So, I have more of weight loss clients. And I had a LARGE number of people with persistent bloating issues.
This makes me go to their daily lifestyle and certain nutrients intake to bring out the solution”
The solution was related to their symptoms toward water retention.
What is water retention?
Water retention is one of the most common problems found in men and women and is a recurring health problem if not treated well. When the body fails to eliminate excess water, and starts retaining more water than required, it leads to oedema or water retention. It is also known as fluid retention.
Water retention is often temporary and is easily treated, however, it can sometimes be an indication of a serious medical condition.
Signs of Water Retention
So how does one recognize water retention in the body? Symptoms of water retention can include:
•bloating, especially in the abdominal area
•swelling of extremities like swollen legs, feet, and ankles
•puffiness of the abdomen, face, and hips
•weight fluctuations or unexplained weight gain over a short period of time
• indentations in the skin, similar to what you see on your fingers when you’ve been in the bath or shower a long time
• feeling heavier than normal, less active
Causes of Water Retention
A number of factors can cause water retention, including:
•Sedentary lifestyle: Standing or Sitting too long periods of time causes fluids to pool in the legs, thus increasing water retention. As Gravity keeps blood in your lower extremities. It’s important to get up and move around often to keep blood circulating.
•Weather Change: Hot weather can also lead to fluid retention because the body is less efficient at removing fluid from the body.
•Women Hormonal changes: Because of varying hormone levels. Menopausal and premenstrual oedema is caused by the effect of hormones on fluid balance. The hormonal changes for women before the menstrual period also cause retention and may result in symptoms such as breast tenderness and menstrual changes.
•Too Much Sodium: You may get too much sodium by using a lot of table salt or ingesting processed foods and soft drinks.
•Medical Condition: Some medications have water retention as a side effect. When an area of the body is not functioning properly, involving organs such as the liver, heart, or kidneys the body tends to retain fluid in that area of the body. The body becomes unable to eliminate fluid properly. Certain medications can cause water retention as well, especially high blood pressure and steroid medications.
•Dietary Deficiencies: Water retention is also linked to protein deficiency, iron, and high requirement for vitamins and minerals intake. There is a specific kind of diet that is recommended for water retention which forces the body to eliminate excess fluid.
•Quick Weight Loss: When you restrict energy intake suddenly in order to lose weight, the body is forced to store carbohydrates and break down protein in the muscles. Because both protein and carbohydrates hold water in their cells, a loss of these nutrients results in water loss during a rapid weight loss diet. People who lose weight quickly often regain weight within a few weeks because the body is replenishing itself with water.
•Weak Heart: A weak heart that can’t pump blood well can cause the body to retain water.
Simple Ways to Reduce Water Retention
1. Increasing potassium intake: Eating food high in potassium is recommended rather than taking potassium supplements. Foods such as orange, watermelon, apricot, pomegranate, papaya, mango, banana, avocado, tomato contain nutrients that help prevent blood vessels from leaking fluid in the tissue spaces and reduce water retention by increasing the production of urine and decreasing the amount of sodium in your body.
2.Decrease sodium intake: Sodium binds to water in the body and helps maintain the balance of fluids both inside and outside of cells. Reducing the consumption of high sodium foods is important because too much sodium in the blood can affect the tissues causing them to retain water.
3. Increasing Magnesium intake: Being an important mineral, increasing your magnesium intake may help reduce water retention. Good natural sources include nuts, whole grains, dark chocolate and leafy green vegetables.
4. Consume Diuretic foods: Diuretics ( sometimes tagged as water pills ) makes one urinate more in order to help in the removal of fluid, help the body to get rid of water and sodium. Certain foods and herbs can act as diuretics like lemon juice, Cranberry juice, dandelion leaf extract, horsetail herb, parsley, Hibiscus, garlic, fennel, Nettle and Caffeine,
5. Regular movement is also necessary: Any form of exercise increases sweat, which means you will lose water, as it actually aids in the widening of the blood vessels. During exercise, your body also shifts a lot of water into your muscles.
6. Avoid Refined Carbs: Eating refined carbs can increase insulin levels in your body, which, in turn, increases the reabsorption of sodium in the kidneys, leading to a higher fluid volume.
7. Eat your protein: Protein attracts water and keeps your body balanced. A special protein called albumin keeps fluid in the bloodstream and prevents it from leaking out and causing swelling.
8. Drink More Water: Interestingly, being well-hydrated can actually reduce water retention. Drink 8-12 glasses of fluids (water, fruit juices, milk). Dehydration or over-hydration can lead to water retention. Make sure to drink balanced amounts of water each day.
Some simple dietary and lifestyle changes may help reduce water retention.
However, if water retention persists or causes a lot of problems in your life, then you may want to see a nutritionist as for a healthy diet which is key to prevent water retention.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar