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Water retention, also known as fluid retention, refers to an excessive accumulation of fluids in the circulatory system, body tissues, or cavities in the body. »- Medical News Today. Our bodies are mainly composed of water. Water is found in our blood, bones, muscles and organs. While it is true that our body needs water to function, it can sometimes contain too much – this accumulation of fluids in our body is called fluid retentionFluid retention manifests physically, making the body appear abnormally swollen.

In most cases, short-term fluid retention itself is not a serious problem, nor does it cause any serious health dilemma. However, long-term fluid retention can produce unsafe effects on the body. Underlying health conditions that can cause fluid retention as a side effect include liver cirrhosis, heart failure, kidney failure, preeclampsia (a dangerous condition related to pregnancy) and premenstrual syndrome. Liquid retention can be the result of several things. Here are the five main reasons why we retain fluids (and suggestions on what to do).

5 Reasons Why Your Body Withdraws Liquids and How to Avoid It?

1. Diet:

Sodium (that is, salt or table salt) is an essential nutrient that fulfills a number of important functions, but we only need small amounts. Too often, the foods we eat contain excessive amounts of salt, which induces fluid retention and weight gain.

Recommendation: First, know the recommended amount of sodium intake: 2,300 milligrams or less per day, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); this may seem like a lot, but it’s just a teaspoon of salt. Second, limit your salt intake using alternatives, such as herbs and spices. Cumin, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, onion, sage and pepper are viable options. Lemon juice, mustard and vinegar can also add some flavor without so much salt.

2. Lifestyle:

“Sitting or standing for a prolonged period causes the body tissue to retain fluid”. 

Having a sedentary and inactive lifestyle can also cause fluid retention. Either scenario produces physical symptoms, including swollen ankles and legs.

Recommendation: It is important to keep the blood circulating throughout the body. If your job requires that you sit at a table all day, use your breaks to get out and move around a bit. Park further away from the building, so you can enjoy a refreshing walk before a long day at work. Climb the stairs instead of using the elevator. Do not be afraid to be creative. If you are inactive, it is important that you first understand the benefits of exercise. You don’t need to train like Jillian Michaels or Gunnar Peterson – try to do 15 to 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise three times a week.

3. Medications:

Many prescription medications list fluid retention as a side effect. Prescription medications known to increase fluid retention include antidepressants, beta blockers, blood pressure medications, chemotherapy medications and over-the-counter NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). It is worth paying special attention to non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, since medications are used daily by millions of people to relieve various types of pain. The most common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin, Excedrin), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).

Recommendation: The decrease in medication requires consultation with a doctor. The reason for medical supervision is withdrawal symptoms that are often experienced when the body adapts to lower amounts of the medication. The doctor’s visit may also be recommended if you notice excessive swelling due to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other medications to relieve pain.

4. Hormones:

It is very common for women to experience severe swelling during perimenopause (early menopause) and menopause – which is often a byproduct of “fluid retention, intestinal gas, decreased bile production, or a combination of the three“. The hormones estrogen and progesterone play a significant role in fluid retention. Fluid retention can occur when estrogen levels are too high or when progesterone levels are too low. The hormonal imbalance is the reason why fluid retention is very common during the premenstrual phase.

Recommendation: First, check your diet well and eliminate or reduce foods that appear to cause bloating and gas. If this does not solve the problem, it may be necessary to consult a dietitian, who will probably test for food allergies and intolerances. In rare cases, hormone replacement therapy or hormonal rebalancing under the guidance of an obstetrician / gynecologist may be necessary.

5. Heart Problems:

Fluid retention of a heart condition may be evident in swelling of the legs and abdomen. Although this is certainly a terrifying proposal, it is important to refrain from drawing hasty conclusions. According to WebMD, some common symptoms of heart failure include dizziness, fatigue, rapid heart rate, weakness and shortness of breath.

Recommendation: Consult a doctor immediately. The risk of heart failure increases the longer the medical intervention is delayed. The attending physician may order one or more tests, including blood tests, a chest x-ray, electrocardiogram (ECG), cardiac computed tomography (CT) and / or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

 

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