It is unclear what the full benefits of maintaining a low salt diet are for people with heart failure. A new study has found that low salt diets may improve the quality of life and some symptoms in people with heart failure.
However, the research also suggests that low salt diets might not reduce hospitalizations related to cardiovascular problems.
Doctors have long recommended decreased salt intake for heart failure or other cardiac problems. However, research is still ongoing about how effective low sodium intake is in reducing events of hospitalization or emergency room visits.
A recent studyTrusted Source published in The Lancet found that while low sodium diets might help improve the quality of life for people with heart failure, they did not reduce clinical events like hospitalization or emergency room visits.
Heart failure and low salt diet recommendations Heart failureTrusted Source is when the heart cannot effectively pump blood to meet the body’s demands. As a result, the body cannot get the nutrients and oxygen it needs. Heart failure is chronic.
People with heart failure can experience a variety of symptomsTrusted Source, including the following: Shortness of breath, persistent coughing or wheezing Swelling because of the buildup of excess fluid Feeling tired or fatigued Increased heart rate, feeling heart palpitations The New York Heart Association (NYHA) Functional ClassificationTrusted Source is one standard used to classify heart failure.
This system places people in one of four categories based on how much their heart failure interferes with their ability to do things and their symptoms brought on by activity.
Many organizations and doctors encourage people who have heart failure to reduce the amount of salt in their diets. In theory, reducing the amount of sodium Trusted Sourcehelps to prevent fluid overload in people with heart failure.
Dr. Edo Paz, cardiologist and vice president of Medical at K Health, who wasn’t involved in the study, explained to Medical News Today: “We have long instructed patients with congestive heart failure to limit consumption of sodium, as sodium can lead to fluid retention, which can result in heart failure exacerbations.”
Researchers in the current study found that reducing sodium intake can benefit people with heart failure.
However, they found it might not help prevent hospitalizations and other adverse clinical outcomes. Their findings offer more insight into the recommendation for sodium intake for people with heart failure.