Water retention occurs when your body's fluid levels become imbalanced. Premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, increased salt intake and inactivity are a few causes of water retention. You can often remedy the bloating and swelling that accompanies water retention with changes to your diet and exercise routine. If that doesn't work, you may have to talk to your doctor about medical conditions that cause fluid retention.
Increase your fluid intake, which paradoxically can help flush away liquid trapped in your body tissues.
Eat foods rich in calcium and magnesium, which are electrolytes, to help regulate the fluid balance of your body. Consume a wide variety of healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grains. Speak with your doctor to determine if you need a calcium and magnesium supplement and how much of each you need as these supplements can interfere with some medications.
Swim to take advantage of water pressure, which forces excess fluid out of your body, especially effective if you have lower leg and ankle swelling. Take a brisk walk or perform your favorite exercise alternatively to get your blood circulating and help flush out excess fluid.
Decrease the amount of salt you eat, as a high sodium intake can lead to water retention, swelling and boating. Keep your intake below 2,300 mg per day. Read food labels to look for hidden sources of sodium in sauces, condiments and even baked goods. Choose fresh foods over processed foods whenever possible.
Talk to your doctor about medications for water retention, such as diuretics. Diuretics can make water retention worse in some users when they stop taking the medication, so avoid over-the-counter water pills and other drugs without first discussing them with a medical professional.
Items you will need
- ✓ Calcium supplements
- ✓ Magnesium supplements
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Premenstrual Syndromerel="nofollow"
- FamilyDoctor.org: Edemarel="nofollow"
- MedlinePlus: Fluid and Electrolyte Balancerel="nofollow"
- American Heart Association: Sodium (Salt or Sodium Chloride)rel="nofollow"
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Edemarel="nofollow"
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.