Most people eat 3 grams of salt daily, half more than recommended. This can result in high blood pressure and kidney damage. What does too much salt actually do exactly with your kidneys?
Irreparable damage to the kidney filters
Too much salt causes your body to retain more fluid. And this increases your blood pressure. This not only damages your blood vessels, with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases as a result, but also causes irreparable damage to the filters in your kidneys. These filters have a sieve function: they extract the waste from your blood. If they no longer work well, then too few waste products are caught and your body poisons slowly and surely. Damage to the kidney filters can therefore be caused by high blood pressure, but also directly by salt itself if someone has kidney damage. Kidney patientsoften lose proteins in the urine, because the filters in the organs no longer work properly. Due to salt, this leakage of proteins is even worse, because more pressure is placed on the kidney filters due to the retained moisture. The proteins that then seep through them cause an inflammatory reaction later in the kidney because the tissue is not resistant to these proteins. This results in scar tissue, so that the kidneys can do their work even less well.
Kidneys and your blood pressure
When controlling blood pressure, the kidneys also play a major role: they regulate the amount of salt and fluid in the body and make a hormone that regulates blood pressure. Once your kidneys have been damaged, the chance of high blood pressure increases. Often you do not notice that your kidneys are damaged because they first work harder to compensate. But because of that overcompensation they wear out faster and they eventually function less well. If this deteriorates, you will eventually need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
In the Netherlands, 1 in 10 people have chronic kidney damage. They must of course pay extra attention to their salt intake. A salt-restricted diet provides a reduction of protein in the urine, lower blood pressure and ultimately less kidney damage in the long term. Yet kidney patients often eat too much salt. Changing lifestyle is also difficult, especially when so many processed products contain too much salt. Some manufacturers try to lower the salt content in their products; so there are differences. Always look at the label. and especially try to eat fresh and varied, without packages and bags. Immerse yourself in herbs and spices that can replace salt. Then you end up eating much more tasty.