ZocdocAnswersCan lowering salt intake better poor circulation?

Question

Can lowering salt intake better poor circulation?

My partner's hands and feet are always cold because he has such poor circulation. His diet is not very good, either. A friend said that if I lower his salt intake, it could improve his circulation. Is that true?

Answer

Regulating your salt intake is very important for you circulation system, but not in the way you described. I will explain this. In the United States, our diets have much much more salt than we need. The key ingredient in salt, sodium, acts in the body to increase the volume of blood. This in tern acts to increase blood pressure. High blood pressure over many years can cause heart disease. It has been shown that reducing sodium intake to below 2 grams per day can reduce blood pressure by a several points. In this way, improving diet by reducing salt intake will improve his circulatory system. Having cold hands and feet can be a result of low blood flow to these areas, but this is not usually a function of blood pressure or salt intake. So while I applaud your efforts to improve his diet which will improve his circulatory health, his feet and hands probably won't change. I suggest that your partner schedule an appointment to see his primary care physician (family doctor or internal medicine doctor). He or she can discuss his diet in the context of his past medical history and determine what modification would be beneficial. I hope that answer helped.

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