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Water Retention – Symptoms, Causes, And Remedies + Diet Tips

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Water Retention – Symptoms, Causes, And Remedies + Diet Tips September 11, 2018

Have you put on an unusual amount of weight recently? Press your skin a little. Do you see an indentation? If yes, that extra weight is most probably all water. Irrespective of what triggered the retention of water in your body, you need to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Why, you may ask? Because water retention can cause unwanted weight gain and also lead to other health complications if left untreated for too long. These are enough reasons for you to begin looking for treatment options. You don’t have to look anywhere else – as this article lists some of the best home remedies and diet and prevention tips that can help in curing water retention easily. Read on to know more.

Table Of Contents

What is Water Retention?

Water retention is a health issue that occurs due to an imbalance in your hydration levels. This may cause your body to hang on to the remnant water, making you feel heavier and less active than usual. This can occur on a daily basis and may be characterized by the symptoms listed below.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Water Retention

The signs of water retention may include:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Swelling of the legs, feet, and ankles
  • Puffiness in your abdomen, face, and hips
  • Stiffness in the joints
  • Fluctuations in your weight
  • Indented fingers – similar to how they look after a long shower

Water retention can result from a range of factors and underlying conditions that alter the normal functioning of your body. Here is a brief look at its causes and risk factors.

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Causes Of And Risk Factors For Water Retention

Some of the most common causes of water retention are:

  • Traveling by flight – Sitting for too long and changes in the cabin pressure can cause your body to retain water.
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Menstruation (Periods)
  • An increase in sodium (salt) intake
  • A weak heart that doesn’t pump blood properly
  • Medical conditions like deep vein thrombosis
  • Pregnancy

Factors that may contribute to increasing your risk of developing water retention include:

  • Standing or sitting for a long period
  • Medications like painkillers, antidepressants, medicines for blood pressure, etc.
  • Medical treatments like chemotherapy
  • Genetics – A family history of the condition
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Smoking

Your genes, lifestyle, and certain underlying medical conditions can contribute to the development of this condition. Hence, if you have gained a few unwanted pounds due to this medical issue, it is time you take some measures to stop it. Here are some natural and effective home remedies that will help you combat water retention.

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How To Get Rid Of Water Retention Naturally

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Garlic
  3. Vitamins
  4. Ginger
  5. Dandelion Root
  6. Essential Oils
  7. Epsom Salt
  8. Green Tea
  9. Jeera (Cumin) Water
  10. Oatmeal
  11. Greek Yogurt
  12. Fennel Seeds
  13. Fenugreek Seeds

Natural Remedies To Reduce Water Retention

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well and drink the solution.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this mixture 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar is a rich source of potassium. Consuming it daily increases the potassium levels in your body and flushes out the excess sodium, which helps in getting rid of the excess water in your body (1).

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2. Garlic

2. Garlic Pinit

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You Will Need

1-2 garlic cloves

What You Have To Do
  1. Chew on one to two garlic cloves every morning.
  2. You can also add garlic to your favorite dishes on a regular basis.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily for best effects.

Why This Works

Garlic is a powerful diuretic, and it helps get rid of the excess fluids in your body (2). With regular consumption, you will notice a difference in your condition in just a few days.

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3. Vitamins

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Increasing your intake of specific vitamins can also help in getting rid of water retention. Vitamins C and B6 are known for their diuretic effects (3), (4).

Increase your intake of foods containing these vitamins – like citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, tomato, fish, poultry, eggs, and soya beans. You can also opt for supplements for these vitamins, but only after consulting your doctor.

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4. Ginger

4. Ginger Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Allow the ginger tea to cool for some time before adding a little honey to it.
  5. Enjoy your tea.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink ginger tea at least twice daily.

Why This Works

Ginger increases your metabolism, protects you from infections, and is also a mild diuretic (5). These reasons are enough for you to start adding ginger to your daily diet. It will not only prevent water retention but also aid overall weight loss.

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5. Dandelion Root

5. Dandelion Root Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion root
  • 1 cup of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of dandelion root to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil and simmer for a minute.
  3. Turn off the heat and allow the tea to steep for 2 to 3 hours.
  4. Strain and add a little water to the tea if it is too strong for your liking.
  5. Drink the dandelion root infusion.
How Often You Should Do This

You must drink this tea 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Dandelion root is another natural occurring diuretic that can help in flushing out the excess water from your body (6).

