Conditions & Treatments
Low Salt - Women with problems of hypertension will gain benefit from some restriction in common salt intake. However, salt is an essential nutrient. Women experience normal losses of salt in the urine, in gastric secretions, and in perspiration. These losses are particularly marked in the hot summer months. All farmers know to feed the cattle with extra salt in hot weather, because without it they become weak and tired and unable to stand up and walk.
Just as salt is essential for cattle, it is essential for humans. Without enough salt, nerves and muscles fail to function as they should. Smooth muscle of the gut becomes inert and fails to contract for effective peristalsis. You can become lethargic, your abdomen can become distended, and the bowels constipated. In turn, there will be pressure above the pubic bone and discomfort and urinary symptoms of frequency of urination, urgency to urinate, and night-time urination. If there is no good reason to limit salt intake, women should use regular common salt for cooking and seasoning (not lite salt or potassium chloride).
Iron supplements and Calcium - It is popular for women to add vitamins and minerals to their diet. There is particular anxiety about osteoporosis and how to avoid problems such as hip fractures in later life. For healthy function of the gut, there needs to be effective peristalsis. Sodium and magnesium salts tend to speed the bowel and iron and calcium effectively slow it down.
Doctors normally will caution women to avoid excessive dosage of calcium or to use preparations that will combine calcium with an effective strategy to avoid constipation. Oral iron preparations will make the stools dark in color and harder. Ferrous sulfate is the cheapest form of oral iron medication and also the most constipating. Ferrous succinate (ferrous sequels) is less likely to create bowel problems.
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