My husband constantly craves salt. What causes this?

Answers from Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.

Salt craving can sometimes be caused by a serious underlying medical condition such as:

Adrenal inufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency (Addison's disease) can cause a salt craving that's new, persistent and excessive.

Signs and symptoms of Addison's disease include:

  • Craving salt
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood pressure

Bartter syndrome
In some cases, salt craving is a symptom of a rare kidney disorder called Bartter syndrome.

Seek medical attention
Your husband's salt cravings should be evaluated by a doctor, especially if other symptoms are present. In the absence of Addison's disease or Bartter syndrome, eating too much salt isn't good for you because it can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

May 07, 2011