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Salt craving: A symptom of Addison's disease?

Excessive salt craving may indicate an underlying medical condition, such as Addison's disease.

Question: My husband constantly craves salt. What causes this?

Answer Section

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.

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