem, other symptoms, such as low blood pressure, fatigue, loss of appetite and diarrhea, may also be present.

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