Water or fluid retention is the accumulation of excessive fluids in the body tissues, cavities, and circulatory system. When your hydration levels are not balanced, the body can hold on to too much water, leading to water retention. It can occur in different parts of the body and is caused by different reasons.
READ ALSO: Causes of Swollen Feet
Causes of Water Retention
Some possible causes of water retention include:
- Consuming excess salt in the body: Excess salt causes accumulation of water in the body because sodium retains water.
- Changes in hormones: Fluctuating hormones, especially in pregnant women and during menstruation can cause water retention.
- Plane flights: Changes in the cabin pressure and remaining seated for a long time can cause water retention
- Sitting or standing for too long: gravity will keep your blood focused more on the lower parts of your body, causing water retention. It is advisable to move around to increase blood flow.
- Different medications: Some types of medications such as antidepressants, chemotherapy treatments, medications for blood pressure, and OTC painkiller – all causes water retention as one of the side effects.
- Heart conditions: some conditions can cause weakening of the heart which affects the pumping of blood. When blood is not pumped well, it causes the body to retain water.
Symptoms of water retention
Some symptoms may include:
- Bloating, especially in the abdominal area
- Fluctuations in weight
- Swollen parts of the body such as feet, legs, and ankles
- Fluctuations in weight
- Puffiness in parts like face, abdomen, and hips
- Stiff joints
Home remedies for Water Retention
Reduce your salt consumption
One of the most common causes of water retention is excessive intake of salt. To consuming much sodium, salty foods, or adding salt to an already prepared meal. Avoid processed meats, fast foods, and low-fat meals which are high in sodium.
Drink lots of water
Drinking lots of water can help in weight loss. Water helps to flush out the excess sodium causing water retention. Make sure you reduce your intake of alcohol and carbonated drinks.
Engaging in regular exercise helps to keep the body balanced, in good shape, and shed water weight. Sweating helps eliminate excess salt in the body which, in turn, prevents water retention.
Eating lots of vegetables and fruits and avoiding highly processed foods will help to keep your body balanced. Eat as much fresh produce as possible and ensure you read the salt contents in canned foods to avoid consumption of excess salt.
READ ALSO: 15 Best Ways to Reduce Bloating
Raise your feet
You can help relieve the symptoms of swollen feet by placing them on a pillow whenever you lie down. Lying flat on the ground will aggravate symptoms. Supporting your feet helps better blood flow, which helps to reduce the swelling.
Increase Your Intake of Vitamin B6
You can take up to 100mg of vitamin B6 supplements for the five days leading to your period if you normally suffer from water retention before menstruation. Vitamin B6 contains diuretic properties that helps your body to produce more urine, thereby reducing the water content in the body. This also helps to balance the levels of your estrogen and progesterone. Foods rich in vitamin B6 includes spinach, fish, chickpeas, bananas, and avocadoes.
Use Cold Compresses
Cold compresses made with yarrow tea helps relieve the swelling caused by water retention. Cold compresses also prevent excess stretching of the skin.
Several OTC medications are available to help get rid of water retention. Loop diuretics are perfect for getting rid of excess fluids from the body without having to remove vitamins and minerals with it.
How to Prevent Water Retention
Manage intake of electrolyes
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals like potassium and magnesium. They help to control your body fluids.
READ ALSO: Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance in Women
Get enough sleep
Sleep gives the body sufficient time to regulate sodium and water levels, thereby preventing water retention.
Your body releases a hormone known as cortisol when you are stressed for long. This hormone causes water retention and bloating. This causes you to suddenly put on weight when under stress.
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