6 Common Reasons That Cause Water Retention + Tips to Reduce the Swelling

Water retention or edema occurs when the body tissues cannot remove the excess water and start to retain it inside the body thus leading to swelling.

This condition can be a result of many factors and in order to treat it accordingly we need to determine the right root for its occurrence. In the case of diet and sedentary lifestyle we can easily treat this condition as here we are the main factors that contribute to this condition.

Water is the essential element for the survival of the human body and it takes 65% of the body of an adult. Water is present in the body as inter-cellular, extracellular, and interstitial fluid. It is also found in the blood vessels, and because of that it is highly needed for the body. The presence of water is being regulated by a whole body system so that the quantities of water are constantly balanced. The body takes the water from the consumed food and water and removes its excess via urine, perspiration and breathing. However, in some cases the removal of the excess water is impeded and that is when water retention or edema occurs.

Several Common Reasons of Edema

Water retention occurs when the water in the body accumulates in the tissues instead of being regulated by the lymphatic, blood and circulatory systems. This condition is commonly reflected on our feet and ankles, but those swellings can be as well as present on our face and hands.

Here are some of the reasons for water retention:

  • High salt diet

Poor diet loaded with excessive amounts of sodium is a common reason for the appearance of swelling. In this case the body lacks moisture due to the high intake of salt; therefore try to avoid foods that are high in salt, including canned products, processed meats, and table salt.

  • Long standing and sitting hours

Sedentary lifestyle means long hours of physical inactivity or immobility that puts the body in one position for many hours which contributes to fluid build-up in certain body areas. This also refers to standing for a long time in one position and thus leading to the appearance of peripheral edema (swollen feet and ankles).

  • High caffeine and alcohol intake

The high intake of these ingredients can cause body dehydration and in order to keep its water balance the body starts to retain excess water.

  • Hormonal changes

Swelling can occur as a result of the hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, or menopause. Likewise, the intake of contraceptives, some hormones, including estrogen can impede the body’s regular function and thus lead to edema.

  • Heart failure

When the heart is not pumping accordingly, the blood circulation slows down and in that way the cells are not receiving enough oxygen and nutrients. As a result of that, the kidneys start to send signals to the body by retaining sodium and excess fluids in order to support the blood volume.

  • Hepatic diseases

Liver diseases block the lymphatic circulation thereby leading to the appearance of water retention.

It is of vital importance to visit your doctor and determine the right reason for the appearance of water retention. If it is not a result of a certain ailment and it is only coming from following a poor diet or sedentary lifestyle, then the following tips will be very helpful for you.

Tips How to Prevent Edema

  • Lower salt consumption and introduce potassium-rich foods that remove excess water from the body like dates, bananas, cabbage, spinach, and lentils. Cucumber and parsley reveal strong draining properties.
  • Promote good blood circulation by introducing sets of cold water on your legs in the end of your shower. Make sure to dry them nicely rubbing them from bottom to the top.
  • High temperatures and heat contribute to more swelling; therefore prefer shaded areas and cool places.
  • If your job requires long sitting hours try to get up once in an hour to stimulate blood circulation. In the end of the day raise your legs to promote venous transit.
  • Promote sweating by introducing a regular physical activity. You can opt for swimming.
  • Promote the work of your kidneys by drinking plenty of water.
  • Try not to wear tight clothes that compress the body thus hampering good blood circulation.


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