It's easy to get answers about health and nutrition! Just send your question by email to [email protected] and Dr. Harlan will respond to selected questions of general interest. Answers will be posted in the Ask Dr. Gourmet newsletter (sign up now!) and archived in the Ask Dr. Gourmet section of the website.

Please note that the Ask Dr. Gourmet feature is restricted to questions regarding food and nutrition. Due to the many questions we receive, not all questions may be answered. For more specific questions about your individual health, please contact your doctor. About Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy


Ask Dr. Gourmet

Is cellular salt really that important?

Could you please tell me how important salt is to our system and how can we tell if we have a cell salt deficiency? Can we actually tell by a facial diagnosis?

Dr. Gourmet Says...

a person salting their pizza with a salt shaker

Sodium is extremely important to the operation of the human body and having a low serum sodium is a very dangerous condition. This is known as hyponatremia (hypo = low, natr = salt, emia = blood). It is difficult to have a low blood sodium level, as most diets are very high in salt and sodium comes from multiple ingredients. Most often hyponatremia is the result of drinking too much water and not from having too little salt in the diet.

Severe hyponatremia results in difficulties with nerve function as one of the most severe symptoms, and facial twitching could be a symptom. More severe manifestations include stupor, loss of consciousness, and seizure, and in extreme cases hyponatremia can result in death.

Thanks for writing.

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet