Water retention is a common issue that many of us experience at one point of another due to eating different types of foods. Usually, it passes out of the system within a few hours, and we are back to feeling healthy. In other cases, if it stays in the body and you noticed that your legs, ankles, and feet continually swelling up it may be an initial indicator of a more serious health condition, such as edema.
When blood plasma, which mainly consists of water, leaks into nearby tissue it’s usually caused by too much pressure on the veins that force them to leak. This is what edema is. In more severe cases, fluid leaks into the abdomen and lungs which are typically caused by liver, kidney and heart diseases. Most people will notice an uneven fluid build up on their ankles, feet, and legs, As far as how severe and how long the swelling lasts will depend on the condition that is causing the retention in the first place.
A more particular type of water retention is referred to as peripheral edema. This is when the fluid build up is mainly contained to the hands and lower legs. This is usually caused by hormonal changes within our bodies. Situations that change these hormone levels are things like standing or sitting for an extended period, eating salty foods and drink, pregnancy, and menstruation. More serious causes include venous insufficiency. This is where the valves in the deep veins of the legs stop the blood from reaching the heart properly. This will allow for fluid pool build ups in the leg and feet.
In most cases of fluid retention the swelling will subside after a couple of days. If you start to feel short of breath, it is an initial indicator that is can cause a life-threatening condition, and you should seek medical help immediately. These conditions include thyroid disease, heart failure, and kidney failure. For example, when the heart can’t pump blood because it has become too weak, fluid will start to build up in the lungs, legs, and abdomen. When the fluid enters the lungs and begins to accumulate, you will experience symptoms like shortness of breath. This will warn you of the condition that is occurring.
How Do I Get Rid Of Excess Fluid?
The first way to treat fluid retention is by reducing your sodium intake. In a recent study done by the May Clinic, it notes that the average citizen intakes more than twice the recommended daily intake of sodium. For those that are at a higher risk of edema, it’s recommended that you restrict your fluid intake. Also, you should exercise more. This means not standing or sitting for extended periods of time, as this could allow buildup edema to occur. Your doctor may prescribe a diuretic to help reduce the swelling.
The trick to treating your excess fluid retention is by understanding the underlying cause first. This will allow you the capability of limiting the cause to your body. Also, your doctor can work with you to create a more balanced diet if that is the source, and they can prescribe the necessary medication to help reduce water buildup.