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6. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

a. Lavender Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 10-20 drops of lavender oil
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 10 to 20 drops of water to a tub filled with water.
  2. Soak in the aromatic bath for 15 to 20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

The essential oil extracted from lavender can help you get rid of water retention and also reduce swelling due to its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties (7), (8).

b. Roman Chamomile Oil

b. Roman Chamomile Oil Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 10-20 drops of Roman chamomile oil
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add 10 to 20 drops of Roman chamomile oil to your bathwater.
  2. Soak in the water for 20 to 30 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily or every alternate day.

Why This Works

Roman chamomile is popular for its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties (9). It helps in treating water retention and other symptoms associated with it – like swelling and puffiness.

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7. Epsom Salt

7. Epsom Salt Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to your bathwater.
  2. Soak in the bath for 20 to 30 minutes
How Often You Should Do This

You must take an Epsom salt bath 3 to 4 times a week.

Why This Works

Epsom salt is mainly made up of magnesium. When you soak in the Epsom bath, small amounts of magnesium enter your body. An increase in magnesium levels in the body helps resolve water retention (10).

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8. Green Tea

8. Green Tea Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of steaming hot water.
  2. Allow it to steep for 5 to 7 minutes and strain.
  3. Consume the green tea.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink green tea twice daily for optimum benefits.

Why This Works

Green tea possesses excellent diuretic properties due to the presence of small amounts of caffeine in it (11). Green tea is also anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation and swelling inside your body.

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9. Jeera (Cumin) Water

9. Jeera (Cumin) Water Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 glass of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds to a glass of warm water.
  2. Allow it to steep overnight.
  3. Strain the tea the next morning and consume it.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this daily.

Why This Works

Cumin seeds aid digestion, promote weight loss and reduce water retention due to their diuretic activities (12).

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10. Oatmeal

10. Oatmeal Pinit

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You Will Need

1 bowl of cooked oatmeal

What You Have To Do

Consume a bowl of cooked oatmeal daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Have oatmeal at least once daily.

Why This Works

Oatmeal is a great source of nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium (13). While vitamin B6 is a diuretic, potassium reduces the sodium levels in the body and prevents retention of water (14).

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11. Greek Yogurt

11. Greek Yogurt Pinit

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You Will Need

1 small bowl of plain Greek yogurt

What You Have To Do

Consume a small bowl of plain Greek yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this at least once daily.

Why This Works

Greek yogurt is one of the best remedies to cure water retention. Water retention also occurs due to protein deficiency, and Greek yogurt help settle that issue (15), (16).

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12. Fennel Seeds

12. Fennel Seeds Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of water.
  2. Steep for 7 to 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and consume.
How Often You Should Do This

Drink fennel tea 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Fennel seeds are a traditional remedy used to cure water retention. They help get rid of the excess water in your body as they are high in potassium and have diuretic properties (17), (18).

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13. Fenugreek Seeds

13. Fenugreek Seeds Pinit

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 glass of water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to a glass of drinking water.
  2. Soak the seeds overnight and drink the water the next morning.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Fenugreek seeds are rich in magnesium. Increasing intake of magnesium-rich foods like fenugreek helps prevent fluid retention in the body. It also helps reduce bloating and swelling (19).

In some cases, your diet could be causing the water to accumulate in your body. Hence, it is important to know the foods that trigger this condition so that you can eliminate them from your diet. Also, certain foods can help manage your symptoms. Let us now look at these foods.

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Best Diet For Water Retention

What To Eat

You must consume more diuretic foods like:

  • Cucumbers
  • Cranberries
  • Watermelons
  • Celery
  • Ginger
  • Carrots
  • Lemon
  • Cinnamon

You also need to eliminate a few foods from your diet to prevent further retention of water. They are as follows.

What To Avoid
  • Sodium-rich foods
  • White rice
  • White pasta
  • Pastries
  • Soda
  • Snacks
  • Cereals
  • Junk food
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeinated drinks

Once you follow these diet tips, you will start seeing positive changes in your condition. However, this should be a long-term investment, and you should not quit following it midway.

