Finding out how to stop fluid retention is of paramount importance for many people. Many sufferers of edema or fluid retention are hobbled on a daily basis by their condition. A hand, arm or stomach that is swollen with retained fluids or water can be painful; it can be hard to wear rings, bracelets, shoes or even clothing if one is suffering from fluid retention. More seriously, many people suffer from fluid retention as a side effect, or as a consequence of another, more serious condition such as kidney problems. For these reasons both "big" and "small", successfully treating fluid retention is key for its sufferers.
The first good thing sufferers can do is to determine what they may be doing and how it can be contributing to their condition. A sufferer's diet is very often a key cause of edema, and can thus be the first step towards successfully treating the condition. A high level of salt or sodium in the diet is the single most significant contributor factor, diet-wise, when it comes to fluid retention. Unfortunately, in this day and age trying to lower the salt content of food is not necessarily easy given that so many foods nowdays are laden with salt – sometimes even those food items that are labeled as healthy alternatives. Low-sodium or even salt-free alternatives must be found; the amount of processed food in the diet must be reduced drastically (it is not feasible to aim to reduce processed-food consumption completely); and the amount of healthy food such as fresh vegetables and fruit must be significantly increased.
Secondly, for those who seek to find out how to stop fluid retention, certain lifestyle changes that are not necessarily diet-related may need to be enacted. For example, many people now are not getting enough exercise; they are in many cases sedentary and are not as physically active as they need to be. While living a sedentary lifestyle of course does not necessarily lead to the development of edema in and of itself, sufferers need to understand that it can be one very significant contributing factor. A low rate of perspiration combined with a low level of physical activity can indeed lead to bloating, whereas the opposite – a healthy amount of physical activity – can stave off bloating due to water retention. For example, those who suffer from swollen ankles due to too much fluid in their ankle tissues can try to raise their ankles above their heads several times a day in order to get gravity to pull the fluids down into their bodies from their legs.
Lastly, some sufferers may need to see a doctor or other medical professional to successfully deal with their cases of fluid retention. This is due in some cases, as has been previously mentioned, edema can occur as the result of problems with some bodily organs – something that all sufferers will agree is not something that simple diet or lifestyle changes can deal with. So for these people, finding out how to stop fluid retention can only be done with the help of a health professional.