Water retention in the body happens when fluids in your body build up in excess amounts. 70% of your body is made up of water, and water retention occurs in the circulatory system of your body, it can also occur in tissues or cavities inside the body. 

Hormones, the cardiovascular system, the liver, the urinary system, and the kidney play an essential role in your body. If there is a problem in any of these systems, the body becomes unable to remove fluids as it normally does. 

Water retention can lead to puffiness or swelling in the hands, ankles, feet, and legs. Some people experience water retention in legs, water retention in the stomach (bloating), and some females experience water retention during pregnancy. This article outlines causes and cure of water retention.

Causes of Water Retention

Water retention is a common health problem which can occur on a daily basis, there are several triggering factors of it which are:-

  • Physical Inactivity 

People, who don’t even perform the simplest physical activity for a minimum of half an hour every day, can have a high chance of experiencing water retention.

They can develop edema in their lower legs which are because of the under use of legs and can cause the muscle of the calves pump and also lose their strength. 

  • Pregnancy

Hormonal change is the most common experience of every woman who goes through pregnancy. During this time, the body holds more water than it does usually, which leads to puffiness or swelling in the lower limbs.

It seems problematic but resolves after delivery. If the puffiness or swelling becomes more severe and unbearable to handle, it can become a symptom of pre-eclampsia. The level of blood pressure becomes higher which can harm both the mother and the fetus.

Any woman, if experiences vomiting, headaches, vision problems, or pain under the ribs area, should immediately seek medical help, as it can harm both the mother and the baby.

  • Diet

One of the main causes of water retention is malnutrition or poor diet. Your body needs sodium for maintaining a balanced level of blood pressure and other fluids. 

But some people consume a large amount of sodium (salt) in their meals or from processed foods such as chips, fast food, crackers, etc. Large amounts of sodium in your body can cause water retention. This can also lead to water retention in the face. 

Another factor which if consumed in excess can cause water retention is Sugar (insulin). It causes water levels to build up in the body which is a sign of type 2 diabetes. 

  • Medications

Some of the medications can also lead to water retention. Some of the examples of these medications are calcium channel blockers, chemotherapy treatments, over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, etc.

The side effect of these medications or treatments you are taking can be a cause of water retention. The body finds some problems in eliminating fluids from the body when you are facing some medical condition. 

Water Retention Treatment

There are many ways from which you can lose water weight which is:-

Reduce Sodium (Salt) Consumption

The first step to reducing water retention is to cut down salt intake from your diet. Replace high sodium (salt) foods with low sodium foods. 

Try to limit your sodium intake to a maximum of 2,300 milligrams per day. This will help in purchasing the amount of salt you need. 

Another source of sodium in processed food or packaged food which you should not try to consume because it will cause water retention and you are trying to lose water weight. 

Some of the natural foods or fruits like vegetables, nuts, berries, seeds are low in sodium which helps in easing out water retention.

Drink More Water

This is true that drinking more water can lead to a reduction in water retention, lose water weight fast. As dehydration can make the body to hold more water which leads to water retention.  

But by keeping yourself hydrated the water retention will reduce. Water helps in keeping all the systems (cardiovascular system, liver, kidneys) in the body smoothly working. 

Drinking at least 2 liters of water per day will help the body in letting the excess water (or other fluids) and sodium too to be flushed out of the body. 

Food Choices

Consuming Potassium and Magnesium Rich Foods

Foods that contain a high profile of magnesium and potassium are avocados, bananas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, etc. 

Potassium and magnesium are both minerals that serve many crucial functions in your body. Potassium helps in sending electrical signals in the body because of which allover functioning happens; and Magnesium involves more than 300 reactions to enzymes which also helps in body functioning intact.

Both the minerals help in reducing water retention by decreasing the levels of sodium and increasing the production of urine in your body. 


Keeping your body physically active or doing a minimal amount of physical activity is essential for your body unless it starts getting problems. 

Physical activity makes you sweat which means the extra water in the body is excreted as sweat. This leads to an immediate decrease in the levels of water in your body. 

Exercise helps in stimulating blood flow and improving blood circulation which causes the buildup fluid in the body to reduce all over the body. 


Water retention can happen on a daily basis and there is no need to get stressed about it. As it can be reduced from the remedies given which helps reduce water retention and lose water weight fast. If it becomes severe, you should immediately seek medical help.

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