5 Common Symptoms of Liquid Retention

03 December, 2019
Did you know that experiencing acute fatigue and a feeling of laziness, as well as inflamed extremities, could be related to liquid retention?

Liquid retention is one of the conditions that most affects our current population. This metabolic condition is characterized by the abnormal accumulation of liquids in our tissues under the skin or in areas inside of our bodies.

It occurs most frequently in our lower extremities, but it can also affect our hands, arms, face and abdomen.

While it is not classified as a disease, it appears as a warning of other, more serious conditions. These could be circulatory difficulties, obstructions in the lymphatic system and hormonal imbalances. 

Although sometimes it goes unnoticed, it almost always triggers a series of reactions in the body because the lack of control that occurs in the inflammatory processes.

For that reason, and to avoid complications, it is important to understand how it starts and what habits can help to control it. 

As we continue, we want to share its main symptoms and various tips to prevent it.

Symptoms of liquid retention that we should not ignore

Mild cases of liquid retention go unnoticed or are confused with a slight weight increase.

However, when it starts to get more serious, it causes a series of symptoms that can reduce one’s abilities to carry out daily tasks.

1. Inflammation in extremities

Inflammation in extremities

Noticeable swelling in the lower and upper extremities can be enough to highlight a liquid retention problem.

The extremities will appear larger than normal and can present circulatory problems because of the pressure that the valvular system is under, due to the excess water.

Other inflamed areas may be:

  • Abdomen
  • Chest
  • Face

2. Feeling of laziness

It is common to feel a strong sense of laziness in your body as a result of this condition. This is especially noticeable when doing physical activity.

The abnormal accumulation of liquids adds on to your body weight, which affects your muscular, lymphatic and circulatory health.

3. Cellulite

liquid retention

There are many factors that influence the appearance of cellulite in the glutes and legs. However, when it is caused by retention, it can become more noticeable and difficult to treat. 

Although many external treatments help to reduce it, it is very important to treat liquid accumulation to notice an improvement.

4. Fatigue and general discomfort

Because of the consequences it has on the circulatory system, this problem brings with it episodes of physical fatigue and general discomfort.

Its lack of control interferes with oxygen transport and bring nutrients to the cells. This affects our physical and mental performance.

5. Decrease in urination

Decrease in urination

Since the kidneys cannot correctly process the liquids in the body, you have to urinate less and this increases the risk of infections in the urinary system

How to prevent liquid retention?

There are many habits and remedies that can help to prevent and treat this problem. Even though many factors influence its appearance, improving your lifestyle can significantly minimize the risk. 

Limit salt consumption

Excessive salt consumption produces imbalances in the body that cause water accumulation in our tissues. 

Because of that, it is important to limit its consumption, not only avoiding table salt, but also reducing your ingestion of foods like:

  • Sausages
  • Canned foods
  • Cheese
  • Packaged foods
  • Carbonated drinks

Increase your water consumption

Not drinking enough water and healthy beverages is a main cause of liquid retention. Drinking water regulates circulation and optimizes the work of your  kidneys by removing waste from the body.

Eating diuretic foods

There is a large variety of diuretic foods that can help with the process that remove excess liquids from the body. 

The most recommended are:

  • Pineapple
  • Artichoke
  • Beets
  • Asparragus
  • Watermelon
  • Melon
  • Horse tail
  • Ginger

Avoid using tight clothing

Avoid using tight clothing

Clothing that is too tight impedes proper blood circulation and can influence the appearance of edema, varicose veins and other difficulties.


Being sedentary, or staying in the same position for too long, can produce inflammatory imbalances in the body and can cause circulatory and retention problems.

Regularly exercising, for at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, activates circulation, improves cellular oxygenation processes and supports the processes that help to keep the body clean and balanced. 

Do you have any symptoms of liquid retention? Start to change your habits and take the necessary measures to control it.

If the problem continues or worsens, talk to your doctor.

  • De Micheli, Alfredo. “Miguel Servet y la circulación sanguínea pulmonar.” Archivos de cardiología de México 73.3 (2003): 171-174.
  • Echevarría, Miriam, and Rafael Zardoya. “Acuaporinas: los canales de agua celulares.” Investigación y ciencia 12 (2006): 60-67.
  • Figueroa-Damián, Ricardo, et al. “Consumo de agua en el embarazo y la lactancia.” Acta Pediátrica de México 34.2 (2013): 102-108.