Archive of time tested, scientific home remedies for water retention. Cure water retention at home with these easy and effective treatments.
Understanding water retention
Water constitutes up to 70% of total body weight. 50% body fat contains water and 75% of muscle tissues is water. When body starts retaining more water than this, for some or the other reason, it leads to edema (medical parlance for excessive water retention.)
Causes of water retention
Water retention can occur due to any of the following reasons:
- An unbalanced diet and lack of exercise.
- Reaction to some drugs can cause fluid retention too.
- Dehydration: as the body tries to keep the extra water.
- Menopause is often associated with water retention in women
- Diseases like Thyroid, Arthritis and Varicose Veins
- Liver and Kidney disorders
Diet comprising of salt and sugar and diet lacking in potassium, calcium, vitamins, proteins and amino acids of B are the most common causes of edema.
Symptoms of water retention
The most common symptoms of water retention are:
- Swollen face and other body parts, even if one has lost weight
- Swollen wrists, ankles, hands and feet
- Swollen or puffy face
- Swollen eyelids when one gets up in the morning
- Bloated and uncomfortable feeling
17 Home cures for water retention treatment
I) Drink more water to fight water retention:
Ironic as it may seem, excess water in the body is usually a sign that the body is afraid of losing even more water, and thus attempts to hold on as a precautionary measure.
The best way to cure water retention is to drink even more water. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Water intake should be evenly spread over the day. Drinking too much water in a short period of time could lead to intoxication (also called water poisoning or hyper hydration).
Even better is to drink water purified of dehydrating salt or minerals.Drinking more water is the most effective cure for PMS related water retention.
II) Reduce salt intake to cure water retention:
Salt has strong water retention attributes and it clogs water tissue. Salt contributes significantly to water retention. Avoid intake of salt for 2-3 days and you will be surprised how well it cures water retention. Reduce salt intake to as less as 0.5 grams for a few days to get rid of unwanted water from the body. During these days, replace salt with intake of herbs and spices.
III) Reduce sugar intake to cure water retention
Sugar increase general insulin level in the body, which decreases the body’s ability to get rid of sodium (salt). Excessive salt contributes to fluid retention. Thus sugar indirectly results in water retention.
Avoid overly sweet foods such as cookies, cakes, candies, soda and sugary cereals.
IV) Natural diuretic to cure water retention
Diuretic medicines are often prescribed to people suffering from excessive water retention. Natural
diuretics are a safer alternative to these medicines (consult doctor before replacing prescribed medications with natural alternatives).
Cranberry juice is one of the most effective natural diuretic and should be taken in liberal quantities to treat water retention.
Cabbage leafs is the second best natural diuretic. Liberal intake of cabbage leafs (raw) is an effective home remedy for water retention.
Other natural diuretics: Foods like nettle , dandelion, apple cider vinegar, celery, celery seed, green tea, tea leaf, fennel, juniper berries and parsley are very effective natural diuretics.
V) Food rich in Potassium as a home cure for water retention
Potassium deficiency is one of the main causes of water retention in the body. Banana is one of the richest sources of potassium and a liberal intake of banana is a beneficial home cure for water retention.
Other foods rich in potassium include raisins, apricot, blackberries, peaches, and strawberries, spinach, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, apples, oranges, and raspberries
VI) Herbal tea to cure water retention
Herbal teas are effective diuretic and help remove excess water and toxins from the body. Herbal teas made from parsley or tea tree helps eliminate excess water from the body without adverse effects.
VII) Eat foods naturally high in water content
Eat foods that contain lots of water is another way to increase the elimination of water retention. Some foods naturally high in water content include: watermelon, tomatoes, watercress, cucumbers, artichokes, lettuce, asparagus, cabbage, oats,
Brussels sprouts and carrots.
VIII) Exercise to cure water retention
Exercise is a great way to get rid of excess body water. Exercises like walking, running, cycling or playing tennis results in sweating. This turns your entire body into an effective outlet for getting rid of excess water, salt and other toxins. Of course exercise in moderation and do not exercise, if you are pregnant.
