When a child craves salt excessively... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 06:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone know anything about this? My 11 yr old LOVES it, to the point he puts about 3X as much on as anyone else would (if I let him). He was even joking once about putting some in his milkshake.
I am going to ask the pediatrician about it at our next well visit, just thought I'd ask here if anyone heard of what that might be...
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#2 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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I can't help you with any medical reasons, but just wanted to let you know I did that as a child. I still use what most people consider excessive salt as an adult. Don't know why, it's just the way I prefer it.

I'm interested to see the replies, though!

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#3 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 06:37 PM
 
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When I was a kid I licked the cow salt block, often. Didnt like salt on my food however
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#4 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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Salt contains trace minerals right. Maybe he needs those?
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#5 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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I'm willing to bet that his body needs more salt for some reason. Maybe not quite THAT much extra salt, but some more than normal. I'm a firm believer that people get cravings for foods that their body needs something from. Sometimes the cravings are a little *off* or not very *efficient* sources of the needed nutrient, but there usually is SOME reason for food cravings.
I actually have a good friend who eats excessive amounts of salt, and went to the doctor and found out she has borderline low blood pressure. She figures that if she ate less salt her BP would likely be dangerously low and while I don't generally give them much credit, the doctor agreed with her.

One other thing to consider is that his body might have needed extra salt for a while (or not) and he just got used to the taste of salt, and needs to wean off it.

If I were you, I would have the ped check his BP (they do that normally though right?) and ask if it is on the low end or the high end. If it's low, let him eat the salt, if its high, cut him back, if its normal maybe cut him back a bit on the salt. Now, I'm sure there are many other reasons for high/low BP, and many other things that salt has an effect on in the body, so maybe ask the ped about what types of things salt levels effect in the body, and have him check those things to see if there is any correlation.

Oh, and for salt cravings, celery can do wonders...

~Kelsie
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#6 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm .. yeah, I'll see what she says. I have low blood pressure myself (60/110) and don't crave salt. But I know we're all different, so, we'll see. I think their appointment is in the next week or so, I'll post an update if I remember
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#7 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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You should definitely switch to unrefined sea salt for him! He's probably craving the naturally occuring minerals that are not present in table salt. Iodine isn't the only mineral in sea salt.
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#8 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 07:37 PM
 
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Ditto on the unrefined salt. Look for the evaporated type in the health food store. It is often sold as Celtic Sea Salt. Kinda greeny-gray colored and chunky. Feels slightly "wet" to the touch. It tastes different from that Mortons table salt. Tastes better with more layers to the salty flavor.

I ate a lot of salt when a kid. Later found out that it was probably related to kidney function.

Don't need as much now that we use the evaporated sea salt.
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#9 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 08:41 PM
 
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I agree on the unrefined salt. After switching to a healthier diet, DH and I were still craving chips constantly. We finally realized it was the salty taste we were craving. After we switched to unrefined salt, our cravings disappeared. We use Redmond's real salt and sometimes the Himalayan crystal salt.
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#10 of 22 Old 06-08-2006, 08:51 PM
 
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I've craved salt since I can remember. I sucked on the salt shakers, picked up salt from the road and even ate the rock salt that I used in my fish tank. I would consume so much salt that my throat dried out and I had to go drink water to be able to talk. I think it is a mineral deficiency because I have not eaten any rock salt since I've been taking magnesium. I've been on it since September. I use to eat a ton. An ex boyfriend always hid the salt shaker from me at resturants. I still salt my food but not as much. Good luck.
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#11 of 22 Old 06-15-2006, 10:48 PM
 
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Have you looked into a possible adrenal imbalance? I have poor adrenal function (which causes imbalances in electrolytes including sodium/potassium). My BP is typically 90/50. Most people with adrenal problems crave both salt and sugar. Some sources even recommend drinking salt water daily to help maintain proper electrolyte balance. No idea if that could be the issue. It might be worth looking into just to rule out. Unfortunately, detecting adrenal problems before they become Addison's Disease (severe problem that is life threatening without treatment) is difficult to impossible.
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#12 of 22 Old 06-15-2006, 11:34 PM
 
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Actually, an abnormal craving for salt is one symptom of lead poisoning. Not that it means she has it, but it is one of them.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#13 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 08:47 AM
 
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My 2 year old will lick plates of pretzel salt if I let him. He's like his father and my MIL I think. They both have low low blood pressure. My husband was passing out in the Army eating their "healthy" diet, and they told him to start adding extra salt to his diet. I don't know what the underlying cause it, but it seems to be genetic for our family.

- Krista

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#14 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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I'm another one of those who always has craved salt but have blood pressure on the low side (even through my pregnancy).

