Water retention, often referred to as edema is a condition in which the body retains water excessively. As a result, water accumulates in various parts, particularly in the ankles and the feet. The swelling caused by unwanted fluid buildup can also affect the hands and the face. Excess weight gain is often associated with edema.
Change in Diet
Patients suffering from edema are often advised to reduce salt intake. Having more sodium than required in the diet can cause the body to retain excess fluids. So, it is essential to eliminate the following foods as they contain a high amount of sodium.
- Canned Soups
- Salted Chips
- Fast Foods
- Condiments (barbecue sauce, soy sauce, butter)
Have Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin A and vitamin C can also help to eliminate excess water from the kidneys by flushing out the waste. Another way to remove the excess amount of fluid from the body is to drink herbal tea before the menstrual cycle. The parsley and the uva-ursi tea are indeed beneficial to improve this condition. These herbal teas are easily available at various health food stores. Fluids such as green tea, lemon and cranberry juice taken in moderate amounts can also help to eliminate excess fluids.
Drink Adequate Water
Suffering from edema does not mean that water intake should be stopped. In fact, consuming sufficient water (7-8 glasses of water per day) will allow the body to remove water and salt more efficiently through the kidneys. Addition of lemon to the water from time to time is also helpful to release excess fluid.
What to Avoid
Avoid soft drinks as they contain salt. Certain substances such as caffeine, wine, beer, and alcohol are known to dehydrate the body and reduce the kidneys' ability to function properly. Hence, it is better not to include these substances in the diet.
Increase Fiber Intake
High-fiber foods enable the body to remove the toxins including salt and unwanted water. Fresh vegetables and fruits come in the list of high fiber foods. Including high fiber cereal, multi-grain and oatmeal in the diet can provide relief from water retention.
Daily exercise for 40-60 minutes plays a very important role to flush of excess fluids. Activities like running, biking, walking and aerobics flush out salt effectively from the body in the form of sweat. Swimming also helps to regulate salt content in our body, thereby decreasing water retention. These physical activities also help to increase urine flow, thereby causing reduction in body fluids.
In case, excess fluid accumulation is due to an underlying condition such as high blood pressure, the doctor may recommend diuretics (water pill). However, diuretic drugs, taken regularly can worsen edema. So, consultation with a qualified doctor is important as far as deciding the medication for treatment is concerned. In most cases, people suffer from mild edema which can be easily cured with a modification in the diet.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.