Water retention or otherwise known as edema is a health condition accompanied with swellings in the feet, ankles, legs, and hands, which occur due to buildup of fluids in the cavities, circulatory system, and the tissues.
This is a common condition in cases of pregnancy, menopause, the use of contraceptive pills or pill that have in their content estrogen, medications such as vasodilators and NSAIDs, burns, physical inactivity, and poor diet.
What is their root cause will determine the symptoms which will steadily develop, however it can be specified by undergoing blood and urine tests, liver function tests, heart function tests, or X-ray.
Edema is not a severe health condition, but in some cases it can become a serious health risk if it results from kidney and liver disease, diabetes, and heart failure.
It is a common condition affecting almost 4.4 million Americans. For that reason, it is of vital importance to determine the root cause and to find the proper way to treat it.
Main Causes for Water Retention:
- Excess Use of Sodium
When the body intakes excessively sodium-rich foods, then edema can easily appear due to the fact that the body will start to use the reserves of water it has. Therefore, try to avoid foods high in sodium, and instead of them use Celtic and Himalayan salt.
Sodium is not only excessively present in table salt, it is found also in foods like condiments, all processed foods, processed meat, and canned vegetables.
- Potassium Shortage
Lack of potassium significantly affects the function of cells, tissues, and body organs. It takes key role in maintaining water balance, therefore low levels of potassium can lead to water retention and issues such as cramps (muscles cramps) and weight gain.
Potassium can lower sodium levels in the body thus being capable to reverse edema. You can find potassium content in fruits, particularly in watermelon, honey melon, and rock melon.
There are also various plants which have the ability to reduce edema, including garlic, corn silk, nettle, fennel, dandelion, parsley, horsetail, and hibiscus. All these plants incorporate potent diuretic properties.
If the body is not adequately hydrated, it starts to retain water, thus causing swellings in the ankles, hands, legs, and feet. In order to keep your body well hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid the consumption of coffee and fizzy drinks.
- Lack of Vitamin B6
It is a vital vitamin in many processes related to body water balance, and because of that if the body is short of it may lead to the occurrence of edema. According to the Journal of Caring Sciences, which released a study on women with premenstrual syndrome who took this vitamin daily, the results were great, many women reported improvements when taking this vitamin.
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin; therefore you should consume it through bananas, potatoes, chicken, turkey, tuna, lean beef, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, pistachio and nuts.
- Magnesium Shortage
Magnesium low levels in the body can impede the adequate function of various essential bodily systems, thereby leading to edema. According to a related research, it was discovered that the intake of 200 milligrams of magnesium on daily basis might reduce edema in women with PMS symptoms.
Therefore consume foods high in magnesium like spinach, whole grains, nuts, dark chocolate, and avocados; or you can go for the magnesium supplements
- Excessive Consumption of Processed Foods
All processed foods have plenty of sodium and sugar in their content, and also are packed with lots of toxic chemicals which overwork the liver and kidneys, and in that way increasing the risk of edema.
Aside the fact that these foods are loaded with sugar they are also high in artificial sweeteners, thus leading to insulin and blood sugar spikes.