Sluggish, stiff and bloated. These are some of the dreaded symptoms associated with water retention.
It can ruin your mood on a good day, making you feel uncomfortable and irritable, while swollen ankles or fingers mean you may not be able to accessorise with your favourite shoes or rings.
Here’s what causes water retention and, more importantly, how you can get rid of it.
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What is it?
Water retention (Oedema) – occurs when fluid isn’t removed from the body tissues, including the skin – can either have generalised oedema (all over the body) or localised oedema (in particular parts of the body)
Swelling of body parts (ankles, feet and hands) - Are your rings feeling tight on your fingers? Shoes rubbing or pinching for no reason?
Bloated tummy - Finding it hard to fit into your favourite pair of jeans?
Feeling stiffness or aching
Joints may feel stiff
When pressed the skin may hold the indent for a few seconds
Body's reaction to hot weather- body tends to be less efficient at removing fluid from tissues in the summer months
Gravity – standing for long periods of time
Burns – including sunburn – skin retains fluid and swells in response to burn injuries
Pregnancy – hormones encourage the body to hold onto excess fluid
The pill – can trigger fluid retention
Hormones associated with menstrual cycle
Dietary deficiencies – such as insufficient protein or vitamin B1
Medications – certain drugs including high blood pressure medication, corticosteroids and non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs
Chronic venous insufficiency – weakened valves in the veins of the legs
High salt intake
Go to doctors – water retention could be a sign of a serious medical condition such as heart, kidney or liver disease so you will need to get treatment for the underlying medical condition
Step up protein intake – eating more protein encourages your body to shed excess fluid
Changes to medication or dosage of that is the cause
Aids such as support stockings
Eat more bananas – they are rich in potassium which is helps to eliminate fluid retention
Add more cabbage, cucumber, parsley and salad leaves to your diet as they are natural diuretecs
Acupuncture has helped some people
Calcium, magnesium, manganese, evening primrose oil and chaste tree
Cut back on dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol
Cranberry juice has a mild diuretic actionrink more water…water retention comes from lack of water because your body doesn’t know when it will get more water so it retains the water that it does get – help kidneys to flush out excess fluid
Drink more water...water retention come from a lack of water because you're body doesn't know when it will get more water so it retains the water that it doesn't get- help kidneys to flush out excess fluid
For girls – check your menstrual cycle – plenty of girls retain water for a period of time during their monthly cycle
Write a food diary and make connections between certain foods and periods of bloating/swelling
Cut high sodium foods out of your diet – salt absorbs water and causes water retention
Eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains a lot of vegetables, grains and other high-fiber foods
Deficiencies in protein, calcium, magnesium and vitamins B1, B5 and B6 may lead to problems with water retention
Exercise has been known to help control water retention – at least 20 minutes a day
Lie down and sit with your feet elevated when resting and taking breaks – standing or sitting all day can cause fluids to drain into your feet and legs
Try a natural duiuretic (water pill) – some herbal remedies are known to increase the kidney's fluid output which helps to control water retention – try dandelion dong quai ot essential oils used in vaporizers, gargles, baths and massages – lavender, rosemary, geranum and cypress
Take a chemical diuretic sold over the counter or one your doctors prescribe – they drain the body's store of potassium and could contribute to osteoporosis