What is salt craving?

Salt craving is a demanding or extreme desire to consume salt or salty foods. Craving for salt results from a decrease in sodium in the body either from inability to retain salt or the excess loss of sodium from the body. Salt craving is common during pregnancy. Craving for salt is also a common symptom of Addison’s disease (decreased production of hormones by the adrenal glands), dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances.

Depending on the cause, your salt craving may last only as long as it takes to rehydrate following mild dehydration from heavy sweating. It may also be a permanent symptom, as is found with Addison’s disease, and may be accompanied by other symptoms or signs including low blood pressure (hypotension), fatigue, loss of appetite, and chronic diarrhea.

Left untreated, salt craving due to severe dehydration is a serious condition. Severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can result in shock or coma and may be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have symptoms of severe dehydration, such as confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment, lethargy, cold skin, or inability to urinate or reduced urine output.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with salt craving?

Salt craving may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the need for salt intake may also involve other body systems.... Read more about salt cravingsymptoms

CAUSES

What causes salt craving?

Salt craving is a demanding or extreme desire to consume salt or salty foods. Craving for salt is a common symptom of Addison’s disease (decreased production of hormones by the adrenal glands), dehydration, and electrolyte imbalances. Craving for salt results from a decrease in sodium in the body from either an inability to retain salt, such as with Addison’s disease, or the loss of sodium, such as occurs with excessive sweating and fluid loss or dehydration. Salt craving is common during pregnancy.... Read more about salt cravingcauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Metabolic System