5 Signs of Fluid Retention

Generalized or localized swelling in certain parts of your body may be a sign that you're retaining fluids and should find a way to address the problem.
5 Signs of Fluid Retention

Last update: 12 May, 2022

Do you think your body might be retaining fluids but you don’t know the signs of fluid retention?

Fluid retention, also called edema, is a pathological or non-pathological condition caused by an excessive accumulation of fluid in your tissues.

  • When it’s pathological, it generally originates with circulatory problems, congestive heart failure, or problems with your kidneys or liver.
  • When it is not, it is attributed to a simple dilation of your veins during times when temperatures are higher.

The consequences of fluid retention are:

  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Swelling in your legs and ankles
  • An increase in the size of your abdominal area or a decrease in your need to urinate.

Edema is mostly seen in older adults. However, it has also been diagnosed in adolescents.

The condition is more common in women than men, especially for hormonal or dietary reasons.

It also tends to appear during menopause, pregnancy or when a person has a sedentary lifestyle.

However, fluid retention can be a sign that a person has another disorder, whether cardiac, renal, hepatic, or digestive.

How to tell if you have fluid retention

1. Your lower extremities are swollen

Signs of Fluid Retention

Your lower extremities are the first part of your body to be affected by fluid retention, so pay special attention to your legs and feet.

At first, you’ll feel tiredness and heaviness in your legs due to inadequate drainage.

“Take a look at this too: How to Avoid Fluid Retention and Reduce Swelling”

2. Thicker ankles

Edema causes your ankles to look bigger than normal.

From when you wake up until you go to bed, this part of the body increases in size as the day goes on.

3. Leg cramps

Leg cramps

Going back to your legs, you will see swelling in them as well, though sometimes people don’t notice it.

One symptom that can reveal that you’re retaining fluids is having frequent cramps in the area, along with weakness.

4. Bloating in your middle

Another area that’s affected by the signs of fluid retention is your belly. Some people think they’re gaining weight when really they are bloated.

Some go on long, strict diets thinking that the increase in the size of their waist is fat when, in reality, it’s a failure of your excretory system.

5. Swelling in your face

Swelling in your face

The swelling that comes from edema can also happen in your face. It is usually visible in your cheeks and eyelids, which will slightly increase in size.

The excess of fluids makes your face appear rounder.

Some solutions

If you think you may be retaining fluids, you can do the following:

Drink more water

Drink more water

It may seem counter-intuitive, but when your body retains fluids, it’s because it is dehydrated.

So give it the water it needs. This way, it won’t store it unnecessarily.

Read this article too: One-Day Detox Plan to Eliminate Retained Fluids in Just a Few Hours”

Go on a hypocaloric, low-sodium diet

When you’re facing this problem, it’s a good idea to reduce your consumption of refined flour and sugar, fat, and salt.

  • Exercise: It seems that this is the cure for all kinds of problems. Exercising will help you get rid of the extra fluids through sweat and urine, and also gets your circulation going. Your exercise routine should last at least 20 minutes a day.
  • Drink diuretic teas: Certain plants like dandelion, fennel, parsley, and green tea will help you go to the bathroom more regularly. You can also add vegetables like carrots and cucumbers to your diet, along with fruits like watermelon and melon.
  • Eat foods high in potassium: Corn, cauliflower, bananas, and asparagus can also help you out when you’re retaining fluids due to their high potassium content.
  • Get rid of your dehydrating beverages: This is especially alcohol, the worst being beer and vodka, as well as coffee. As we explained above, when your body thinks it doesn’t have enough water, it retains fluids.
  • Eat more protein: Chicken, red meat, fish, shellfish, and legumes are all good options. A lack of protein encourages fluid retention.
  • Don’t wear tight clothing: It’s unnecessarily uncomfortable and will make your body swell up a little more over the day.
  • Don’t sit too much: If you’re at your desk all day, get out of your seat for at least five minutes every hour. This way, your body won’t enter into a sedentary state.
  • Stay away from too much heat: Stay away from environments that are too hot, since heat produces dehydration. When that happens, your body retains fluids.