There is a condition when fluids accumulate in the tissues and cavities, as well as in the circulatory system. It’s called edema, or better known as water retention. As a result, your ankles, feet, hands and legs might swell.
Women are more prone to suffer from it, in the times before her period or while they’re pregnant. Also, people who don’t exercise might get it, as well as people who are on medications and not able to move a lot. You can also get it during a long flight.
Although most of the time water retention is not lethal, it can be an indicator for some dangerous conditions, like kidney disease or heart failure. However, if you don’t have any of these conditions, you can treat it and decrease its swelling.
This article covers the causes of water retention. If you know what causes it, you can also prevent it from happening.
1. Too much Sodium intake.
Eating plenty of salt, without the consumption of lots of water along with it can cause your body to activate its “reverse mode”, so it will try to retain the water. 1 cell can expand for up to 20 times its original size. There are also other products that contain a big amount of sodium and it’s found not only in salt, but in some condiments and processed meat as well. Canned vegetables might also contain sodium. However, Celtic or Himalayan sea salt can have an opposite effect of normal salt, thus reducing the harm that is done by it.
2. Magnesium Deficiency.
If you don’t intake enough magnesium, you can get edema. Magnesium is a crucial part of many body functions as well, so if you have magnesium deficiency you will have water retention problems. Some studies have shown that just 200mg of magnesium a day might reduce the water retention in women. So, you should always take products and foods that contain plenty of magnesium, or you can buy a magnesium supplement from your local pharmacy. Some of the foods that are naturally rich in magnesium are dark green vegetables, nuts, spinach, dark chocolate, dried fruits, avocados, yogurt, peas and more.
3. Deficiency in vitamin B6.
B6 is a vitamin that controls the water balance in your body. When your body doesn’t intake enough of it, it might lead to water retention. The Journal of Caring Sciences conducted a study that showed how women with premenstrual water retention had a big relief thanks to this vitamin. If you want to increase the vitamin B6 in your body, it’s best to consume whole foods. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin B6 are: chicken, tuna, beef, turkey, bananas, pistachio nuts, dried fruit and more.
4. Potassium deficiency.
This mineral plays a big role in the organ functions of your body, as well as the cells and tissues. If you want a normal balance of the water in your body, you must consume enough of this electrolyte. Again, salt can be your enemy, since eating too much of it can lower your potassium levels. Not only water retention, but potassium deficiency may cause some other conditions like cramps, muscle spasms and weight gain. Most fruits contain it, but the best for consumption are watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew melon.
5. Water deficiency.
If you don’t intake enough water, your body tries to retain the body, thus causing edema. You should always be careful not to dehydrate, and remember to always consume lots of water and juice (which are rich in potassium). You should also avoid coffee and soda drinks, since they dehydrate the cells.
6. Consuming too much processed food.
Processed foods are rich in sodium and sugar, but they also have some additives that are artificial and can act as toxins. This can cause problems with your liver and kidneys. Your insulin and blood sugar will also be increased by consuming foods rich in sugar, especially artificial sweeteners. Try to reduce these foods’ consumption, as well as exercise regularly.
There are also some herbs that might help you prevent or treat water retention. Some of them are: Garlic, Fennel, Corn silk, Nettle, Parsley, Hibiscus, Dandelion and Horsetail.
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Source: Your Healthy Page