Water retention refers to excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues which leads to swelling and puffiness. It generally occurs in the feet, hands, ankles and legs, but can affect other parts of the body as well. It can be caused by factors like high sodium intake, poor circulation, lack of exercise, insect bite, surgery, malnutrition, venous insufficiency, stress, pregnancy, menstruation, hot weather, allergies, high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney problems, chronic lung disease, liver disease, thyroid disorders, sedentary lifestyle, certain medications and oral contraceptives.
Common signs and symptoms of water retention include swelling, puffiness, stiff joints, weight gain, increased pulse rate, bloated feeling, stretched or shiny skin and dimpling of the skin after being pressed for a few seconds. Water retention is not harmful but it can be a sign of an underlying condition. Observe these simple lifestyle changes and follow easy home remedies to get some relief from the symptoms.
- Dandelion has a diuretic effect which makes it a great solution for removing excess water from the body. It is also loaded with potassium, which helps balance sodium levels in the body. Being rich in magnesium, it is good for relieving pre-menstrual bloating. Steep one teaspoon of dried dandelion herb in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and drink this tea up to three times a day.
- Barley. Take 3 tablespoons of barley in a cup and fill it with water. Let it remain immersed in water overnight. Strain the solution in the morning and drink. Again soak 3 tablespoons of barley in day time. Strain the solution and drink before sleeping. Repeat twice a week till you get rid of water retention.
- Exercise, yoga and other physical activities such as swimming and jogging can help prevent water retention as well as reduce the intensity of symptoms since water retention is most common in those living sedentary lifestyle. For water retention in the lower limbs, soak the feet in warm water for about 10 minutes, then soak in cold water for about 30 seconds. Opt for a cold compress to alleviate swelling on the feet due to pregnancy. For water retention in the hands or arms, rest the arms above the level of heart for about 20 minutes, twice a day.
- Eat Yogurt. Yogurt has high amounts of protein and many other nutrients. Since one of the main causes of water retention is a lack of protein, increasing the amount of protein your diet can help relieve the water retention problem. Yogurt has high levels of potassium and protein; hence it’s an excellent home remedy for water retention. If you don’t have yogurt at home, other good sources of protein include cottage cheese, fish, milk and tofu.
- Parsley tea. Prepare parsley tea by putting two teaspoons of dried parsley leaves in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink it up to three times a day. You can also drink a mixture of fresh parsley juice and lemon juice.
- Cranberry Juice. This juice accelerates the production of urine in the organism and is high in calcium, potassium, and magnesium.