You hear a lot of replies such as: “I gain weight fast because my body retains water.” The phenomenon of water retention in the body is very common and affects one in three women. Perhaps you find yourself in this situation and do not understand what actually happens to your body, which sometimes seems to swell, especially in breast, legs and hands.
Water retention in the body or edema – medical name – is the excessive accumulation of fluid throughout the entire body or only in a certain body part. It is actually an imbalance between the liquids you lose (through urine and sweat) and what you absorb (water, juices, teas, etc. that we drink and the water contained by the food we eat).
What Causes Water Retention?
- Standing for a prolonged period;
- Strong heat, it dilates the blood vessels;
- Hormonal disorders In the premenstrual period, many women experience the sensation of water retention in the breasts and abdomen. The same phenomenon may occur in menopause;
- Pregnancy Over the last weeks of pregnancy, the abdomen exercise strong pressure on the venous system, this returns the blood to the heart. This pressure harms the blood flow and leads to blood vessels dilatation;
- Unhealthy diet Salt is the main culprit that has the property to retain the water in the body. In addition, foods like sugar, margarine, white bread, alcoholic drinks, fried foods promote the water retention;
- Medications The administration of certain medications, especially those against hypertension (calcium blocker), however, corticosteroids and contraceptives are also associated with the water retention phenomena;
- Varicose veins These dilated veins, pale blue colored, are associated with a slow blood flow.
- Acute thrombophlebitis This inflammation of a vein which is manifested mainly through the pain and swelling of the lower limb favors the installation of edema;
- Kidney failure One of the kidney functions is to ensure the removal of water from the body. If they do not work properly, they cannot eliminate the excess water. Moreover, certain kidney diseases associated with protein deficiency, causes the appearance of water retention;
- Liver diseases – cirrhosis Because the liver is a filter for the blood system, the liver disorders increase the pressure in the venous circulation;
- Heart failure If the left ventricle is not able to pump the blood to the rest of the body, the blood accumulates and overloads the right ventricular. All this blood accumulations causes a strong pressure in the blood vessels and promotes edema.
Seek medical advice
As soon as you notice any change, it is advisable to ask for advice. The water retention in the body is not a normal situation. Some cases can be extremely serious and may even require medical intervention.
Drink a smaller amount of water
Depending on the cause of the swelling, the doctor will recommend to reduce the amount of fluid ingested. In this category are especially water, juices, soups, coffee, alcohol etc. In addition, the consumption of foods that contain lots of water should be limited (cucumbers, cherries, melons, etc.).
Your doctor can prescribe certain diuretics – drugs that act on the kidneys to increase the elimination of water and salt through urine.