Hi, I am a healthy 21 year-old female and twice this week I have suddenly began to sweat and have felt oddly weak & faint with a racing heartbeat. The only thing that can sort it out is if I eat something salty immediately. This relieves the symptoms after about 20 minutes and I am back normal. This has happened to me before, a few of those times being when I was a child. I used to term it "wobbly legs", but never had it checked out because as long as I had something salty to hand, it would go away. Now I am a bit concerned though.
I have had unrelated blood tests done but was tested for a variety of things and the doctor said my blood was very good.
I have wondered about my diet, which admittedly it quite high in sugar (though my weight is normal for my age/height), and my diet doesn't follow a regular pattern (I eat as and when, sometimes going for hours without anything). Also, I don't have regular sleep patterns though I manage at least a solid 7-9hrs at some point each night/day. I've never had two sweating spells in a week though, and this also happens to be the week of my period.
I am wondering if the sweats/salt craving is a medical problem or simply I need to make some lifestyle changes (which I am already doing)??
I don't know what you are doing to sweat, but from the symptoms I think you are dehydrated. Sweating reduces electrolytes, especially salt, which is lost through skin pores at the time of sweating. If your normal diet is low salt, then it makes sense that drinking a sports drink with salt in it, or eating some salt will "cure" you. Low water consumption along with low salt intake create a low level dehydration that can take a toll over time. Blood loss at the time of your period can make this dehydration worse. You can purchase "salt pills" at the local pharmacy to carry in your purse and eat when necessary. This is healthier than chips or salty junk food and get into the body pretty fast. Drink more water when you are sweating to stay hydrated. Since you had some blood work done, you probably had a Chlorine (salt in the blood) test done, so check with your doctor about the test results and how much salt is good for you to take when you are sweating. Hope this helps.
I read somewhere about strange cravings. It's called PICA and it is an iron deficiency (anemia). It causes people to eat things like tree bark and dirt and salt was included in the list. They said that it is common with pregnancy also (pickles and ice cream) due to pregnancy induced anemia. That may not be what you have but maybe it could help!
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