Friday, February 14, 2014

Cirrhosis, Heart Disease And Salt Substitutes

Cirrhosis, Heart Disease And Salt Substitutes

When suffering from a serious heart or liver condition it's likely your healthcare provider will  recommended a low salt diet.

Adjusting to a new diet that involves controlling sodium intake is difficult for anyone, especially for my eighty year old, five foot, salt loving momma.

After momma was diagnosed with a serious heart condition her children came together to devise a master plan to confiscate the beloved salt shaker - it wasn't pretty.

Salt to my mother is what Kanye West is to Kim Kardashian, she knew it was bad for her, but she wanted it anyhow. Sorry, that wasn't very nice mom, you were seventy nine and five foot one.

In any event, my poor momma had no choice but to follow a boring, no taste, low salt diet. In her case the new diet was advised to control fluid retention, which is often the case for people suffering with cirrhosis.

When I asked about salt substitutes to calm my mother and elevate my guilt, the cardiologist recommended against them. At the time I didn't completely understand why, recently after reading an article online at Berkeley Wellness, I learned it was because they contain potassium chloride which can interact with ACE inhibitors, or her heart medications; captopril, lisinopril, benazepril and potassium-sparing diuretics. My mother was on most of those medications, the diuretics were adjusted by me weekly and yes they were potassium-sparing.

According to the article, salt substitutes such as Morton Salt Substitute, NoSalt and Nu-Salt all consist of potassium chloride. Watch out for “Lite” or “low-sodium” salts such as LoSalt and Morton Lite Salt they are a blend of both sodium chloride and potassium chloride. These products can also be dangerous for people with chronic kidney disease.

The University Of Michigan Health System, also warns patients with cirrhosis on a low salt diet against using “salt substitutes” because again, they contain too much potassium. So what about “sea salt,” nope, it has the same amount of sodium as table salt. So what can you use for a substitute? The hospital recommends “Mrs. Dash” or other spices.

Download; Liver Cirrhosis - A Toolkit For Patients
An excerpt from the pamphlet;

The bottom line is avoid salt substitutes if you are controlling sodium intake due to cirrhosis, heart conditions, have kidney disease or on certain medications.

Stay healthy, until next time.

Painting - No! I Want it Now!
See more works by Dakota Solt 

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