The fluid retention – or edema – can happen to anyone. It develops when excess fluid accumulates in the tissues, causing swelling. And although edema sounds like a disease, it is actually a symptom! Fortunately, short-term fluid retention is not life threatening. It can even be expected to occur after suffering a minor injury. But what about long-term edema? This could point to a more serious and serious problem. To be prepared, learn about the causes, symptoms and how to treat it naturally.
What Causes Fluid Retention?
The reasons behind fluid retention vary in type and severity. Possible causes include:
- Sitting or standing for a long time
- Some deficiencies of minerals or vitamins
- Some medications
- Hormonal changes (menstruation, pregnancy)
- Infection or injury (such as a bruise)
- Allergies (food, insects)
- High sodium intake
- High altitude or heat exposure
- Lymphedema (blocked lymphatic channels)
- Kidney, heart, liver and thyroid disease
- Brain tumor
- Head injury
Symptoms of Fluid Retention:
- Swollen limbs
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing up blood
- Muscle pains
- Changes in mental state
The legs, ankles and feet are the most commonly affected. Frequently, swollen limbs appear with pain, redness and heat. Wearing jewelry and clothing can make you feel tight and uncomfortable. Press gently on the swelling. If you leave a dent, fluid retention is active.
How to Get Rid of Fluid Retention?
1. Move Regularly:
Do you sit or stand up all day at work? Occasionally, walk and stretch to prevent fluid buildup. The same goes for long flights, concerts and even bed rest. Staying in one position for too long increases the risk.
A massage can help the body reabsorb the fluid. But don’t do any massage. Make sure your therapist has experience with swelling and edema.
3. Elevation of the Legs:
Is your lower half swollen? At bedtime, place your legs on a pillow or two. This will redirect the fluid in the other direction.
4. Wear Support Stockings:
This is another non-invasive and easy treatment for swollen legs. You can find support stockings at any pharmacy. In fact, people who are standing at work often use them.
“If another part of the body is swollen, wear compression bandages or pressure sleeves”.
5. Decrease Sodium Intake:
Sodium is a mineral that controls fluid balance. High levels `attract ‘water, which causes retention. Reducing sodium is a smart decision. Unfortunately, the average person consumes 3,400 milligrams of sodium, almost double the recommended 1,500. About 75 percent comes from processed and packaged foods, so do your best to avoid them.
6. Eat Diuretic Fruits and Vegetables:
Eat diuretic vegetables such as beets, green beans, squash, onions, leeks, garlic and parsley. Diuretic fruits include grapes, pineapple and watermelon. The more you urinate, the more fluid will leave your body. If you are prescribed diuretics, ask your doctor about these foods. They can interact and cause problems.
7. Eliminate Food Allergens:
Swelling is an important symptom of food allergies. Avoid suspicious allergens and get tested if necessary. Always read labels and check with restaurant waiters. Long-term edema should not be ignored. It is a sign of a bigger problem! Visit a doctor and let him know when it started, in addition to any other symptoms.