When you know you have not cheated on your diet or missed exercising your body, but still the weighing scale shocks you by showing weight gain, you should probably not fret, because it is most probably due to “water retention.” This problem is a common PMS (premenstrual) symptom, but there are other reasons why your body retains water.
What is Water Retention?
Water retention is accumulation of additional fluid in the circulatory system or within the body tissues. This fluid buildup can make you feel bloated and swelled up, both in feel and appearance. Water retention can prevent you from fitting into your favorite pair of jeans. Water retention most commonly shows up on the feet and legs, but it can occur in the hands, arms, abdominal cavity and around the lungs. Water retention usually clears up on its own within a few days. However, if the condition persists for more than a week then, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Types of water retention:
• Generalized edema: It refers to the swelling that occurs all over the body
• Localized edema: It refers to the swelling in specific parts of the body.
Causes of water retention:
1. Too much salt/sodium – Salt is the most usual culprit that helps body retain excess fluid. Reduce sodium intake to get rid of water retention.
2. When you haven’t consumed enough water, the next time that you drink water, your body will store that up. To prevent such a situation, drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
3. Sedentary lifestyle: If you do not move around enough or have not been exercising for quite a while, the body stops sweating out the excess water. So, pick up your jogging shoes and sweat out all the excess water.
4. Side effects of Medications: Some medicines can cause fluid buildup in the body. Once you stop taking those medicines, your body will return to the normal state.
5. Intake of low calorie diet: A low-calorie diet that drops below 900 cause body to retain water.
6. Too much sugar intake: Just like salt, too much sugar can lead to water retention.
7. Thyroid problems: A fluctuation in thyroid hormone can cause fluid buildup.
8. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome: Again, women tend to complain about bloating and water retention before or during their periods.
Symptoms of water retention:
• Swollen and aching joints
• Formation of dimples/indentations upon pressing the skin
• Rapid weight gain
• Flexibility of joints is decreased.
Foods That Get Rid of Water Retention:
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy green vegetables.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Water Retention:
• Avoid salt intake as much as you can. Sodium increases fluid retention
• Increase the intake of potassium rich foods such as bananas, raisins, asparagus, cabbage etc.
• Apply ice packs on the affected area. It is an efficient home remedy to reduce water retention as it improves blood circulation.
• Add two teaspoons of dried parsley leaves in one cup of water. Boil this water for about ten minutes. Drink while hot. It is considered as an excellent home remedy to treat water retention.
• Drink a cup of cranberry juice daily. It helps to cure kidney problems leading to excess liquid accumulation.
• Apply essential oils like rosemary, lavender, grapefruit, lemon etc on the affected area. Massaging gently to get rid of water retention.
• Exercising daily. It will help you to strengthen your circulatory system and eliminate the problem of water retention.
• Avoid the excess intake of dehydrating drinks such as coffee and alcohol.
• Increase the intake of vitamin B supplements.
• Absolutely stay away from junk food, as they have extra salt and calories.