We don’t normally gain fat or muscles easily overnight, but waking up in the morning and realising you’ve gained a pound or more can be depressing. What if it wasn’t actual weight gain, but water retention instead?
What is water retention?
Water retention (sometimes called fluid retention) is a common occurrence that refers to a build-up of fluid in the circulatory system, in body tissues, or in various body cavities. As such, the “problem areas” are often the stomach and the legs.
In the simplest cases, water retention can cause fluctuations in weight, bloating and physical discomfort. Water retention is a chronic symptom of other conditions, such as leaky capillaries, and should be addressed by a qualified physician.
Reasons for retaining water:
Water retention is not the result of drinking too much fluid. Rather, water weight can often be a result of imbalance in the body, and may be a symptom of diet, lifestyle, or medication use.
Excess sodium intake is the most common cause of water retention. Too much sugar can also contribute to water retention because it can prevent the body from dealing properly with sodium intake. Diuretics, and alcohol in particular, are another prime culprit because they pressure the body to store more water than it otherwise would.
Certain vitamin deficiencies or huge fluctuations in calorie intake (a common result of unhealthy diets) can also cause water retention, as the body chemicals that deal with processing fluids can be negatively affected.
Lack of exercise is another common factor. Remaining too sedentary may prevent blood from being cleaned by the heart, as well as prevent the secretion of excess fluids.
Certain medications may also be responsible for water retention because they interfere with the body’s attempt to process fluid. Steroids, certain contraceptives, and some blood pressure medication are known to have this effect.
Finally, women’s menstrual cycles can cause an increase in water weight, especially bloating, which may be due to nutritional demands or hormone imbalance.
How to prevent your body from retaining water
Some common remedies for water retention include cutting down sodium and alcohol consumption, staying properly hydrated, or leading a more active lifestyle. In fact, being aware of your diet and doing circulation-inducing exercises are often the cure to unwanted bloating and discomfort.
Making an effort to drink the recommended 8-10 glasses of water per day is also key to maintaining fluid balance.
In some cases, doing away with restrictive clothing and avoiding extreme temperature shifts may also assuage bloating and discomfort.
Home remedies for water retention
Although one should always question the validity of “home remedies,” some people claim to have lessened the effects of water weight with some easily accessible products. Dandelion, parsley, Epsom salts, fennel seeds, and cranberry juice, have all been reported to be effective in combat mild water retention.
It is always a good idea to do proper research on these products before using them.
Medical conditions that may cause water retention
Water retention may be a symptom of other medical concerns and we recommend seeking advice from a medical professional.
Edema is the name of one condition that has the potential to be very intense. Edema is a potential result of excessive salt intake, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, and some diseases, and may require the attention of a doctor.
Heart failure, kidney failure, and protein deficiency, may cause severe water retention.
What remedies or preventions do you take for water retention? Please leave your comments below.