How To Reduce Water Retention

The human body is made up of 60% water. It is vital for eliminating waste, dissolving nutrients and helping the body to function properly. If the body can’t manage to eliminate excess water, it is referred to as water retention.

Excessive water in the body’s tissue causes the body to swell and causes irregular changes in the blood vessels.

This whole process is often associated with specific eating habits.

Even though it is often easily treated and temporary, it can also be an indication of a serious medical condition.

If someone in your family is struggling with fluid retention and you are in need of plain good advice then read on! 

Signs Of Fluid Retention

So how exactly would you recognise fluid retention in the body? It will typically first be noticed by the swelling of certain parts of the body.

You will also possibly notice that it has become more difficult to lose weight despite any diet efforts.

Unexplained weight gain, swollen ankles, rings that do not fit anymore and a swollen stomach may all be physical signs of water retention.

If an indention shows when you gently press the ankle with the thumb, water retention is present.

Up to 5 pounds of water weight can be retained throughout the body.

Overweight people tend to retain even more water as they often consume higher amounts of sodium which contribute to fluid retention.

The swelling can also be accompanied by headaches, morning stiffness and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Types Of Fluid Retention

  • Generalized edema causes the body to swell all over.
  • Localized edema affects only particular parts of the body. It is most common in the face, arm, hand, leg and feet areas.

Causes Of Water Retention

Water retention can be caused by some people’s tendency to react poorly to certain types of food. It can also be linked to anemia or protein deficiency.

A specific kind of diet can be followed which will force the body to eliminate any excess fluids.

It can further also be a result of a medical condition which involves either the kidneys, heart or liver.

When certain medical conditions are present or when a certain area of the body is not functioning as it should, the body becomes unable to eliminate fluid properly.

Standing for long periods of time, hot weather and certain medications (especially steroid medications and high blood pressure medications) also tend to cause water retention.

Low-calorie diets make fluid retention worse as there is typically not enough protein included in these types of diets.

Protein is really important when it comes to the prevention of abnormal changes in body tissues. Read more about the benefits of protein.

What To Do About Water Retention

  • Increase potassium intake by eating more fruits and vegetables. Foods that are high in potassium will help to prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid.
  • Reduce intake of sodium. Cutting down on junk food with hidden salt ingredients is important as a lot of sodium in the blood affects the tissue by causing them to retain water. Click here to find out more about the health risks of sodium.
  • Drink herbal teas as it reduces water retention.
  • Compression stockings can be effective.
  • Drink eight to twelve glasses of fluids daily (milk, tea, water).
  • Consume more leafy, green vegetables and citrus fruits.
  • Alternate red meat with tuna or sardines.
  • Include whole wheat carbs in your diet (pasta, oats, brown rice).
  • Eat at regular intervals.
  • Include regular movement. Walking and bicycling can help to pump out any fluids in the legs and ankles as exercise helps with the widening of blood vessels. If you have a desk job, it would be a good idea to take regular walks around the office.
  • Take diuretics/water pills as it helps the body to get rid of sodium and water. Some side effects can be experienced such as increased urination, weakness, dehydration and dizziness. Lemon juice, cranberry juice and foods that are high in vitamin C act as natural diuretics.

Remember to consult your doctor before changing your health routine or taking medical action.