Home Health Nurse Teaching Topics: Sodium and Hypertension

Patient/caregiver was educated on the role of sodium in the development of hypertension as follows:

  1. Sodium is an element of the regular salt we use in cooking. It is a part of all natural foods too.
  2. A healthy amount of sodium is needed for the human body, as sodium is needed for all the biological functions, such as, regular heartbeat, nerve conduction, and muscle contractions.
  3. Sodium has the property of retaining water along with it. So, when sodium is taken in higher amounts than needed, this tends to retain fluid in increasing amount as well, which contributes to higher numbers on blood pressure and hypertension.
  4. The daily recommendation on sodium is about 1500 mg, which is close to a teaspoon. This also includes the sodium found in natural foods and previously added sodium into store bought processed and canned foods.
  5. Reading the labels on the store bought processed and canned foods can help understand to some extent the amount you are consuming.