Have you felt like you have added few grams or kilograms recently, though you are eating and working out as usual? Or have you had bloated feeling in your tummy, legs, feet or face? While there can be a number of reasons behind this like thyroid malfunction, water retention can be a reason too. Some experience water retention with swelling of feet, legs and face. For some, the symptoms are not noticeable but a gain in weight is seen. There can be a number of reasons for water retention like intake of too much salt, premenstrual hormonal change, obstruction in lymphatic system or improper diet and hydration.
How to lose the water retention?
- Increased salt intake: Taking too much salt can make the sodium retain in the system. Sodium is important for regulation of water level in the cells and maintaining proper muscle function. Our body needs 180 to 1, 500 milligram of sodium per day. Intake of more than the recommended value can cause water retention and several other problems.
What to do: Reducing the intake of salt will help relieve the water stored in the body. Too much of sodium causes the cells to hold water making the cells stretch, leading to swelling or bloating.
- Premenstrual hormonal change: While the reasons for water retention before and during periods is not clear, PMS water retention is said to be due to hormonal changes and lack of vitamins. You might experience a feeling of heaviness or swelling in your feet, legs and tummy as early as 2 weeks before the start of your period.
What to do: It is advised to follow a healthy diet that includes green leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts. It is best to forego those coffees and reduce the intake of salt. Walking and mild physical activity is said to provide relief from these symptoms.
- Obstruction in lymphatic system: Sitting or standing for long hours can cause obstruction of blood flow in the lymphatic system. This causes the cells to swell in turn causing the legs and feet to swell.
What to do: If your work involves sitting in front of a system for hours together, it is advisable that you take 5 minute walks every couple of hours. It is also good to put your feet up to keep the legs from swelling up. If you stand for long hours, take time to sit down and do stretch exercises.
- Improper diet: Eating less or eating more can cause water retention. If you are dieting and not following a healthy diet, lack of protein and vitamins can cause water retention. Taking too much of carbohydrates can also cause bloating.
What to do: Include fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, eggs, chicken and fish in your diet.
- Improper water intake: Water retention can be due to the intake of less amount of water. When you drink less water, your body makes up for the loss by retaining some water in your body.
What to do: Ironically, to rid water retention you will have to increase your water intake. For an adult, the ideal amount of water is a minimum of 3 litres per day. Drinking water makes the body to lose the retained water.