Water retention can also be known as fluid retention or edema, and it occurs when too much fluid builds up inside the body.
It is usually within the circulatory system or within tissue or cavities, and can commonly cause swelling in the hands, feet, ankles and legs. There are some reasons for fluid retention which are not serious, and women in particular can experience it regularly as part of their reproductive cycle.
However, water retention can also be a symptom of a severe medical condition, such as kidney disease. If you have sudden and unexplained water retention, seek medical help immediately. In other cases where the swelling or discomfort is mild, try these simple home remedies to alleviate the issue.
1) Eat less salt. Authority Nutrition explains that sodium binds to water in the body and helps to maintain the balance of fluids in and around cells. If you eat too much sodium, your body will retain too much water. If you think you don’t add much salt to your diet, then have a look at the nutritional information on the packaging of your favourite processed foods and you might be in for a shock! The sodium count on items like canned soup or potato chips is incredibly high.
2) Do regular exercise. Exercise is vital for healthy circulation, without which the blood flow and pressure in your capillaries can affect fluid retention in your lower limbs. Medical News Today recommends raising your legs several times a day to avoid this, and exercising regularly. Support stockings can also be useful, particularly among older people or those with varicose veins.
3) Take magnesium. This important mineral is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that keep the body functioning healthily, according to Authority Nutrition. Studies have shown that magnesium supplements can reduce water retention in women with premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Healthy sources of magnesium are almonds, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables… and good quality, dark chocolate.
4) Increase your protein.Medical News Today explains that people with protein deficiencies can struggle with water retention because their bodies are unable to get the water from the tissue spaces back into the capillaries. This is the key reason that you see distended stomachs on several malnourished people.
5) Try Vitamin B6. Again, this vitamin has been shown to be great for reducing water retention in women with PMS, and can easily be gained from bananas, potatoes, walnuts and meat – or a supplement.