Published: 03/28/2011 - Updated: 07/23/2017
Author: K. Laura Garcés G
Fluid retention is not a serious condition but it is a sign that warns of certain imbalances or more severe conditions in the body. This disorder is characterized by the accumulation of water (or other liquid substances) in the body, which occurs because blood vessels poured too much fluid in the tissues, and is difficult to remove.
This problem usually occurs usually in women and to treat it is necessary to know well the causes.
Why does fluid retention happen?
The body is constantly balancing the levels and rates of fluid in the body through hormonal movement. When you drink more water than normal, a healthy body removes the liquid remaining in the urine or through sweat.
The problem occurs when the body is unable to remove all liquid required to maintain this balance, and this is known as retention, and there are several causes of it.
Causes of fluid retention:
- Hormonal imbalance.
- Poor feeding, diet and high consumption of salty or spicy foods.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Liver disorders or weakness.
- Renal or cardiac malfunction.
- The use of certain drugs or chemicals can cause fluid retention.
- Lack of protein and certain nutrients.
- Sedentary lifestyle.
- Sometimes, pregnancy and menopause cause fluid retention due to hormonal changes. This swelling is light and is manifested mainly by a slight swelling of the ankles and feet. This problem is known as edema and it is always advisable not to self-medicate and consult with the gynecologist.
- Liver, heart or kidney problems, which make tip the balance and cause tissue fluid accumulation.
Unexplained weight gain. It can be confused with overweight and sometimes the problem is aggravated due to inadequate diets.
- Swollen legs or hands.
- General malaise.
- Weakness and fatigue without apparent cause.
- Can be a sign of hypertension or certain heart disease.
- Can cause cellulite and a considerable volume increase.
- Do not hesitate to visit a doctor if: the swelling is too exaggerated and extended to reach the area of the hands and / or face, you should go immediately to the doctor especially if you are pregnant, as this could be a more serious condition such as preeclampsia, which is also characterized by the presence of edema. You should also see a doctor in case of sudden increase in volume or weight and if the skin pressure on the swollen area is marked for too long. These are usually symptoms of deeper problems such as hypertension, some heart or renal hypertrophy.
Naturally treat fluid retention
It is necessary to identify the cause that is creating so that you can help yourself with more precision. But whatever the reason, the diet should be considered as a key factor for the treatment of this condition.
The diet should consist of eliminating certain foods such as the following:
Not Allowed Foods
- Salt: You should definitely try to eliminate the use of salt, substitute witht herbs, cardamom or seaweed.
- Low the sodium intake which is not only found in table salt, but in meats, cheeses, salted, canned, smoked, baked, cured, purees, sauces, stock cubes, seasoning, salt, soy sauce, cod, alcohol, etc.. (See foods low in sodium)
- Sausages, fried and canned food.
- Spicy foods
- Saturated fats and reduce intake of red meat (see protein intake)
- Cow's milk: Due to its high fat content. Don’t consume light or lactose-free milk because they are chemically modified and only put the body to work more, getting stuck in the intestinal lining preventing the proper disposal of toxic waste and fat. The best thing is to remove and replace dairy with vegetable milks such as almond, rice, etc. Three almonds replace the calcium in a glass of milk.
Foods you should include in your diet:
- Foods rich in potassium, such as beans, wheat germ, nuts, beets, squash and bananas.
- Foods low in sodium, such as oats, rice, potatoes and soybeans.
- Fresh vegetables: help with their fiber to free the veins and arteries from unnecessary waste, as well as give nutrients that strengthen the organs and systems.
- Proper protein consumption: protein is beneficial because after ingestion, the liver produces albumin, a substance necessary for the fluid does not accumulate in tissues. However, avoid red meat, eat more fish.
- Drink plenty of water: the more you drink water the more easily you will expel the excess fluid. You should drink at least 2 liters of water a day, drinking glasses every hour or two, don’t wait to be thirsty. A great cure is to drink a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed while fasting, and don’t eat anything for 20 minutes. This will help to expel waste and excess fluid in your body.
- Diuretic herbs, teas and vegetable to help you: Infusions of parsley, juniper, olive leaves and horsetail
- Vegetable juice: cucumber, celery, carrot, parsley mixed with alfalfa or carrot juice, potato, tomato and artichoke. Combine 2 or 3 of these vegetables. You can also make fresh salads.
- Fruit juices: the banana is one of the most recommended for its high potassium content.
- Unsalted vegetable broth with leeks, fresh asparagus, mushrooms, pumpkins, squash, etc.
Diuretics Food that must be in your diet:
Green tea, watermelon (contains a large percentage of water that stimulates the elimination of fluids and nutrients for good hydration), apple cider vinegar (helps balance the potassium, but don’t abuse it because it is irritating), parsley (use in vegetable juices or on salads), artichokes (excellent diuretic, effectively help the kidneys), blueberries, pineapple, oatmeal (raw) and goji berries.
Tips to avoid, prevent and eliminate fluid retention:
- Avoid at all costs using pharmacy diuretics; these should be taken only by prescription as inappropriate consumption can cause a rebound effect which may end up unbalancing the action of hormones. Remember that the drug can, over time, damage the body natural response, it is always best to try natural treatment which stimulates self-healing capacity of the body, strengthen the defenses and helps the body to self-balance in all systems.
- Do exercise, any exercise where you move the limbs, especially legs, helps to facilitate the work of the kidneys. Walking, swimming, cycling and gymnastics are great exercises for this.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing or tight belts.
- If you are a lot of time sitting, take time to walk every one to two hours, take 10 minutes to stretch your legs or climb stairs.
- If you go to sea, do not hesitate to swim and exercise your legs under the water, whether a swimming pool or the sea.
- Elevate your feet on anti-gravity to stimulate the pumping of fluids to the kidneys.
- Get enough rest: Rest is essential to your overall health; you need to sleep at least eight hours a day and even take a nap after lunch to help relax your body and mind.
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