What is salt craving?

Salt craving is a compelling 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.

Dehydration symptoms that may occur along with salt craving

Salt craving may accompany symptoms related to dehydration including:

CAUSES

What causes salt craving?

Salt craving is a compelling 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. It can also be seen in rare kidney disorders. Craving for salt results from a decrease in sodium in the body from either an inability to retain salt, such a... Read more about salt cravingcauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 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