Water retention is the excessive build up of water in the blood, body tissue and cavities. It can cause weight gain, puffiness, swollen knee, bloatedness and discomfort.

What cause water retention?

1) Dehydration

As the body metabolic processes occur in the presence of water, not drinking enough water cause the body to retain water in order to allow all the metabolic processes to happen.

2) Sodium level

Sodium and chlorine are the major ions in the fluid surrounding body tissues and cells. High amount of salt cause the kidney to send signal to the brain, which trigger thirst. That is why when we have too much salt, we become thirsty and cause us to drink water.

3) Hormone and medicines

Hormones such as insulin, cortisone, estrogen, progesterone and Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs ( NSAID) affect the level of sodium in the body. Medications such as painkiller, contraceptive pills in turn affect these hormones, thus causing water retention.

4) Waste and toxins in the body

Overload of metabolic wastes that cannot be easily released and get stored in fat cells. The body attempt to dilute the toxins overload by diluting the toxins with water in the body tissues. This creates water retention.

5) Underlying diseases

  • Kidney problemkidney loses the function of excreting salt and water out of the body
  • Liver cirrhosis – scaring of liver cells obstruct blood flow from the intestine causing a back up and leakage into the body tissues
  • Heart disease – weaken heart cannot pump enough volume of blood to the circulatory system causing back up of blood flow into the heart and leakage into the tissues.

6) Nutrition deficiency

A diet deficient in vitamin B and protein can cause water retention. Vitamin B aids in the distribution of fluids around the body.

  • Vitamin B5 – helps the body to excrete excess fluid
  • Vitamin B6 – helps to control the level of homocysteine, which is important in reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How you can prevent water retention?

1) Drink water

It is a common misconception to restrict water when you have water retention. Actually, it is dehydration that cause water retention. Dehydration increase the concentration of sodium in the blood and signal to the body to retain water instead of releasing it.

Drink enough water to prevent dehydration. How much water is enough? Take about 30 ml of plain water for every kilogram of body weight. However, too much water when doing endurance exercise is not good either. Too much water in the blood dilutes the sodium present and this affects the muscle during exercise.

2) Exercise

Exercises force the body to excrete salt and water through sweat. Exercise also helps the circulation of the lymphatic system, which is also important for drainage of excess fluid.

3) Diet

Taking diuretic drugs may help but it is better to get it from foods that are natural diuretic; Cauliflower, broccoli, grapefruit, strawberry and eggs are rich in Vitamin B5 that can help to drain off the excess fluid

Reducing calories too quickly to lose weight forces the body to use up stores of carbohydrates and breakdown protein in the muscle. This can cause up to 75% of water loss the in the cells.

Cut out the processed foods, as they are high in salt and empty in calories and nutrients. Potassium ion intake can help eliminate fluid retention. Banana is a good source of potassium naturally.

4) Detox

Reduce the toxin load in the body by regular detox of the digestive system, kidney and liver. Natural herbal remedies are readily available to achieve that.

Water retention can be rather uncomfortable. Try out these methods to eliminate the causes. If there are underlying disease, you should seek medical treatment.

What are you doing to eliminate water retention? Share with me in the comment box below.

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