About Fluid Retention

A fluid retention but may also be due to a diet with increased sodium values on organic causes, a hormonal changes or hormone disorder. A remedy can be achieved with a change in diet as well as with more exercise and sport. Local topical applications with old home remedies are very helpful. Oral medication is also possible for fluid retention.

What is fluid retention?

According to HEALTHKNOWING.COM, fluid retention is the accumulation of fluid in the body due to insufficient elimination of water. This creates water retention in the tissue with the formation of effusions and edema.


The cause of fluid retention can already be found in the diet. For example, if the food is prepared with a lot of salt or very strongly (spicy) seasoned. If a lot of sugar is consumed, the body produces more insulin, which leads to water retention. With excessive consumption of coffee and tea, water retention is inevitable.

Insufficient water intake makes the body dehydrated, which also leads to fluid retention. Excessive alcohol consumption can also be responsible. If there is a bladder disease, liver weakness or liver disease (e.g. cirrhosis of the liver) or a malfunction of the kidneys or the heart (cardiomyopathy), the cause can be found here because the healthy balance is lost.

An ankle joint with arthritis can be the cause, just like rheumatoid arthritis. If hypothyroidism (thyroid disease) is known, insufficient hormone production may be the cause. A lack of protein can be responsible because the blood does not get enough protein. An extreme lack of exercise should also be taken into account as a causal factor.

A lack of vitamin B1 can lead to localized water retention on the ankles. Those who take medication for diabetes, high blood pressure and depression are also very much at risk. The use of corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also leads to fluid retention.

Often the cause is an existing pregnancy, especially in connection with arterial hypertension (high blood pressure). If water retention occurs during breastfeeding, the hormone prolactin (required for milk production) is responsible. The menopause can also cause fluid retention.

If the venous valves in the legs are weakened, the blood flow back to the heart is insufficient and water is retained. Then there is talk of chronic venous insufficiency. For example, anyone who sits or stands for hours every day is at great risk of fluid retention. Elevated estrogen levels often lead to water retention in men.

Symptoms, ailments & signs

Weight gain that cannot be defined, as well as swollen legs and / or hands, but also palpitations and general malaise are among the first signs of any existing fluid retention. Further signs can be physical weakness and increasing tiredness of unknown origin.

It is not uncommon for phases of high blood pressure or even certain heart diseases to occur. The complexion increasingly shows signs of cellulite. Swelling of the skin, often with a shiny surface, is also observed. Most of the time, dents form that remain visible for up to several minutes. If the swelling (edema) continues to increase, the suspicion of preeclampsia should be ruled out by targeted laboratory tests.

Protein can almost always be found in the urine. The first signs of preclampsia are a severe headache and seeing spots in front of the eyes. Swelling of the face with the formation of bags under the eyes, as well as swollen hands and fingers, and a swollen abdomen are also typical features. In order to exclude the risk of cardiac or renal insufficiency as well as hypertrophy (organ enlargement due to the enlargement of individual cells), the consultation of an experienced specialist is urgently recommended.

In this way, the development of hyperplasia (increased number of cells in an enlarged organ) can be prevented in good time. Even breathing problems are immediately seek treatment. In bodybuilders, the fluid retention can cause the defined muscle shape to be lost.

Diagnosis & course

The diagnosis of fluid retention can be made by ultrasound (also using CT and MRI). If there is fluid retention in the arms and legs, they usually feel heavy at the beginning. The tissue swells and edema and cellulite form. Swelling of the hands and fingers, facial swelling and bags under the eyes are other signs.

Water retention in the abdomen leads to a bloated abdominal wall and not infrequently to gas. If the deposits occur in the lungs, shortness of breath can be observed. Water in the heart leads to palpitations. Exhaustion, tiredness, unexplained weight gain, and physical discomfort are the general signs.


Persistent fluid retention can cause a number of complaints. The typical complications of a disturbed water balance include weight gain and high blood pressure. A chronically increased pulse can result in certain heart diseases and permanently damage the blood vessels.

Further complaints can be physical exhaustion and increasing tiredness. In addition, there is usually a general malaise, which increases as the disease progresses. If the fluid retention is not treated or only insufficiently treated, the general symptoms also intensify and further, sometimes life-threatening diseases of the cardiovascular system occur.

Depending on the underlying disease, the complexion of the skin changes and shows signs of cellulitis. Dents often appear, which increase with pressure and remain visible for a few minutes. The water retention in the tissue can also lead to swelling in the legs and hands. In the long term, edema and effusions can develop, which can become inflamed.

As the disease progresses, fluid eventually also accumulates in the lungs. This can lead to shortness of breath and sudden shortness of breath, among other things. Serious complications are unlikely to occur when treating fluid retention.

When should you go to the doctor?

A doctor should be consulted as soon as there are irregularities in the organism. Unusual swelling, unexplained weight gain, and tightness in the body are all indicators that should be investigated by a health professional. If there is water retention, it is generally advisable for a doctor to examine it.

If the amount of fluid excreted when urinating falls for no reason and over a longer period of time, this observation should be discussed with a doctor. With a constant supply of fluids, it is considered unusual if the amount of urine decreases noticeably without a comprehensible reason such as a strong influence of heat.

If this condition persists for several days, a doctor’s visit is recommended. A changed complexion should be presented to a doctor. If the skin is unusually shiny or dents appear, a doctor’s visit is necessary. If you have persistent or recurring headaches, swollen hands or feet or bags under your eyes, a check-up with a doctor is advisable.

