Anemia and Low Sodium

A bowl of vegetarian bean soup with spinach on a table with salt and pepper shakers.
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Individuals diagnosed with anemia and low sodium levels should be treated with medical supervision to determine underlying causes and treatment. Anemia refers to a low red blood cell count in the body. It results in decreased oxygenation of the body's cells and tissues and may be caused by a number of different factors including a poor diet or health diseases. Low sodium levels in the body may be the result of inadequate dietary salt intake, excessive water or serious health diseases involving the kidneys and brain. In addition to medical treatment, dietary changes may decrease the risks associated with these conditions and aid in recovery.


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There are several sub-types of anemia with one of the most common forms being iron-deficiency anemia. This type is primarily a result of nutritional deficiencies and blood loss. Large losses of blood may be a result of an injury, heavy menstrual bleeding or internal organ and tissue bleeding. Low blood counts may also result from low levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid in the blood. Symptoms of anemia include shortness of breath, weakness, brittle nails, abnormal heart rate, cold hands and headaches.



Low sodium levels in the blood is known as hyponatremia and can be fatally dangerous if not addressed. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is typically experienced in older adults who have poor sodium-water balances possibly stemming from drinking too much water, urinating frequently, heart disease and hypothyroidism, as well as kidney or liver dysfunctions. However, it may occur in a younger population as well, particularly in athletes who sweat excessively or drink large amounts of water during sporting events. Although hyponatremia must be confirmed via a blood test, typical symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nausea, dizziness or possibly loss of consciousness in more serious states.


Anemia and Diet

In addition to medical treatments, eating a healthy diet that is rich in essential nutrients and vitamins including iron may help improve symptoms of anemia, or avoid iron-deficiency anemia specifically. Individuals who avoid animal products, including vegetarians and vegans, are typically at increased susceptibility to anemia since meat products are a high source of iron. However, there are other non-animal food sources that can be added to a diet. In addition to beef and dark poultry, iron is present in green, leafy vegetables, chickpeas, legumes such as beans and lentils, and iron-fortified breads and cereals.


Low Sodium and Diet

According to the Mayo Clinic, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for sodium in 2010 were a maximum of 2300 mg daily for normal, healthy adults. This number is lowered to 1500 mg for individuals with heart disease, high blood pressure or who are over the age of 51. Although most Americans far exceed these numbers with an average of 3400 mg daily, people who do not take in enough dietary salt need to consciously ensure they are getting adequate amounts into their diet. This is best accomplished by adding table salt to fresh fruits and vegetables or meals in minimal, controlled amounts. Avoid purchasing processed foods that are over-salted, have little nutrients and are a source of sugars and fats.