Medical experts on Sunday warned Nigerians against high consumption of salt, saying that it is dangerous to health.
The health experts gave the warning in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria.
A brand Ambassador of Friesland Campina Hospital, Jos, Dr. Ihuoma Eugene, said excessive intake of salt raises high blood pressure which may lead to stroke, heart failure, and heart attacks.
”A high salt diet can damage the lining of the stomach, causing inflammation of the stomach and thereby increasing the risk of stomach cancer and ulcer.
”Some people are very careless with the rate at which they consume salt. They are killing themselves gradually.
“Excess intake of salt will cause damage as it has more negative effects than positive,” she said.
Eugene said that a small amount of salt is essential for our health. Adults need less than one gram per day and children need even less.
“High salt diet can disrupt the function of the kidneys and cause existing kidney disease to progress faster.
“Salt can raise the risk of developing diabetes by raising blood pressure, salt has a link with diabetes and not only sugar,” she said.
Eugene, however, called on parents to control the salt intake of their children as “it is dangerous for both adults and children’’.
“Diabetics, asthmatic patients as well as people battling with unstable blood pressure should learn to consume less salt in order not to aggravate any disease,” she said.
She advised that it is healthier to cook with natural herbs like curry, thyme, and scent leaf instead of eating processed food and sachet seasoning which could increase the amount of salt intake.
A hematologist at Almond Diagnostic Medical Laboratory, Anambra, Dr. Ernest Okocha, also stated that too much intake of salt in the body could lead to frequent urination.
Okocha said that too much sodium chloride in the body could cause coma and seizure.
“Eating too much-refined salt can result in hypernatremia disease that can cause water to leach out of your cells and into your blood in an attempt to dilute the excess sodium.
“And when hypernatremia disease occurs and it’s left untreated, it can result in confusion or uncertainty and even untimely death,” he added.
A surgeon at the National Hospital, Abuja, Dr. Emmanuel Judon, equally stressed that too much consumption of salt could lead to stomach cancer.
Judon said that too much intake of sodium chloride in the body could lead to intense thirst which could cause someone to have a dry mouth or feel very thirsty.
“Too much consumption of salt can lead to water retention in the body which can result in swollen feet, ankle, hand, and swollen face which is abnormal in the body system,” he said.
He also urged Nigerians to constantly check their salt levels to avoid getting infected with any of the diseases.