Water Retention Symptoms & Causes

As it relates to the human body, water retention is the accumulation of excessive fluid stored in the tissues circulatory system. There are many reasons for the body to retain excess water. Although some water retention causes may be minor, in some cases it can be a symptom of a serious health problem. Learn about water retention symptoms, causes and treatments to keep your body as healthy as possible.

Water Retention and PMS

Water weight gain is of the leading water retention symptoms of Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women of childbearing age. For women who experience this condition, symptoms include bloating (view our page on how to get rid of bloating) and a feeling of heaviness starting the week before menstruation begins. Ongoing research for the causes of this condition points to hormone changes in women as its major cause. To relieve water retention symptoms it is recommended that women participate in physical activity, limit salt intake and eat a diet rich in healthy foods. You might want to read more about weight loss after pregnancy.

Causes of Edema and Water Retention

Water Retention Symptoms & CausesAnother word for the retention of water is edema. Edema is visible water retention that usually involves the feet and legs. When edema is present, water retention causes leakage of extra fluid that settles in between tissues in the body. People who suffer from inflammation in the veins of the legs or varicose veins are susceptible to edema in the ankles and feet.  Pregnant women also frequently develop edema due to poor circulation in the legs during pregnancy.

Water Retention Symptoms Caused by Medical Conditions

Several possible medical conditions can contribute to underlying water retention causes. Seek medical attention if sudden or persistent water retention occurs, especially if you have been diagnosed with conditions such as:

  • Heart, liver or kidney disease. Excessive fluid in the body can place severe strain on vital organs. A diuretic may be necessary to help the body expel excess fluid.
  • Thyroid malfunction. A doctor will test for problems with the thyroid which can cause water retention symptoms and provide treatment.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnant women should advise their doctor if they have swelling in the legs or feet.

Home Remedies for Water Retention Symptoms

Making lifestyle changes may provide some relief of the symptoms of water retention, which include:

  • Drinking adequate water. To protect itself against dehydration the body holds on to fluids and produces less urine if you do not get enough water.
  • Limiting excessive salt in the diet. Salt causes the body to act like a sponge that holds fluid.
  • Elevating the legs and feet frequently throughout the day will help to bring down the swelling caused by extra fluid in the body.
  • Herbal teas, foods high in fiber and certain vitamins have been known to provide natural edema relief.

For more information you might want to consult our how to lose water weight page.

Other Treatments for Water Retention

Rather than self diagnose, it is best to get a physical examination if you are retaining fluids without a reasonable explanation, such as menstruation. A medical professional can provide advice about water retention causes of each individual. Some doctors put patients on a specific diet regimen to help eliminate excess fluid or prescribe safe and effective diuretic medication. Because water retention can be serious, it is best to err on the side of caution and get assessment and treatment to eliminate its symptoms.