Water retention in the body means that there is more water stored in the cavity of the tissues. Water retention is very common if you are pregnant or when you stand or sit for long hours. People who are bed ridden and even a few days before your periods, you might experience fluid retention in your body. It can also happen due to weakened or constricted blood vessels. Water retention can also occur due to other serious underlying causes like kidney or heart failure. Also called edema, it can lead to swelling of body parts like ankle, hands and legs. You might feel that your skin is smoother and shinier in texture if you have fluid retention in the body. You can check it by pressing the swollen area for 5 seconds. If an impression is formed, you might be having more fluid retention in the body. Read this article further to know about some simple ways to reduce water retention.
Ways to reduce water retention in the body
Water retention can be easily treated if the swelling is mild and there is no underlying condition. You can easily fight water retention if you follow some of these simple ways:
1. Stay active
Moving around can help you in reducing fluid retention in the body. It can be very helpful for swelling in lower limbs. Physical exercises can improve blood circulation and help in reducing swelling. Those who sit for long hours, especially pregnant women should not hang their feet in thr air. You can try using a stool to elevate your legs. It can give you relief from edema.
Diuretics are the substances which help in increasing urine production. They dilate the tubular walls in nephrons, resulting in removal of water and ions from the body. You can include natural diuretics in diet like a cup of green coffee, dandelion tea, green tea or black tea. These drinks will definitely help you flush out extra fluids in the body.
3. Including more potassium in your diet
Potassium is very useful in reducing swelling in the body. It helps in decreasing the sodium levels in your body which can be a major cause of water retention. It also promotes more frequent urination. You can include banana, avocado and tomatoes in your diet to improve your potassium intake.
4. Eat less salt
Salt contains a good amount of sodium. Sodium is responsible for the movement of water molecules in and out of the cell. It is believed that increased sodium levels tend to increase water retention in the body. Blood has a tendency to maintain a specific concentration of ions. Hence, kidneys will retain more fluids to maintain the concentration. You should limit the intake of processed and cured meats and pickles as they have high salt content.
5. Increase magnesium intake
Magnesium is required by our body for various enzymatic reactions in the body. Including magnesium in your diet is very effective for water retention before your periods. It might also help you in combating menstrual cramps. You can include various nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, leafy greens and wholegrains in your diet to get some relief from edema.
6. Vitamin B-6
Low blood cell count in the body can result in fluid retention in the body. Vitamin B-6 is an essential nutrient for our body. It helps in the formation of blood cells and carrying out various functions. Vitamin B-6 is also very effective for fluid retention during PMS. You can include oats, bananas, meat, peanuts and milk in your diet to meet the nutritional needs of your body.
You can include various food items in your diet which have a diuretic effect. Fruits like watermelon, cranberry and cucumber contain enough fluids and potassium to get rid of water retention. Watermelons also contain citrulline which relaxes the blood vessels and prevents leakage of fluid into the tissue. You can include other vegetables and herbs like cabbage, parsley, garlic, celery and beetroot in your diet to get some relief from edema.
You can also keep a pillow under your legs or wear supportive stockings to minimize fluid retention in lower limbs. Water retention can be both temporary and chronic. You should definitely visit your doctor if you experience fluid retention very often because it usually indicates some underlying issue. You should follow your doctor's advise and prescription. You can also ask your doctor about preventive measures to reduce edema.
Read more articles on Mind Body