According to experts, as much as 60 to 80 percent of the population suffers from some level of adrenal fatigue, a condition with symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, difficultly dealing with stress, and trouble feeling energized even after a full night’s rest.
Interestingly enough, another common symptom of adrenal fatigue is salt cravings, and there’s actually a strong physiological reason for this.
When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they fail to produce adequate amounts of several hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and aldosterone. Lack of aldosterone can disrupt the sodium balance at a cellular level.
This can actually increase your needs for natural sodium and helps explain the salt cravings many people with adrenal fatigue experience (and perhaps even why certain people favor salty foods more than others).
“Our salt-phobic society has deprived millions of people struggling with adrenal fatigue of something that would decrease their symptoms and speed their recovery. They have taught their bodies to ignore the urge for salt because it is politically incorrect to salt food.” – from Adrenal Fatigue:The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James Wilson
How to Heal the Adrenals with Sea Salt
First and foremost, choose a high-quality brand of unrefined natural salt. Table salt can’t offer a fraction of the benefits of sea salt, which contains sodium along with vital trace minerals that will further encourage adrenal healing.
You can find a quality source of natural salt here.
Once you have a good quality salt, you should always salt your food to taste. Someone with adrenal fatigue will naturally enjoy more salt on their food, whereas someone with healthy adrenals will generally prefer less.
Many people with adrenal fatigue also benefit from taking an additional 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt with a glass of water in the morning and evening, and throughout the day as needed. I do this on a regular basis, and it really seems to help. The salt can be mixed with the water or you can take it like I do: straight on the tongue and then chased with a glass of water. You can also make salt water sole as a supplement.
It’s important to allow your body to dictate how much natural salt you use in your diet. Most people with adrenal fatigue tend to like the taste of added salt to their food, and won’t mind the taste of the salt-water mixture or even putting sea salt straight on their tongues.
If you are working on healing your adrenals, as time passes you may notice that the salty taste is less appealing. Excess salt may even make you nauseous. This is typically a signal that your sodium needs are decreasing and that you should cut back on your intake.
Please note: For most people with adrenal problems, sea salt therapy is highly beneficial and has few side effects. However, there are a few exceptions: those with heart disease, hypertension or kidney disease should consult with a professional first as salt may be contraindicated.
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Elizabeth is the founder of The Nourished Life and has been writing about natural living for 12 years. Her work has been featured at Shape, Bustle, and Mother Earth Living. Her mission is to help you lower your stress levels and find fun ways to become happier and healthier. Read more about Elizabeth here.
I feel like I have many symptoms of adrenal fatigue, and I use real salt. But if I don’t like much salt on my food and when i can hardly hack gargleing it, does that mean my body is telling me I have enough salt intake?
Elizabeth Walling says
My general rule of thumb is to listen to your body – so salting your food to taste is definitely part of that. There might be some other metabolic components you can consider aside from salt, such as exercise, sleep, protein and calorie intake, etc.
Love this post, Elizabeth! My adrenals are a bit shot at the moment so this is great to hear. I am definitely doing this. Thanks so much for posting.
I am currently trying this and seeing some improvements. However, I am concerned about not drinking plain water. Why is this (adding sea salt to your water) okay and drinking water from the ocean is not?
Sorry to sound ignorant-lol!
Elizabeth Walling says
Ocean water is too high a concentration of sodium to water. You can taste the difference. Adding a pinch of sea salt to a cup of water is almost indiscernible — if you taste ocean water it is extremely salty tasting.
I use Pink Himalayan salt & HAIN sea salt.
love both. is there a reason to use salt with Iodine any more ?
I know it is recommended for certain parts of the country.
Elizabeth Walling says
I would recommend using iodine or kelp supplements if you feel you’re not getting enough iodine (there’s a lot of interesting information out there about iodine requirements — I recommend looking into it!).