What Are the Symptoms of Too Much Salt Intake?

The symptoms of too much salt intake include water retention, dehydration and hypertension, reports SF Gate. Too much salt intake could lead to stomach cancer, kidney stones or osteoporosis. In addition, too much salt could also cause high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke, warns the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Water retention occurs when sodium levels are too high in the body, which causes the kidneys to stop releasing water, according to SF Gate. This in turn leads to a higher volume of blood in the body. A more obvious symptom of water retention is swelling. When sodium levels are too high, but the person is not well hydrated, then dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration are more unpleasant and include extreme thirst, nausea and stomach cramps.

Too much salt intake over a long period of time can lead to hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, due to the body struggling to maintain balanced water levels against high sodium levels, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High blood pressure increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Americans are eating too much salt, and most of the salt Americans eat is coming from restaurant meals and processed food.