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Medical Edge: Sodium

Posted at: 07/11/2013 5:45 PM



(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Emergency departments like this one at Mayo Clinic beef up their staff during the summer. Not just to prepare for firework injuries, but to care for people who get into trouble because they ate too much sodium at summer picnics.
 
"The ones who are truly at risk are those who have heart disease, meaning their heart doesn't pump well. People with heart failure," Dr. Stephen Kopecky said.
 
 "It can tip you into a heart attack. It can tip you into heart failure where your heart fails to meet the body's demands. It can't pump enough fluid so you get very short of breath."
 
"If you eat a hot dog, with the bun, maybe a little mustard, maybe a little ketchup. That's easily 1100 milligrams of sodium."
 
The daily intake for someone with heart issues should be 1500 milligrams. For those without heart issues, 2200 milligrams.
 
Second, fill up on fruit and veggies. And third beware of hidden sources of sodium such as soft drinks, processed foods, canned goods, cheese, meats, sauces and breads.
 
Stephen Kopecky, M.D.  says If you get a hamburger and French fries, there's likely more sodium in the bread of the hamburger than in the French fries.
 
Check labels of the types of foods you'll eat beforehand so you're aware of where the sodium is hiding.