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Does salt make you retain water?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Just throwing it out for discussion amongst you wise mamas.
I have some swelling in my ankles from being 35 weeks pg. I asked my seemingly natural minded chiropractor and he said to cut down on salt. I'm guessing it might hold true for that pure white stuff most people call salt but do you all think the good stuff actually causes ankle swelling?
I have no plans to actually cut down on it but just wondered what you other TFers think.
post #2 of 11
I don't think so, I think a certain amount is healthy. When your pregnant, your blood and fluid volume increases, so it makes sense that your salt intake would too. Correct me if I'm totally out there lol.

Anyways, I did the restriction thing w/ my first 3 pregnancies and had horrible swelling and pre-eclampsia problems. With my last son, he was a homebirth and my midwife told me not to restict and to season food to taste. I had the least problems w/ virtually no swelling, even despite the fact I went over due in August w/ it 100 degrees out lol.

But, to each their own.
post #3 of 11
My MW had me up my protein intake when I started to swell.

It might have helped had i been able to eat. My pregnancy appetite was horrible.

I don't know about salt. I think it does make you retain water in huge quantities (like eating a bucket of popcorn at the movie theater) but not what one might use in everyday cooking.
post #4 of 11
I've never personally found salt intake to cause water retention or to cause an unhealthy increase in blood pressure. The only time salt intake increased my blood pressure was when I was pg and suffering from low blood pressure; salt intake brought my BP back into the normal range.

Even when I was overweight and had borderling high blood pressure, omitting salt didn't lower it (but omitting salt DID make me dizzy!)
post #5 of 11
I think if you have way too much salt in your diet, it could make you retain water. But I think the only way that you get there is by eating alot of processed foods and getting unhealthy sodium that way. MSG makes me swell like crazy, as does eating too many carbs. But if you're only eating the good stuff AND your pregnant, I'd up the protein and probably increase the salt a little, too.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ally'smom View Post
I think if you have way too much salt in your diet, it could make you retain water. But I think the only way that you get there is by eating alot of processed foods and getting unhealthy sodium that way. MSG makes me swell like crazy, as does eating too many carbs. But if you're only eating the good stuff AND your pregnant, I'd up the protein and probably increase the salt a little, too.
Yup, that's what I was intending to write, right after...

Well it better, or I'd be a tall 2-dimensional powder post

Carry on
post #7 of 11
I wondered the same thing, Pinky, when my ankles started swelling at 35 weeks! But MW told me to up protein - didn't mention salt - & even if she had I'd have thought the same thing as you, & thought, "No...Celtic sea salt doesn't count as SALT salt." I kind of figure my body would restrict my intense desire for salty things if salt were doing me harm...at least, I hope so! What helps with swelling for me is keeping off my feet more (when I can), drinking more, and possibly a little more protein.
post #8 of 11
Too much sodium with too little potassium can cause water retention (or at least it causes my fingers to swell so my wedding ring doesn't fit). I think it's normal to have some swelling towards the end of pregnancy.

The book "Good Calories Bad Calories" had a section about salt, and the author said that even regular refined salt didn't cause high blood pressure except in a very few people, so I suppose there's a good chance that even regular salt doesn't cause water retention, either
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I've been upping my banana intake to try to keep potassium levels high, too. I remember from high school biology that salt and potassium work together so I figured I would try to keep them balanced.
Plus, bananas are so yummy to me right now! Must be that I need them because I want to eat several each day.
post #10 of 11
I can eat all the RealSalt I want...all day long, no swelling. But if I eat something salty (usually not NT) I swell up pretty bad. I try to avoid all processed foods for that simple reason, if nothing else.
post #11 of 11
Cell walls are made of salt and protein, when you cut back on your salt intake, cells loose salt, the walls break down, and fluid escapes causing swelling. Therefore salt restriction when experiencing swelling is the WRONG choice. As mentioned in pp your blood expands by 50% in pregnancy and it is a very important part of having a healthy pregnancy (your blood volume is meant to dilute) without adequate protein, calories, salt and fluid your blood volume does not expand correctly and you end up with concentrated blood (a very bad thing...leads to pre-eclampsia/toxemia). So...Salt to taste (preferably with all natural sea salt) and increase you protein, fluids and general calories.
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