Posted by: salt-junkie | 2009/08/04

craving for salt

Dear Dietdoc

I' ve got an unusually strong craving for salt  to the extent that I sneak salt from the kitchen at work and hide it in my drawer to lick at when I' m alone. When i cannot get my salt-fix, I struggle to concentrate on my work, and can think of (and fantasize about!) nothing else but salt in its various forms....all vegetables (obviously with salt), fish, biltong, chips, marmite, soup, bovril, even sodium chloride on its own as I' ve mentioned, etc etc.

I' m 25 without any major health problems like high blood pressure or cholesterol. Just bulimia which I know is serious, but not related to this salt-craving, is it?
How could I fix this salt-fixation?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Salt-Junkie
I think that your bulimia may well be linked to your salt craving because you probably lose a lot of salt or sodium when you throw up. Sodium is an electrolyte that together with potassium, is important to keep the fluid balance in the body normal. When you throw up or purge yourself with the bulimia you probably lose a lot of sodium, potassium and liquid, which if taken to extremes can even be fatal. Please for your own sake, get some professional help for your bulimia. Bulimia is an Eating Disorder, which needs to be treated with a team approach. Please consult a clinical psychologist (they are listed in the Yellow Pages under 'Psychologists' or you can ask your gp to refer you), to help you work out what underlying psychological problems are driving you to self-destruct and to learn most positive ways of dealing with these problems. You should also consult a clinical dietitian to assist you to get back to eating normally again. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. If you are in Gauteng then it may help to contact Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs you can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on:
Go for expert help ASAP, before you do yourself a permanent injury.
Best regards

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: John | 2009/08/04

Are you drinking alot of water with the salt?
I had a lot of water and then had to fix my salt.
I am diabetes and drink less water, my salt intake also less.
I still like my biltong salty!

Reply to John

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