My husband constantly craves salt. What causes this?

Answer From Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D.

Salt craving can sometimes be caused by a serious underlying medical condition, such as adrenal insufficiency or Bartter's syndrome.

Adrenal insufficiency

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 aches and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Low blood pressure

Bartter's syndrome

Salt craving can sometimes be a symptom of a rare kidney disorder called Bartter's syndrome.

Seek medical attention

You'll likely want to have a doctor evaluate your husband's salt cravings, especially if he has other symptoms. Without a demonstrated sodium-losing cause, such as Addison's disease or Bartter's syndrome, eating too much salt generally isn't good for you because it can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure.

April 21, 2020 See more Expert Answers

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