IX) Garlic to address water retention
Garlic needs a special mention as one of the most effective natural diuretic food. Garlic not only helps in getting rid of excess water and toxins from the body, but also contributes to the breakdown of fats. This makes it double effective in combating water retention and associated obesity. A moderate intake of garlic is very effective home cure for water retention.
X) Over the counter diuretic pharmacies
Over the counter diuretic pills can come in handy, if one needs to get rid of excess water real quick.. However, it is important to note that this is not desired or a permanent cure for water retention.
OTC diuretic-counter supplement not only wash away water and toxins but also flush vital minerals and nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body. OTC drugs also contain caffeine which can cause sensitivity and pain in the chest. It can also make you very irritable.
Thus it is important that OTC diuretic pills should not be taken for more than a few days. Excessive use of OTC diuretics is also known to cause diarrhea. Herbal
diuretic pills can be safer choice in most of the cases.
XI) Sauna bath to get rid of excess water and toxins
Sauna bath is another way to sweat out excess water and toxins from the body. Sauna also helps in relaxing the body. Again, this should not become a regular practice as there are better ways to get rid of excess water from the body.
XII) Apply Ice Packs to cure water retention
Ice packs are effective in curing water retention. This can be prepared by placing ice cubes in a sealed plastic bag. The bag should be wrapped a thin cloth and tied on the swollen areas till it is bearable. People with diabetes should avoid ice bath and look for other remedies for water retention.
XIII) Body wrapping to address water retention
Getting a body wrap treatment in a beauty salon is another fast way to loose excess water. This involves wrapping the body in bandages soaked in special mineral solution for an hour or so. Again this is a temporary solution to loose excess body water and is not a long term remedy.
XIV) Say no to alcohol to cure water retention
Alcohol though an initial diuretic, turns into a potent cause of dehydration. This forces the body to retain even more water. Replace alcohol intake it herbal teas or green tea, which are known diuretics without negative side effects.
XV) Avoid prescription drugs that cause water retention
Drugs like birth control pills and steroids can cause water retention. Talk to your doctor before switching to alternative medications. If avoiding prescription drugs is not possible, try the previous suggestions to combat water retention.
XVI) Vitamin B-6 to cure water retention:
Vitamin B-6 helps breaks down sugar and starches and is very effective in reducing water retention. This is specially effective if water retention is caused by hormone replacement therapy during menopause. Taking liberal amount of Vitamin B-6 (around 200 mg) per day can reduce premenstrual water retention.
Caveat: Excessive intake of Vitamin B6 can be toxic and should be taken only under the supervision of a physician.
XVI) Water retention: When should one consult a doctor ?
Its time to consult a physician, when:
- If swelling in any body part persists for a week
- If your skin develops marks when pressed.
- If you are pregnant and witness swelling of body parts
- If you are diabetic or have some other serious ailment
Water retention can be a signal for serious health problems like heart, kidney, liver or thyroid disorder if it persists for more than a week or if skin develops marks when pressed. Consulting a doctor is
recommended in such cases.
Water retention: when is it normal ?
There are some situations where weight gain from water retention is inevitable and perfectly normal
Pregnancy: Water retention is pretty normal during later stages of pregnancy and in the first few weeks after birth. In such situations, there should be no rush to loose water from the body. However be sure to bring it to the notice of your consulting doctor.
Menstruation and menopause: Water retention is very common in women before or during menstruation. During this period, the extra estrogen produced in the body results in production of aldosterone, a hormone that forces the kidneys to retain water. Water is generally retained in the breasts and abdomen..
Water retention is also seen in women after their menopause as the body undergoes vital hormonal changes during the period.
Steroids & cortisone: People on steroids or cortisone also undergo vital hormonal changes making them prone to water retention. However this is intermittent and is not a great cause of worry.