Water Retention: What Causes It?

· March 22, 2018
Improving your diet and doing physical activity can help reduce water retention. Find out more about the possible causes in the article below.

Water retention, or fluid retention, affects men and women all over the world. It can happen at various stages of life. The areas most affected are the feet, ankles, hands, and the abdomen.

The human body is made up of  70% liquid. However, if it doesn’t circulate and get distributed in a balanced way around the body, then we start to suffer some consequences. The main actor in the regulation of fluids is the kidneyand any problem with the kidneys can cause water retention.

Causes of water retention

It can happen as a result of many factors. It’s often possible to see many people who are suffering from this problem. However, they may not know the reasons why, or have taken proper measures to prevent it. It’s important to be able to identify the reasons so that you can seek the correct treatment. Or, simply so you can prevent it in the future.

Environmental factors

compression tights

  • Excess heat can cause fluid to come from the blood vessels without the tissues being able to absorb it all.
  • Jobs in which you might spend a long time in the same position, as well as long journeys, where you’re sitting down for a long time, can cause a build-up of fluid.

It’s clear that we can’t change the temperature outside. What we can recommend is help the body with a better daily intake of water.

Habit-related factors

pouring salt on food

  • A diet which contains excess salt and little protein is the perfect combination for developing symptoms. An excess of sodium changes the process that regulates water in the body.
  • A lifestyle with little physical activity also affects the way that liquids are deposited around the body. People who are very sedentary are the most likely to suffer from this problem. Take short walks, stretch your limbs, or do aerobic exercise. All of these will help the movement of liquid around the body.

Hormonal causes

  • Periods are generally accompanied by an increase in liquid retention. Because of this, women can spend many days with abdominal inflammation. Generally, there is nothing you can do, but it’s a temporary situation.
  • During pregnancy, women tend to suffer from fluid retention as a result of hormonal changes.  It’s very common for pregnant women to get swollen feet, hands, and face. The best option is to keep active. Also, it’s important to drink more water than normal and reduce your salt intake.

Read also: How to Regulate Hormones through Exercise

Other illnesses

kidney pain

  • Cirrhosis makes it difficult for water to circulate through the liver. This causes fluid retention in the abdomen and lower extremities.
  • Renal problems, as well as heart problems, cause oedemas in certain places, since the fluids can’t move freely

As we explain above, the kidneys are what controls the elimination of water through urine. If this process is changed, the fluids will stay stuck in some other area. It’s vital to consult a professional who can provide treatment. With medication, you can also add a diuretic or a diet based on special foods in order to make yourself more comfortable.

You might also like: Incredible Natural Remedies to Cleanse Your Kidneys

Side-effects

Corticoid-based medication, some anti-inflammatories, or medications for treating illness such as diabetes can result in fluid retention as a side effect.

To improve fluid retention it’s important to keep to a balanced diet with enough protein, as well as starting to use less salt in your cooking. Also, you should try to take a daily walk to improve circulationFurthermore, it’s a good idea to get up from your chair every hour and stretch your legs.

In many companies, they have incorporated a few minutes exercise for their employees every day. At a certain time each day, they leave the office and dedicate 15 minutes to their bodies.

When it comes to rest, it’s important to make available all the time you need to recuperate fully. Put a cushion under your feet so that the blood can flow more easily.

Even more important than changing your habits is to see a doctor. The sooner you know the causes for your water retention the sooner they will be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment.

  • Oldridge, J., & Karmarkar, S. (2015). Fluid and electrolyte problems in renal dysfunction. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mpaic.2015.03.010
  • White, C. P., Hitchcock, C. L., Vigna, Y. M., & Prior, J. C. (2011). Fluid Retention over the Menstrual Cycle: 1-Year Data from the Prospective Ovulation Cohort. Obstetrics and Gynecology International. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/138451