Cooking salt is 40% sodium. Approximately 70% of our sodium intake is consumed via processed foods. Bread is an important source, but so are processed sauces and soups, vegetables from a can or a jar, pizzas, etc. For this reason it is difficult to follow a low sodium diet. Patients generally have no idea how much sodium they take in and keeping a record for yourself is not always equally reliable. There is also no direct feedback, no encouraging pat on the back: you don't feel better, there's no direct visible result. Through monitoring of the quantity of salt excreted in the urine this becomes possible and one gets a good overview of the effectiveness of changes in diet.
The most accurate way of determining sodium excretion is by using 24-hour urine, urine that is collected over a 24 hour period. This is a burdensome and often incorrectly carried out task that is only periodically requested. Because the sodium intake can vary considerably from day to day this gives quite an unreliable picture. Hypertension is then often treated without knowledge about the level of sodium use, with risk of complications or inadequate blood pressure control. Additionally, the importance of salt reduction is emphasised, but no means are provided to achieve this. Especially now that dieticians are not reimbursed in basic healthcare there is a significant risk that this important aspect of combating high blood pressure does not get the attention it deserves. Inclusion of the sodium meter in a self-management package could be a solution.