If the waist size increases for no apparent reason or if there are breathing problems, a doctor must be consulted. If the blood pressure rises, the heart starts racing or a sensation of warmth is perceived, this information should be discussed with a doctor. If you have trouble sleeping or having trouble concentrating, you should see a doctor as there is cause for concern.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment is based on a very differentiated diagnosis, which clearly explains the source of the focus, and begins with certain measures in the selection of food. A low-salt diet comes first. It can easily be replaced by herbs but also cardamom and algae. Eating low-sodium foods is also important. Because of this, cheese, red meat, sausage products, smoked foods as well as soy sauce, cod and alcohol must be severely restricted.

Cow’s milk, including chemically modified lactose-free milk, should be completely withdrawn. Vegetarian dairy products made from almonds, rice and soy, however, are very good. In addition, oats and potatoes as well as a lot of vegetables (for example leeks, asparagus, mushrooms, celery, onions, broccoli, olives, artichokes (diuretic) and pumpkin, which “cleans” the veins and arteries.

Adequate hydration in the form of still, low-sodium water (at least two liters) removes harmful toxins from the body. Unsweetened herbal teas, green tea and fresh vegetable juices are also recommended if you have fluid retention in moderation. If the fluid retention is associated with flatulence, then bananas as well as blueberries, pineapples, papaya, strawberries but also blueberry juice and goji berries help. These are also very beneficial because of their diuretic effect.

Moderate sports such as cycling, gymnastics, swimming and training on the horizontal exercise bike and on the leg press support the work of the kidneys. Brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day is very good. If you sit for many hours a day, you should always lift your legs outstretched from time to time. This also works very well under the desk.

Getting enough sleep with your legs slightly elevated is also extremely important. A tried and tested home remedy is to put mustard wraps on the affected areas or rub in apple cider vinegar. Experience has shown that ointments with tiger grass and horse chestnut as well as Bach flowers (for example larch and crab apple) help very well.

Likewise, manual lymph drainage or tecar therapy or draining pressure therapy with massage. Creatinine should not be used as a dietary supplement because it promotes water retention. Oral medication can be administered in mild cases with a thiazide diuretic and in advanced stages with a snare diuretic, which increases the frequency and urine volume. The best of the medicine cabinet are dandelion tablets.

Outlook & forecast

The prospect of a cure for the symptom of fluid retention depends on the underlying disease. Pregnant women often suffer from water retention, which normally disappears completely within the next few months after giving birth.

If the deposits are based on hormonal fluctuations or the administration of medication, the state of health improves as soon as the hormone balance is again in balance or the medication has been discontinued. In the transition phase to menopause in particular, fluid retention occurs in many women, which regresses again in the further course of development.

If a lack of exercise is the cause of water retention, a change in lifestyle is necessary for recovery. With sufficient physical activity or sport, the organism normally begins to remove the stored fluids independently. After a few weeks, clear improvements in the feeling of health can be perceived and with sufficient regular exercise, the patient can be symptom-free within a few months.

If fluid retention is due to insufficient fluid intake, the daily intake must be increased for recovery. If the disease is chronic, the prognosis often deteriorates. Most patients do not expect a cure for organic problems, arthritis, or diabetes. The symptoms that occur are incorporated into the therapy plan with the aim of alleviating the problem.


A low-sodium diet that is prepared with lots of fresh vegetables and protein-rich foods (especially fish and vegetable protein) and supplemented with fresh fruit is an optimal prophylaxis to prevent fluid retention.

Avoiding refined sugar is also good for your health. The fluid intake in the form of low-sodium water should be at least two liters. Sufficient exercise every day and regular exercise strengthens the body as a whole. Raising the legs must be a matter of course for everyone who mainly sits or stands.


With fluid retention, in most cases the affected person has no options for direct follow-up care. However, this is not absolutely necessary, as the disease itself must first and foremost be treated. It is important to ensure that fluid retention is recognized and treated at an early stage so that there are no particular complications.

In most cases, patients with fluid retention depend on a diet low in salt. The salt can be replaced relatively easily with other herbs so that there are no discomforts when ingesting the food. You should also pay attention to low-salt items and foods to alleviate the symptoms.

In many cases, fruits also help to relieve gas and minimize the symptoms of fluid retention. Movement often also helps, whereby the person affected should walk for at least 15 minutes every day. Universally, a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet has a positive effect on the course of this disease.

Life expectancy also mostly remains unchanged. If the symptoms of fluid retention cannot be alleviated by self-help measures, it is advisable to consult a doctor.

You can do that yourself

Fluid retention patients can achieve significant relief of symptoms in everyday life if they change their way of life. Optimizing food intake and taking sufficient exercise will reduce existing symptoms and improve the quality of life.

The consumption of sugar or products that promote the conversion of nutrients into sugar should be reduced. The use of intense spices should be avoided as far as possible when preparing meals. In particular, salt or spices that are too hot should be avoided. When hydrating, it is important to ensure that coffee and tea are not consumed excessively.

Mineral water or natural juices are better choices for well-being and health, as they do not lead to excessive water retention. The intake of sufficient fluid is important in order to stabilize the organism and not create an undersupply. Adults should consume two liters of mineral water a day to prevent dehydration.

In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, sufficient exercise is important to alleviate existing symptoms. Walks or sports activities promote well-being and stimulate the metabolism. For mental stabilization, the patient can independently carry out relaxation exercises. This reduces stress and promotes inner balance in everyday life.

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