What is Water Retention?
The human body is made up mostly of water and is of course something we need in order to function. Water exists in our blood, organs, skin, muscles and in our bones.
However, when the body retains too much water, this is known as Water Retention or Oedema and leads to swelling and a feeling of discomfort. Water retention can make you feel irritable and ruin your mood.
Oedema caused by water retention can be either all over the body or in most cases, localised to certain areas such as legs, ankles, feet and face.
What are the Symptoms of Water Retention?
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of water retention are:-
What Causes Water Retention?
There are many causes of water retention and include:-
Preventing Water Retention
One of the most important things to do in preventing or eliminating water retention is to become more active.
Living a sedentary lifestyle where you spend long hours on your feet can serve to increase fluid retention. So by getting more physical activity, you help to prevent and reduce any water retention you may have. Elevating your feet for a while can help to reduce swelling in the legs, ankles and feet.
Drinking more water can actually help to reduce water retention. This is because the body will retain water if it is unsure of when it will get more. So keep hydrated as much as possible. You may also want to cut back on the kinds of drinks that dehydrate you such as coffee, tea and alcohol.
As previously mentioned, a high intake of sodium/salt can lead to fluid retention. Where possible, reduce your consumption of takeaway and processed foods that tend to be high in salt. Try adding more ingredients such as herbs and spices when cooking.
Another good remedy for water retention is to add more magnesium and potassium into your diet as it will help to balance out your sodium levels. Try eating more bananas, avocados, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.
Some studies have suggested that an increase in Vitamin B6 can help to reduce fluid retention, especially for those with premenstrual symptoms.
In most cases, water retention and the symptoms that it produces will pass once you make some simple lifestyle changes. If symptoms persist, you may wish to speak with your doctor who in some cases my prescribe diuretic medication to help you urinate more.