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
- Weight fluctuations
- 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