Water Retention: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And How To Recognise It

Water retention is when your body is not able to pass out the excess water. Here are the causes, types, symptoms, treatment and how to recognize it.

 Onlymyhealth Staff Writer
Written by: Onlymyhealth Staff WriterUpdated at: Oct 07, 2020 15:12 IST
Water Retention: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And How To Recognise It

Water is important for the functioning of our body. It helps in protecting us from various inner bacterias and viruses. Moreover, water is also responsible for dissolving nutrients and removing waste from our body. We all know that a human body comprises of mostly water, i.e. 60%. This huge amount of fluid is essential for the functioning of our body. When the body fails to eliminate excess water, it is commonly known as water retention. When there is no water retention power in a person, he/she can be easily treated for that. However, if not medically advised on time, it can lead to a bigger health problem. In this article, we have all the details you need to know about water retention including its types, causes, symptoms and treatment.

Types of water retention

There are majorly two types of water retention and they are generalized oedema and localized oedema. Generalised oedema is when your whole body gets swollen up. While in localised oedema, only some parts of your body get affected. After seeing such symptoms, prefer visiting a doctor as it can lead to serious health issues related to kidney, liver and heart.


Also Read: Are You Drinking Enough Water? Know How Much Water To Drink In A Day

Water retention symptoms

Before moving on to solutions or anything else, it's important for you to recognise water retention in your body. Fluid retention means that there is excessive water in the tissue of the body which causes swelling in the body and can result in other severe problems too. You might feel the need to improve your eating habits to help you body with this issue. If you want to find out if you are retaining water or not, then you can try putting pressure on the foot or ankle using the thumb. Listed down are the symptoms of water retention:

  • Swollen feet, legs or ankles
  • Rigid and inelastic joints
  • Bloating, particularly in the abdomen
  • Rapid weight change
  • Swelling in the abdomen, face or hips

Water retention causes

It is very important to know what is causing fluid retention in your body. If you are aware of the reasons, then only you can proceed with the treatment. Hence, here are some water retention causes:

1. Standing or sitting for a long time

Your blood circulates in the lower parts of the body due to gravity. Therefore, it's important for you to keep the blood flowing throughout, by making our body active and moving. If there is no physical activity, and you sit/stand at one place for a long time, there is no way to prevent water retention.

2. Medicines

You might not notice this easily but some medications also leave an impact on your body. There are a lot of side effects of some strong medicines which includes water retention too. For example, chemotherapy treatments, pain killers, BP tablets and antidepressants.

3. Flying in an airplane

Shockingly, flying in an airplane can also be a reason for fluid retention. Fluctuations in the cabin pressure and sitting for a very long period of time can cause your body to hold on to water.


4. Weak heart

A lot of people have a weak heart which does not function properly. The heart is responsible for pumping blood in your body. And if that doesn't happen appropriately, it can result in your body retaining water.

5. Pregnancy

There is a big change in weight during preganancy. This fluctuation is also become a major reason that can make your legs reatin water if you don't keep regular physical activity or movement.

Water retention treatment

  • Avoiding sodium items is also one of the major solutions to this problem. Try adding other flavours to your dishes and keep a low salt diet.
  • Don't forget to take proteins. Eating eggs and meat is important for your body to remove water retaining properties.
  • Consuming potassium and magnesium rich foods like bananas, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables can help in balancing your sodium level, which results in fluid movement.


Also Read: These 4 Things Can Lead To Added Water Weight In The Body And Tips To Combat The Condition

  • Try wearing socks/leggings that can squeeze your feet and legs. There are special compression socks available in the market for tight fitting and compressing your feet for fluid movement.
  • If the problem persists, then consult a doctor. If you feel that the symptoms are not going away and are getting severe instead, then surely visit your doctor.

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