Do you often find yourself complaining, “I feel really bloated” or “My feet are so swollen, I can’t put my shoes on” ? You probably have a condition known as edema in medical terms, or more commonly called water or fluid retention. This refers to excessive accumulation of fluid in body tissues. It frequently occurs in the feet and legs, but can affect other parts of the body as well.

It can be caused by factors like high sodium intake, poor circulation, lack of exercise, vitamin deficiencies, venous insufficiency (a problem with blood flow from the veins in the legs back to the heart), stress, pregnancy, menstruation, hot weather, exposure to high altitudes, allergies, high blood pressure, heart problems, kidney problems, chronic lung disease, liver disease, thyroid disorders, certain medications and oral contraceptives. Water retention usually causes swelling and puffiness in the affected body parts. It may also cause stiff joints, weight change, a bloated feeling, and increased blood pressure and pulse rate.

Causes of Water Retention

Water retention usually occurs because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • An unbalanced and unhealthy diet.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Reaction or allergies to various drugs.
  • Dehydration, because water retention is the body’s way of protecting itself.
  • Menopause is also a common cause of water retention in older women.
  • Fatal diseases like Thyroid and Arthritis.
  • High salt and sugar diets that lack in potassium, protein and calcium.

Symptoms of Water Retention

The most common symptoms of edema include:

  • Swelling in face and other parts of the body,
  • Swelling in the hands, feet wrists, and ankles,
  • Bloating, constipation and a general feeling of un comfortableness.