Water Retention | Fluid and Water Retention Symptons and Causes

10 causes of Water Retention

Water retention, also known as fluid retention or by its more medical term, edema, signifies an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the circulatory system or within the tissues or cavities of the body. In normal circumstances, the fluid is drained from the body tissues through the lymphatic system – a network of tubes throughout the body that removes waste and extraneous material, and empties it back into the bloodstream.

Causes of Water Retention

Eating too much salt can be a problem and is one of the main causes of water retention. The main component of salt is sodium, which the body dilutes with water if too much of it is present. Salt makes you thirsty, and your body will hold on to this water. You can release a little water retention by reducing the amount of salt in your diet. Even a relatively salty diet, although it can be harmful in many ways, will not normally cause gross water retention.

Lack of Water
Not drinking enough water can cause water retention. This may sound strange, but if you are not drinking enough water, the body will hang on to all the water it can, because it assumes a drought is coming. However, drinking too much tea, coffee and colas can upset the fluid balance in the body too.

Food Intolerances
Overloading the stomach, drinking alcohol, taking medications and antibiotics, consuming too much sugar, not getting enough dietary fibre – all these modern-day habits can affect your digestive ability. Undigested particles can get into your blood system and stimulate your immune cells to produce histamine. This histamine is a potentially big cause of water retention.

Lack of exercise
If you’ve been on a long flight, you may know how easy it is to suffer with fluid retention in your legs and feet. The muscle contractions help move the fluid around the body, therefore taking regular exercise can help minimise fluid retention as well as giving you a whole host of other benefits.

Low Calorie Diets
If you have water retention you are very likely to be overweight, however overweight people tend to follow a low-calorie diet in an attempt to lose weight, but this will unfortunately not get rid of water retention. Following a low calorie diet can make your water retention worse, especially if you eat less than 1,200 Calories a day for months or years. This is because you may not have enough protein in your blood to draw excess water out of your tissues. This type of water retention can cause generalised puffiness but if severe can give you a swollen tummy.

Lack of Fruit and Vegetables
Certain fruits and vegetables contain special ingredients which help to prevent your blood vessels from leaking fluid into your tissue spaces. To treat or prevent water retention, it is vital to include them in your diet. A deficiency of fruit and vegetable nutrients is one of the commonest causes of water retention.

There are also herbal products which help to strengthen blood vessels. These herbs are not the same as the herbal diuretics which make your kidneys work harder.

A slight sunburn may be bothersome, but a severe sunburn that blisters and peels can lead to water retention. This is due to the toxins the body secretes and the high rate at which they are secreted. When this occurs, your kidneys become overloaded as they attempt to process and excrete these toxins from your body. The result is water being stored in various areas of your body. To prevent this, use sun tan lotion when outside for prolonged periods of time and wear protective clothing such as a hat or cool cotton shirts.

Wastes and Toxins
Cellulite is a form of fat complexed with retained water, which mostly affects women’s thighs and sometimes it holds so much water that it is swollen and painful to the touch. Metabolic wastes and toxins such as pesticides which the body cannot easily release tend to be stored in this fat. It is thought the causes of the water retention in cellulite are either irritation and swelling due to these toxins, or results from the body’s attempt to dilute them.

Fluctuating hormone levels, hormonal imbalances, and a loss of progesterone can attribute to water retention in menopausal women. Unless the weight gain is excessive, it should not be a cause of concern and can be self-managed.

Hormones and Medicines
High levels of certain hormones can also make your body hold on to water and these include insulin, which is needed to process sugar; cortisone, which is produced when you are under stress; and the female hormones oestrogen (estrogen) and progesterone. The water-retaining effect is caused by the effects which these hormones have on sodium levels in your body, and on the hormones which govern how your kidneys work. Certain prescribed medicines such as the contraceptive pill and some painkillers can affect levels of these hormones.

Water retention which is caused by hormones can be spread around the body but often affects your tummy most of all. Women can also get water retention in the breasts, which cause breast tenderness and swelling.

Water Retention Tablets are a traditional remedy herbal remedy to help relieve water retention and maintain a normal body fluid balance.

Do you suffer from water retention?