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Adrenal Fatigue and Salt Cravings

Adrenal Fatigue and salt cravings

One classic yet often intense sign of adrenal fatigue is salt cravings. In addition to the sugar cravings that go along with adrenal insufficiency, the salt cravings may make you feel as if your palate has developed schizophrenia.   If you find yourself wanting to salt your food before tasting it or often crave salty foods, it may be an indication of your need for electrolytes.  You may also want to have tests done to assess the likelihood of adrenal insufficiency.  Drinking purified water over a long period of time without the addition of electrolytes will usually exacerbate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue as the lack of electrolytes flush even more vital minerals right out of the body.

The adrenals aid the body in mineral balance through a mineral corticoid called aldosterone.  Aldosterone regulates fluid and electrolytes ( magnesium, potassium and,sodium chloride ) in the blood, in and between the cells of the body. As adrenal fatigue progresses, the production of aldosterone decreases.  This causes “salt-wasting”.  As the salt is excreted by the kidneys it flushes water with it leading to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.  The body tries to compensate for the electrolyte imbalance by craving salt.  The chemical reactions caused by these imbalances cause numerous other health issues in the body.  The symptoms of adrenal fatigue and the accompanying dehydration can also be the symptoms of a host of other health problems including depression, cardiac insufficiency, behavior and memory problems, arthritis, infertility and many more chronic illnesses.

Those with adrenal fatigue should always add high quality sea salt such as Celtic Sea Salt  to their water. Table salt will not work in this case as it is highly refined and devoid of magnesium and trace minerals. Unless you have very high blood pressure or kidney disease, adding 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to a glass of warm water first thing in the morning, at noon, and in the evening will help restore electrolyte balance while your adrenal glands heal and your aldosterone levels return to normal.   High quality sea salt contributes, not only to adrenal health but also in the alkalinity of the body.

{Find out more on the benefits of sea salt….}

Beware of soft drinks and electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or Lucozade  as they are high in potassium and low in sodium which is the opposite of what someone with low cortisol needs. Commercial electrolyte drinks are designed for those who produce high cortisol when exercising, not for someone who produces little or no extra cortisol during exercise such as those with adrenal fatigue. You need to add ¼ to 1 teaspoon of celtic sea salt to a glass of water or eat something salty to maintain fluid/electrolyte balance.

It bears saying many with adrenal fatigue can also have thyroid issues (either hyper or hypothyroid) and/or other hormonal imbalance.  In fact, with severe adrenal fatigue  often thyroid and hormonal disturbances present themselves.  We will be addressing thyroid issues  and hormone issues in coming posts.

I recommend also drinking spring water, buying it in 5 gallon reusable bottles, of course, as most of this water has naturally occurring minerals.  Drink spring water throughout the day can support mineral balance in the body, and, since it is not only those with adrenal fatigue that need to stay hydrated in the heat of the summer, everyone could benefit from drinking extra water.  For those of you who have a hard time choosing water over soda, try having some fruit water on hand or freeze berries and herbs in ice cubes for a refreshing twist on staying hydrated.

  • How interesting! I have battled thyroid issues (Graves disease) for 25 years and have been pregnant and/or nursing for the past four years. I landed in the ER once for complete depletion that took months to recover from. I love finding natural ways to care for my health. I do have a question. How does Kosher salt compare to sea salt?

    • thedetoxdiva

      Kosher salt is basically a refined salt. It has no minerals added back and is coarser and slower dissolving than table salt. Nutritionally, high quality (Celtic or sel de gris) sea salt is far more nourishing and healthy for issues such as adrenals and thyroid issues, incidentally!

  • This is really helpful! I’m big on natural healing methods, so I will keep your blog handy. I have a son with type 1 diabetes. Right now, we’re adding green smoothies; I just got a Vitamix blender and love it!

  • mail4rosey

    There are some really great tips in here, and things to look out for. I like the idea of flavored water, or frozen berries for those who aren’t satisfied by just water.

  • This was very interesting. I have been having this sort of craving lately for salt… and as i use it I worry about what it is doing to my body (high blood pressure). I am fortunate I have never been a soda addict. I actually hate the stuff for the most part. I really do need to drink more water through out the day… I used to at one point, but lately I haven’t been like I should. Thanks for informing and encouraging us to better health!

  • Thank you for both articles. I clicked over to the sea salt one as well. I have switched from table salt to sea salt, I can taste the difference and feel the difference but I didn’t really know what the benefits were.

  • The reminder to drink plenty of water is definitely a good one! I sometimes get so caught up in our activities each day that I forget to drink enough, and it’s not until I’m really thirsty that I even think about it.
    Thanks for sharing such a wealth of information,
    Kristina 🙂

  • Angela

    I found your blog on VoiceBoks and I am very glad I did! I have never used sea salt, but have always heard it is better for you than traditional table salt. I have a few of these symptoms you listed and am constantly craving salt. I also need to drink more water. When I do drink it I usually put lemon juice in it. I will try the berries frozen in ice cubes. Thanks for this information and I am book marking your blog. There is a wealth of information here. Thanks!

  • Lorraine J

    There’s been much talk as of late about sea salt and I even saw a Wendy’s commercial advertising their new french fries that’s sprinkled with “all natural” sea salt. Anytime I hear a fast food joint advertising “all natural” I get a bit nervous. Maybe I’ll start eating more fries but that isn’t so healthy, is it?

    • thedetoxdiva

      Be aware that pretty much all salt has been sea salt at one point or another…. It means that ANYONE can say it’s all natural sea salt and it is plain table salt (maybe not iodized). The salt to which I refer in my article is Celtic Sea Salt which hasn’t been processed beyond rinsing lightly and sun dried. It retains all its natural goodness.

  • adrenlftigu

    Thanks for the feedback, i’ve posted your Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue and ideas on our suggestion box.

  • What about Himalayan Pink salt ? Is that any good ?

    • thedetoxdiva

      Himalayan pink salt is brilliantly marketed but it’s pink color is owed to a high iron content which, in such doses, slows down energy production. Sea salt is best, the grey kind Celtic sea salt is my favorite, but even Morton’s pickling salt could work.