I would second (third? fourth?) the sea salt suggestion, though. I also think that if you're preparing a lot of your own food you probably have more wiggle room than the official guidelines, since so much pre-packaged food has a high sodium content.
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#15 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 11:16 AM
 
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I have literally been a salt addict since I can remember. I put way too much on according to "normal" people. I also will just eat salt plain if I feel like it. I do love sea salt, though I don't know if it curbs my cravings. I put it on just like the iodine kind. My mother was the same way. My dd#1 also does the same things.

I always assumed my family's salt problems (for women only, oddly enough) stem from my family history of thyroid and stroke. I always joke that the salt keeps my thyroid working and my blood thinned so I don't get a brain clot.

Sorry I don't have any advice to give you except that you aren't alone!

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#16 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I came across this link the other day and of course my son wants them. They look so disgusting!!!
http://www.dutchsweets.com/product.php?prodid=68
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#17 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 11:25 AM
 
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Ok. I was just looking info up. I have found explanations on it due to the body's aldosterone levels signaling a need for more sodium. I also found a lot about abductees craving salt.

I forgot to add before that I also have very low blood pressure. It runs in my family, as well.

And then there's this:

Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Low adrenal function is often very common, but often missed by standard blood tests. Low levels of adrenal cortisol can result in the following: hypoglycemia, fatigue, muscle aches, low blood sugar, sugar or salt craving, shakiness relieved with eating, moodiness, food sensitivities, allergies, recurrent infections, life stressful when symptoms began, dizzy when standing, low blood pressure, decrease ability to handle stress, decreased cognitive ability “brain fog”, swollen ankles-worse in PM, hypoglycemia under stress, need to lie down or rest after psychological or emotional stress, muscular weakness, difficulty getting out of bed, wiped out with exercise and/or inability to tolerate thyroid replacement. Proper treatment can have profound effects.

http://hlmcenter.com/osc/aboutus.php

Dude, that is me to a tee. Except the swollen ankles and I don't always have brain fog...

That's weird. Maybe I should talk to a doctor about this.

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#18 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 02:54 PM
 
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Oh yeah, I forgot about the low blood pressure too. DH has it really low and he's a salt fiend. I don't crave it particularly but I also have low blood pressure and I have problems with dizziness and vision blacking out so we recently started adding a variety of natural salts (from various seas and inland sources) to our diet instead of processed salt. I think it's helping and boy are they tasty! We use a mortar and pestle to grind them.

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#19 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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I also have low pressure. I can't eat enough salt (can't stomach it) to make an impact on my bp, so I fill capsules and take 4-5 "OO" capsules of salt a day, along with a nicely salted diet (not too much, not too little). I was in bad shape when I was eating a "healthy", unsalted diet. When I react to something (i.e. someone's perfume, gas fumes) I crave chips. Otherwise I don't crave, but I need it. I would imagine that that is because I need extra salt. I do know that my bp goes down when I have a reaction.

Quote:
Low adrenal function is often very common, but often missed by standard blood tests. Low levels of adrenal cortisol can result in the following: hypoglycemia, fatigue, muscle aches, low blood sugar, sugar or salt craving, shakiness relieved with eating, moodiness, food sensitivities, allergies, recurrent infections, life stressful when symptoms began, dizzy when standing, low blood pressure, decrease ability to handle stress, decreased cognitive ability “brain fog”, swollen ankles-worse in PM, hypoglycemia under stress, need to lie down or rest after psychological or emotional stress, muscular weakness, difficulty getting out of bed, wiped out with exercise and/or inability to tolerate thyroid replacement. Proper treatment can have profound effects.
Sounds a lot like me, too (swollen ankles only sometimes when I go down in altitude -- never been able to figure that one out). Hmmmm... And I just figured it was the MS. Thanks for posting that.

Christie

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#20 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I forgot to add that although it's good to be looking for a reason, you probably shouldn't worry about the amount of salt he's eating. I have to eat huge quantities to affect my blood pressure, and even then, it's not too high, by any means. And some drs. have told me that salt doesn't cause high bp except in certain susceptible individuals. So far as I know, salt can't cause problems without there being a susceptibility or some other problem.

Do make sure he's getting enough other minerals (esp. potassium), as too much salt might cause a slight imbalance. The body is usually very good at balancing these things, though.

Christie

Christie ~ proud Mama to : 5/01, and : 3/07; and proud wife to my since 1992. We have 13 and 2 : It's looking more and more like either a farm or a zoo around here.
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#21 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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I also have a son who craves salt and wants a ton on his food. My other kids really love salt but he loves it so much more. I have low-ish blood pressure (70/100) but I've never been a salt craver.

Where can you get that Himalayan salt? It sounds like good stuff.

Amanda, mom to Everest (12), Alden (10-1/2), Ellery (7-1/2), & Avery (6)
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#22 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 10:55 PM
 
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My son also loves salt. He's only 19 months old but will lick the salt shaker if he gets hold of it. I also like salty food and my mother always put lots of salt on her food. Perhaps it hereditary.
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