Let us now look at a few prevention tips that involve making some basic lifestyle changes to combat water retention.

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Prevention Tips

  • Wear compression stockings to prevent fluid accumulation in your legs.
  • Keep your legs elevated to move the water from your lower extremities.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Keep a close eye on your diet and observe what foods trigger water retention.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Practice yoga poses that help in getting rid of excess water from your body like the Mountain Pose, Warrior Pose, Halasana, and Surya Namaskar.

Water retention can leave you feeling heavy and weak. It can also lead to swelling of your leg, which may further lead to other complications, such as deep vein thrombosis. So, before it starts causing other health complications, it is best to get rid of the excess water using the natural procedures and tips discussed in this post.

Hope this article helped you or your close ones achieve relief from symptoms of water retention. Got any more questions? Ask us in the comments section below.

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Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

How can you lose water weight?

Water weight is a result of water retention in your body. The excess water can be easily eliminated by the remedies and diet and prevention tips provided in this post.

What is a natural diuretic for water retention?

There are a number of natural diuretics that can help your body get rid of the excess water. They include watermelons, cucumbers, ginger, green tea, lemons, celery, and dandelion.

What not to eat when you have edema?

If you are suffering from edema that may have surfaced as a result of water retention in your body, you must follow a strict diet to combat your condition. Avoid chocolate, dairy, dried shellfish, pickles, olives, white flour, and sugar to speed up your healing.

Does lemon water help reduce water retention?

Lemon water is mainly made up of water. It helps maintain your hydration levels, which, in turn, can reduce water retention and aid weight loss.

Can sugar cause you to swell?

High sugar levels in the body are closely linked to edema and swelling in different body parts. Although consuming sugar by itself cannot trigger water retention, it can cause oversecretion of insulin, which exhibits sodium-retaining effects. This can cause water retention in the body.

How long does it take for water retention to go away?

Water retention caused by sodium and carbs usually takes just 1 to 3 days to go away. But if the retention is a result of overexerted muscles, it may take longer – almost as long as the muscle takes to finish healing.

References

  1. Diuretic, natriuretic and hypotensive effects produced by Allium sativum (garlic) in anaesthetized dogs” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine
  2. Influence of water and sodium diuresis and furosemide on urinary excretion of vitamin B(6), oxalic acid and vitamin C in chronic renal failure” Mineral and Electrolyte Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine
  3. The diuretic action of vitamin C” The Biochemical Journal, US National Library of Medicine
  4. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine
  5. The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, US National Library of Medicine
  6. [Diuretic activity of the infusion of flowers from Lavandula officinalis]” Reproduction, Nutrition, Development, US National Library of Medicine
  7. Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil” Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciêncis, US National Library of Medicine
  8. Evaluation of Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Citrus latifolia Tanaka Essential Oil and Limonene in Experimental Mouse Models” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine
  9. Magnesium supplementation alleviates premenstrual symptoms of fluid retention” The Journal of Women’s Health, US National Library of Medicine
  10. Health-promoting effects of green tea” Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and Biological Sciences, US National Library of Medicine
  11. Cumin Extract for Symptom Control in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Series” Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases, US National Library of Medicine
  12. Cooked oatmeal consumption is associated with better diet quality, better nutrient intakes, and reduced risk for central adiposity and obesity in children 2–18 years: NHANES 2001–2010” Food & Nutrition Research, US National Library of Medicine
  13. Vitamins With Diuretic Effects” Livestrong
  14. Protein added to a sports drink improves fluid retention” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, US National Library of Medicine
  15. The effects of increased dietary protein yogurt snack in the afternoon on appetite control and eating initiation in healthy women” Nutrition Journal, US National Library of Medicine
  16. Foeniculum vulgare Mill: A Review of Its Botany, Phytochemistry, Pharmacology, Contemporary Application, and Toxicology” BioMed Research International, US National Library of Medicine
  17. Effect of the aqueous extract of Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) on the kidney in experimental PCOS female rats” Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, US National Library of Medicine
  18. Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on inflammatory markers in middle-aged overweight women” Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, US National Library of Medicine
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