Fluid retention (aka water retention) is an excessive buildup of fluids in the circulatory system causing retention and swelling of the tissues and cavities of the body. The swelling is usually found in the ankles, legs, feet and hands. There are many causes and also many remedies to alleviate the buildup of excess fluids in the body. It is wise to consult a healthcare professional to determine the causes before attempting any of these natural remedies for fluid retention.
Possible Causes Of Fluid Retention
- Capillaries are tiny blood vessels that continually pass nutrient rich fluids and oxygen into the bodies tissues. Pressure change and leakage can occur in the capillaries causing excess water to be released into the tissue spaces between the bodies cells causing retention and swelling.
- Specific to women are these causes of fluid retention; pregnancy, menstruation and the pill. The hormone changes resulting from these factors can cause a buildup of fluid in different areas of the body. During pregnancy the excess weight of the uterus can exert pressure on the pelvic veins. This can cause swelling and retention with decreased circulation. Extra weight can also cause fatigue and edema of the legs and ankles.
- Lack of exercise or mobility issues can lead to fluid retention due to the lack of proper blood circulation. If the blood doesn’t circulate fast enough upwards towards the heart it can pool and accumulate in the legs. This can lead to blood clots, damaged capillaries and varicose veins.
- Protein deficiencies can be a cause of abnormal water and fluid flow resulting in retention and bloating in parts of the body.
- The choice of foods can be a factor in water retention. A diet that is excessively high in sodium and low in potassium can cause a problem with water flow resulting in retention and swelling. An insufficient level of vitamins B1, B5 and B6 may also contribute to fluid retention.
- Fluid retention can be caused by a number of serious medical conditions such as thyroid and kidney disease. These are reasons why you should always see a doctor for advice on any condition of your body that is not normal to you.
Natural Remedies For Water Retention
Let’s get started with the two most natural ways to combat fluid retention; diet and exercise. The combination of a good diet and a mild exercise program will aid in the fight against most ailments. In the case of fluid retention and the problems that go along with it, a diet that cuts out a lot of processed or packaged foods will go a long way to help. Reading the labels, you will notice that these not so natural foods contain salt and sugar additives that add up to way more than the suggested intake. The quicker that you start reading labels and cut out the majority of packaged foods, the better your overall health will be.
The right balance of sodium and potassium in your diet will help to regulate fluid levels. These foods are high in potassium; bananas, avocados, oranges and potatoes. In addition to those, try to add yogurt, celery, watermelon and cucumber for their natural diuretic properties.
As far as exercise is concerned, the increased and improved blood circulation that results from it, is probably the most natural remedy for fluid retention.
You don’t need to train for the Olympics. Just start by going for a brisk 30 minute walk at least 3 days per week. Get the heart pumping a little to increase your circulation and blood flow. Important nutrients and oxygen need to be circulated throughout the body to maintain the good operation of your organs and systems.
Losing weight can help to lessen fluid retention.
Avoid consumption of alcohol and caffeine products, they dehydrate the body and trigger a response to hold onto any water in your system and prevent its elimination.
Getting a massage can help. A qualified massage therapist will be able to massage the affected area increasing blood flow upwards to the heart.
Drink a lot of water. This will help to eliminate excess salt and other undesirables by flushing them from your system. Drinking more water will not contribute to your water retention, it will help to correct it.
There are many natural herbs and minerals that can help reduce water retention
- Dandelion tea made from the leaf is a natural diuretic full of potassium that will help your kidneys to drain away water.
- Garlic can be good for water retention because it helps to dissolve toxins and salt in the body so that it can be flushed. It can also break down fats and reduce blood pressure.
- Epsom salt in a bath can help. Two cups of epsom salt in a warm bath a couple of times a week can help to draw toxins and excess fluids from the body. The added benefits are the soothing effects on the muscles and nerves.
- Here are a few other natural remedies that you can try. Lemon, Nettle, Parsley, Fennel Seeds, Apple Cider Vinegar, Corn Silk Tea and Cranberry Juice.
As mentioned previously, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor to find out the cause of your fluid or water retention. Prevention, is of course, the ultimate way of not having to deal with as many ailments. Poor circulation seems to be a recurring theme in the development of a fluid retention problem, and many other ailments. Prevention could include a change to a healthier lifestyle that includes a better diet, a mild exercise program and the use of compression socks daily to boost the blood circulation.