Water retention - symptoms, causes, and treatments - Slimming Solutions

Water retention – symptoms, causes, and treatments

water-balanceSluggish, stiff, and bloated. These are just some of the dreaded symptoms associated with water retention. It can ruin your mood on a good day, making you feel uncomfortable and irritable. So here’s the lowdown on what can cause water retention and, more importantly, how you can get rid of it.

What is water retention?

Water retention, formally know as oedema, happens when fluid isn’t removed from your body tissues, including the skin. You can either have generalised oedema (all over the body) or localised oedema (in particular parts of the body) such as legs, ankles, breasts, the face or abdomen.


  • Swelling of body parts (ankles, feet and hands)
  • Bloated tummy
  • Feeling stiffness or aching
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Joints may feel stiff
  • When pressed the skin may hold the indent for a few seconds


  • High salt intake
  • Lack of water
  • Food intolerances
  • Lack of exercise
  • Low calorie diets
  • Burns, including sunburn – skin retains fluid and swells in response to burn injuries
  • Wastes and toxins
  • Menopause
  • Hormones and medicines
  • Hot weather
  • Gravity – standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Pregnancy
  • The contraceptive pill or HRT medication
  • Hormones associated with monthly menstrual cycle
  • Dietary deficiencies – such as insufficient protein or vitamin B1
  • Medications – certain drugs such as blood pressure medication, corticosteroids and non-steriod anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Chronic venous insufficiency – weakened valves in the veins of the legs

For a more in-depth article about the top 10 causes of water retentions – check out this page.



  • Take a chemical diuretic sold over the counter, or a one that your doctor can prescribe – however, many of them can drain the body’s potassium and could contribute to osteoporosis
  • Try a natural diuretic – herbal remedies can increase the kidney’s fluid output which helps to control water retention
  • Try ‘dandelion dong quai ot’ essential oils used in vaporizers, gargles, baths and massages – lavender, rosemary, geranum and cypress can also help
  • Try our HRI Water Balance tablets, a traditional herbal remedy that relieves water retention and helps maintain a normal body fluid balance

Food and Diet changes

  • Drink more water – fluid retention can be caused by lack of water! Your body doesn’t know when more is coming, so it hangs onto what it does get – drinking more water will help kidneys to flush out excess fluid
  • Increase your protein intake – eating more protein encourages your body to shed excess fluid
  • Eat more bananas – they are rich in potassium which helps eliminate fluid retention
  • Add more cabbage, cucumber, parsley, and salad leaves to your diet – they are natural diuretics
  • Cut down on high sodium foods – salt absorbs water and causes water retention
  • Increase your intake of calcium, magnesium and B vitamins – vitamin deficiencies could lead to water retention
  • Drink cranberry juice – it is a very mild diuretic
  • Cut back on dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet that contains a lot of vegetables, grains and other high-fibre foods
  • Write a food diary and make connections between certain foods and periods of bloating and swelling

Body and Medical

  • Go to doctors – water retention could be a sign of a serious medical condition such as heart, kidney or liver disease so you will need to get treatment for the underlying medical condition
  • Changes to medication or dosage of that is the cause
  • Some people report that acupuncture can help
  • Check your menstrual cycle – lots of women retain water during their monthly cycle, then return to normal
  • Exercise can help control water retention – around 20 minutes per day
  • Lie down with your feet elevated when resting and taking breaks – standing or sitting all day can cause fluids to drain into your legs and feet
  • Support stockings can help aid water retention in the feet and legs

water-balanceHRI Water Balance tablets

Our HRI Water Balance tablets are available on our website at just £5.85 for two weeks supply. They are a traditional herbal remedy that relieves water retention and helps maintain a normal body fluid balance.

Active ingredients include Dandelion Root powder 100mg, powdered Buchu – dry extract from 45mg (15mg), powdered Parsley Piert – dry extract from 45mg (15mg), and powdered Uva Ursi – dry
extract from 45mg (18mg).