Water retention – or fluid build-up in your body – happens to everyone. Here are some proven ways to reduce it.
Ever had one of those days when you feel sluggish, your rings are tight and your heels somehow don’t fit? You could be suffering from water retention.
What Is It
Water retention refers to the situation when excess fluids build up inside the body. The medical term is ‘oedema’ and it either occurs all over your body (generalised oedema) or only in particular areas (localised oedema). It’s not unusual for women to experience it before they get their period or during pregnancy.
Why Does It Happen
In most cases, there is no need to worry if you have water retention, especially if the swelling is mild. Some medications can also encourage water retention, such as birth control pills and blood pressure medicine.
However, it can sometimes be a symptom of something more serious, like kidney disease or heart failure. If you find that you’re suddenly experiencing swelling and bloating, see your doctor immediately. But if you’re getting water retention with no serious health issues as its source, you can try to reduce it by yourself.
How To Reduce Water Retention
Drink More Water
It doesn’t sound sensible but drinking water actually does help with water retention. This is because, when you are well hydrated, your body doesn’t need to keep any excess water. One reason your body retains extra water is because it doesn’t know when it’s going to get more of it. Also avoid dehydrating drinks such as coffee, tea and alcohol.
Cut Down On Salt
When your body has a high level of sodium, your kidneys will hold on to any excess water, so that it dilutes the amount of sodium. The easiest way to reduce your sodium intake is to take processed foods and cured meats out of your daily diet.
Eat More Bananas
This fruit is excellent as it is rich in potassium, which eliminates water retention by helping to flush sodium out of your body. It also has a high level of vitamin B6, which has been proven to be especially helpful in reducing water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome. Other foods rich in this vitamin include potatoes and walnuts.
Put Your Feet Up
We mean this literally – when your feet are elevated, it helps to reduce the build-up of fluid in some parts of your body, especially your legs. Another way to do this is by moving around often so get walking as much as you can.
A version of this article first appeared on www.herworld.com.