Best Ways to Treat and Prevent Water Retention

The human body is made up of water. When your hydration levels are not balanced, the body holds on to excessive water which causes water retention. Water retention or fluid retention refers the buildup of excessive fluids in the body tissues, body cavities, and circulatory system. It can occur in different parts of the body and is caused by different reasons. Changes in hormones, plane flights, and excess salt in the body can cause water retention. When you have water retention, you feel heavier, lazy and less nimble. Water retention also causes bloating, swelling and puffiness. Below, we go over the causes and how to get rid of water retention.

Know What Causes Water Retention

  1. Flying – using an aircraft can cause water retention. This is because of the change in cabin pressure and also remaining seated for a long while.
  2. Sitting or standing for too long – gravity will keep your blood focused more on the lower parts of your body. This causes water retention. It is advisable to move around to increase blood flow.       
  3. Hormonal imbalance – fluctuating hormones can cause water retention. This is especially common in pregnant women and during menstruation.
  4. Consumption of too much sodium – using too much table salt causes accumulation of sodium in the body. Salts hold on to water in the body and this causes water retention.
  5. Different medications – there are some types of medications that cause water retentions as one of the side effects. They include:
  • Over the counter painkillers
  • Chemotherapy treatments
  • Antidepressants
  • Medicines for blood pressure
  1. Heart conditions – some conditions can cause weakening of the heart which affects the pumping of blood. When blood is not pumped well, it causes the body to retain water. 
  2. DVT (deep vein thrombosis) – this is a blood clot in the veins. This can cause swelling and blood retention in the body.

Symptoms include:

  • Bloating, more commonly in the abdominal area
  • Swollen parts of the body such as legs, ankles, and feet
  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Puffiness in parts like face, abdomen, and hips
  • Stiff joints
  • Skin indentation, which is similar to what occurs on the finger when immersed in water for a long time

How to Get Rid of Water Retention

1.    Reduce Your Intake of Salt

Intake of too much sodium is one of the most common causes of water retention. To avoid intake of too much sodium, avoid adding salt to your foods and eat a balanced diet. Processed meats, fast foods, and low-fat meals are high in sodium and may cause retention.

2.    Eat Clean

Consumption of vegetables and fruits and avoiding processed foods helps to keep your body balanced. It is advisable for you to eat as much fresh produce as possible. Ensure you read the salt contents in canned foods to avoid consumption of excess salt.

3.    Drink Plenty of Water

Taking in a lot of water can aid in weight loss. When you drink water, you help to flush out the excess sodium causing water retention. Ensure you reduce your intake of alcohol and sodas. Carbonated drinks also cause retention. 

4.    Exercise

Exercising is a healthy way to get rid of water retention in the body. Regular exercising helps to keep the body balanced and in good shape. Sweating gets rid of excess sodium in the body which, in turn, prevents water retention. Exercising also helps to shed water weight.

5.    Try Medication

There are several over the counter medicines you can take to get rid of water retention. Loop diuretics are ideal for removing fluids from the body without having to remove vitamins and minerals with it.

6.    Elevate Your Feet

How to get rid of water retention? When you have swollen feet, you can help to ease the symptoms by placing them on a pillow whenever you lie down. Avoid lying flat on the ground as this can make the retention worse. Propping your feet aids better blood flow, which helps to reduce the swelling.

7.   Wear Support Stockings

If you have water retention and your job requires you to stand for long, use of support stockings can help to ease the symptoms. These stockings apply pressure on the legs and thus prevent swelling and support better blood flow.

8.   Apply Cold Compresses

Application of cold compresses made with yarrow tea helps ease the swelling caused by the retention. Cold compresses also prevent excess stretching of the skin.

9.    Increase Your Intake of Vitamin B6

If you normally suffer from water retention before menstruation, take 100mg of vitamin B6 supplements for the five days leading to your period. This is a vitamin that works as a diuretic. It helps your body to produce more urine and this reduces the water content in the body.  This also helps to balance your estrogen and progesterone hormones. You can eat bananas, fish, spinach, chickpeas, and avocados to meet your required vitamin B6 requirements.

How to Prevent Water Retention

  1. Get More Sleep

Getting enough sleep is important for different reasons. When it comes to water retention, sleeping gives the body enough time to regulate sodium and water levels. This helps to prevent retention.

  1. Avoid Stress

When you are stressed for a long time, your body released a hormone known as cortisol. This hormone causes water retention and bloating. This is one of the reasons you suddenly put on weight when under stress. To avoid this, ensure you keep your stress levels in check.

  1. Manage Your Electrolytes Intake

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals. Examples include magnesium and potassium. These help to regulate your body fluids. Ensuring you have enough of them can go help to prevent retention.

  1. Use Dandelion Supplements  

Dandelion is a type herb used in alternative medicine as a treatment for water retention. It can also be used to prevent water retention. The supplements help to reduce water weight by making the kidneys produce more urine and also excess salts in the system.

Now you know all about how to get rid of water retention and prevent it.

 
 
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