Causes of Water Retention in the Body

If you believe you are suffering from water retention (also known as fluid retention, or sometimes oedema or edema), you probably have a swollen tummy, or puffy hands, feet or face. Water retention causes swellings in any part of the body. The excess water leaks out of your tiniest blood vessels and gathers in the spaces between these and the cells which make up the tissues of your body (muscle, brain, skin tissue and so on). These spaces can store excess water, and as they do so, they expand, which causes the swelling.

Some of the causes of water retention are quite simple, such as eating too much salty food or not drinking enough water. Salt contains a chemical called sodium, which slows down your excretion of water. Not drinking enough water makes you dehydrated, which teaches your body to hold on to water. Drinking too much tea, coffee and alcohol dehydrates you too, by speeding up your excretion of water.

Heart And Kidneys

If your water retention is more severe, and is making your feet, legs or ankles very swollen, you should consult a doctor to check that your heart and kidneys are OK. Another cause of severe fluid retention–in this case in the tummy–is alcoholism. Liver damage caused by alcohol abuse can cause so much fluid to collect in your tummy that you can actually feel it swishing around.

If your doctor gives these organs the all-clear, you can be very thankful. It means your fluid retention probably has causes that are much easier to deal with.

Histamine Is One Of The Causes Of Water Retention

Histamine is a chemical that your body produces when it is inflamed. Have you heard of taking medicines called ‘anti-histamines’ for hay fever? Hay fever is a type of inflammation which occurs when someone who is sensitive to pollen inhales it. The eyes and nose stream as the body releases water from its tiny blood vessels in an attempt to wash away the pollen. But in the case of water retention the water is not released from the body through the eyes and nose. Instead it collects in the tissues.

Inflammation usually stops when the body is no longer exposed to the offending substance(s). But if the offending substances continue to affect the body, inflammation and swelling can become permanent. One of the causes of long-term water retention is eating foods that cause inflammation. I’m not talking here about severe food allergies like peanuts or shellfish. I’m talking about a milder form caused by not properly digesting some foods. If your intestines are a little bit inflamed, tiny particles of partially-undigested food can escape into your blood and cause your body to produce histamine just about anywhere. This situation can start suddenly and go on for a long time. The longer it goes on, the worse your water retention tends to get. People who have followed the waterfall diet (a diet which treats most causes of water retention) for about a week have lost ten pounds or more of retained water in just a few days,

Fighting Other Causes Of Water Retention

Many people suffer from water retention caused by nutritional deficiencies. Quite simply, if you eat and drink too much sugary food or deep-fried food, and not enough fresh fruit and vegetables, you will not get enough of the vitamins and minerals that your body needs to produce the hormones that help to prevent water retention.

If you want to get rid of this problem, the first thing to do is eat dark blue and purple fruits as well as green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli or dark green lettuce every day. Cut deep-fried foods, burgers, red meat and greasy sauces like mayonnaise down to no more than twice a week. Cut sweets, candy, sodas and chocolate down to once a week. And don’t forget to cut salt and salty food to a minimum and drink two litres of water every day.

These are just the basics of healthy eating. If you are eating a poor diet at the moment, then this advice will help reduce your problem a lot within just a couple of months.

If you don’t start to lose your water retention by following this advice, you may need to test yourself to find out if any particular foods are creating a lot of histamine inside your body. The waterfall diet book (see below) includes a test procedure and has helped a lot of people.