Doctors, health care professionals, and nutritionists often advise that people should drink more water. That’s a good thing to do, but sometimes you find that what your body puts out isn’t anywhere near the amount of water that you drank. If you notice this problem, you may be retaining water.
For most people, water retention is a temporary problem. For others, it can be far more. Swollen ankles or fingers are signs of water retention. You may find that your rings are hard to get on or off. Your abdomen may feel unusually full. If you suspect you may be retaining fluid, gently and steadily press with your thumb on the calf of your leg. If, when you release, a permanent indent is left, you are probably suffering from water retention, also known as edema.
If the water retention doesn’t go away after a day or so, be sure to see your doctor to have it checked out. Changes in temperature and fluctuations in hormones are often the culprits. Edema may be the sign of something more serious, though. For the non-serious issues, here are six ways to help reduce your water retention and return to normal.
1. Minimize your salt intake: Since eating too much salt may cause edema, according to the Mayo Clinic, cutting back your salt intake will help your body shed the extra fluid and stop retaining water.
2. Drink more water: As strange as it sounds, not drinking enough water can be a cause of water retention. Your body thinks it’s being forced to do without, so it saves up what it has. Legion says to drink more water.
3. Take vitamins and minerals: Medical News Today recommends eating foods that contain more magnesium and vitamin B6, including bananas, walnuts, and potatoes.
4. Exercise regularly: The New York Times reminds people that a lack of activity keeps the blood from flowing well, which makes it difficult to remove extra fluids from the extremities. By exercising regularly, you ensure your blood is able to remove fluids properly.
5. Take a diuretic: The Mayo Clinic recommends using a diuretic to help your body get rid of the excess fluid. You can use fruits and vegetables to make a natural diuretic. LIVESTRONG lists citrus fruits, pineapple, spinach, and kale as some great natural diuretics.
6. Use compression socks: Since the fluid often settles in your extremities, WebMD suggests using compression socks. The pressure from the socks will help keep the fluid from settling in your feet and legs so your blood can circulate more easily.
You don’t have to settle with an uncomfortable, bloated feeling. Fight back against edema with natural means.