Can you be allergic to salt? (3 Aspects)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, Can you be allergic to salt? We will discuss the reasons that can cause you to seem allergic to salt and ways to manage them. We will also shed light on health problems related to salt consumption.

Can you be allergic to salt?

While you can not be directly allergic to salt, it can cause an inflammatory response in some people. For some people, salt can be a trigger for allergy-related ailments such as eczema on a topical level. 

However, sodium chloride as part of a diet does not present any threat as an allergen, it can be a trigger for certain ailments in people. Some individuals are at a higher risk of developing a sensitivity to salt. 

Other times, people can have an allergic reaction to salt as part of medication. In such a case, you will need to avoid the medication to prevent flaring the allergic reaction.

As astonishing as it sounds, people with such a condition have been found to contain deposits of salt in the inflamed region of their skin. Eczema causes dry, itchy skin and shows a correlation to salt concentration. 

A type of immune cell known as Type 2 T Helper cell initiates the allergic reaction in people who suffer from eczema or asthma. 

How do medications that come with salt cause an allergic reaction?

Sodium Chloride is often a part of medication that is inhaled or IV or oral medications as well. Inhaled medications are taken to ease congestion from the lungs while oral medications are used to treat low sodium levels.

Intravenous medications are used to dilute drugs and to treat brain swelling and fluid loss. While the most use of sodium chloride is in topical medicines. 

An allergic reaction to Sodium chloride as part of the medication causes breathing difficulties, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, or throat. In severe cases, it could cause chest pain, fatigue, confusion, extreme thirst, fever, and even seizures.  

Salt intake is correlated to skin conditions and the associated immune response. The immune cells that are active in allergy problems are Th2 cells. T cells are important as they help produce resistance in the body and fight allergic reactions. In conditions such as atopic dermatitis, people have been found to have salt deposits in the tissues of their affected region that is 30 times higher than that of healthy individuals. 

People who suffer from atopic dermatitis also have thriving bacteria Staphylococcus aureus in the skin which is halophilic in nature or does well in salty conditions.

The effect of a diet high in salt on conditions such as autoimmune diseases and allergic diseases has not been studied. 

Can you be allergic to something other than salt?

If you suspect that taking up salt causes rashes or hives on parts of your body such as your legs, stomach, or inner arms, you could be allergic to iodine. Iodine is added to most salts to prevent iodine deficiency and iodine-deficiency ailments such as goiter. 

Iodine allergy can cause a topical allergy such as skin rash. If you suspect that you might be allergic to iodine in salt, you should reach out to your doctor who will prescribe a test to confirm. 

If you are allergic to iodine, you can opt for non-iodized salts, that are just as readily available. 

When you confirm that you have an allergy to iodine, then you will need to eliminate all sources of iodine, including topical.

What happens if you consume too much salt?

Excessive salt in the body can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting. The body tries to control the amount of salt inside and outside the cells. To restore the balance of sodium and fluids, the body tries to expel the fluid to retain osmotic pressure. As a result, a person will experience the urge to urinate frequently as the body tries to get rid of salt.

You should not take sodium chloride in excessive quantities or if you have a history of adverse reactions to it. If a person is sensitive to sodium then it can cause a rise in blood pressure and put you at risk of kidney diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. 

Other FAQs about Salt that you may be interested in.

What is the difference between rock salt and sea salt?

Why does salt preserve food?

Why does salt draw out water?

Can you use water softener salt to melt ice?


In this brief guide, we answered the question, Can you be allergic to salt? We discussed the reasons that can cause you to seem allergic to salt and ways to manage them. We also shed light on health problems related to salt consumption.