Imagine a feeling of lightness and well-being that invades you, where every movement becomes a pleasure, devoid of this discomfort and these uncomfortable swellings . Water retention , this phenomenon which sometimes plays nasty tricks on us, can be a source of daily inconvenience. When our body accumulates more fluid than it eliminates, edema appears, mainly in places where gravity has its effect: this is water retention . But don't worry, we have decided to demystify this phenomenon and present to you the possible causes of this water retention. Get ready to discover how to take back control and say goodbye to that heavy feeling !
What causes water retention?
The body normally contains 65% water. Water retention is a phenomenon of abnormal accumulation of fluid in the tissues of our body. The body retains more water than it eliminates, which leads to swelling or edema . The lower limbs are among the parts of the body most affected.
The major causes of water retention are associated with a disruption of the human body's pressure system which regulates water exchange between blood vessels and organic tissues. The water remains blocked outside the cells which causes the swelling observed.
This disruption can have different origins:
BLOOD AND LYMPHATIC CIRCULATION
If you suffer from a blood circulation problem or venous insufficiency (i.e. your veins have difficulty pumping blood back to the heart), you are more likely to develop this phenomenon of accumulation of blood. water and swell. Likewise, an insufficiency of the lymphatic circuit can make you more vulnerable, the latter participating in the reabsorption of excess fluid. Blood clots and varicose veins are 2 other less common causes favoring this phenomenon.
Hormones make us see all the colors. A simple imbalance and everything goes into a tailspin. Periods, premenstrual syndrome, contraceptive pills, pregnancy, menopause are all hormonal situations that pose a risk of suffering from water retention. Pregnancy in particular is accompanied by a secretion of the hormones estrogen and progesterone which complicates the elimination of water. The uterus puts pressure on the vessels and blood volume increases which results in vasodilation , a predisposition to retention. Related weight gain is also a tenfold factor.
The kidneys being linked to elimination functions, any renal pathology is a predisposition to the phenomenon of water retention.
The heart being the all-powerful master of blood circulation , any heart disorder can promote water retention.
Damage to the thyroid , which controls many mechanisms in the body, is also linked to an increased risk of fluid retention.
FOOD RICH IN SALT
Salt is your #1 archenemy. A diet too high in salt disrupts the fluid balance in the body. Salt actually retains water in the body's tissues, which does not help with proper drainage of water. The problem is that we have a very high salt consumption: 10 grams per day, double the maximum intake recommended by the WHO which is 5 mg (1 teaspoon). Please note, we are not talking about the "visible" salt that you add to your dishes, which in reality only represents 20% of your sodium intake. We are talking about “hidden” salt in processed foods: ready-made meals, cold meats, cheese, breads, etc.
Fluid accumulation is a side effect of certain medications like corticosteroids , antihypertensives , steroids, calcium channel blockers , antidepressants , and even the birth control pill . Read the instructions for your medications carefully to establish the real cause of your problem and do not hesitate to discuss it with your doctor.
Following a localized trauma such as a sprain, fracture or contusion , or after surgery or a major burn , it is possible to suffer from these water retention problems.
Water retention can be promoted by weight for a variety of reasons.
Excess weight puts additional pressure on blood vessels , thereby hindering venous return and causing fluid to stagnate in the tissues.
Additionally, fat cells can store significant amounts of water, contributing to fluid accumulation in the body.
The hormonal imbalance associated with excess weight, including increased levels of the hormone estrogen, can alter the permeability of blood vessels and disrupt kidney functions involved in fluid removal.
The lymphatic system , crucial for eliminating waste and excess fluids, can also be affected by excess weight, leading to increased water retention.
Additionally, chronic inflammation often associated with being overweight can increase the permeability of blood vessels , thereby promoting fluid leakage into tissues.
Water retention is very common in summer with the arrival of hot weather. This is explained by the fact that in the event of high temperatures, the blood vessels dilate which disrupts the balance of fluid tension in favor of retention and gives this impression of "swelling".
Spending your day sitting or standing is a very bad idea. Static sitting and standing posture promotes water retention by the body by disrupting blood and lymphatic circulation . When sitting, pressure on blood vessels can impede venous return, causing swelling . When standing, gravity presses on the vessels of the legs, making it difficult for blood to flow to the heart, thus disrupting the lymphatic system. Immobility reduces caloric expenditure , increasing the risk of weight gain, promoting water retention. To prevent this, it is essential to move regularly and engage in physical activity to promote circulation.
What are the symptoms of water retention?
How do I know if I'm retaining water?
MAIN SYMPTOM OF WATER RETENTION
The main symptoms of water retention are visible swelling in certain areas of the body. The parts of the body affected are mainly the lower limbs : leg, ankles, feet , due to gravity. You may then have heavy legs and swollen ankles.
But the accumulation can occur in other places, not only in the legs: face, arms, hands, fingers, thigh, knee , etc. You can for example detect it when your fingers are swollen when you put on a ring and your face may have a "chubby" or "puffy" appearance.
Edema can also be "internal" and develop within organs such as the lungs, brain, eyes, stomach, liver and intestines . When the digestive tract is affected, edema resembles bloating .
Beyond this swelling of the skin, it is possible to experience more painful symptoms or even itching in the affected parts of the body. The affected area may increase in temperature and the limbs may stiffen and become numb , sometimes making it difficult to walk , in cases of severe leg edema. The skin may also become discolored and appear shiny and distended. Finally, water retention is accompanied by weight gain that is often rapid and unexplained (sometimes up to 3 kg in less than 24 hours).
We give you a very simple technique to highlight the presence of edema. This is the bucket technique. All you need to do is apply pressure with your finger on the affected area for around ten seconds and remove your finger. If the imprint remains on the skin for a few seconds and then disappears, this may indicate the presence of edema. However, be careful with self-diagnosis and consult a doctor to confirm what you think you have revealed.
What are the best natural remedies to quickly deflate in case of water retention
TAKE ADAPTED NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS
Herbal medicine can be of great help in cases of water retention, without the need for medication .
The ideal is to combine diuretic plants , which promote the elimination of water by the kidneys, and venotonic plants which increase the tone of blood vessels and reduce the permeability of the veins. Green tea is very renowned for its virtues, just like the queen of meadows.
To benefit from the power of these plants, nothing better than our Detox Elixir with clinically proven diuretic power.
Cactinea , our nopal fruit extract, better known as prickly pear, helps eliminate 27% more water in just 7 days (2009 clinical study conducted on 15 women). 73% of women are convinced by the increase in diuresis. The result is a -68% reduction in the feeling of swelling in the lower limbs (feet, ankles, calves) which convinced more than 80% of the women in the study. Add other plants: dandelion , cherry stem and mate (because it's not just green tea that works!) and here's the perfect cocktail to get rid of water retention, and even heavy legs! A treatment to be extended over 3 months for maximum effects.
BE ON THE MOVE & PRACTICE A PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Movement is key to boosting your water elimination as it facilitates drainage and prevents buildup .
It is therefore absolutely necessary to limit prolonged static sitting or standing because blood circulation is less active and you are subject to the effects of gravity. We recommend that during your working days you remember to get up and walk regularly and even install a footrest at your desk.
In addition, regular physical activity , in addition to being important for health, boosts blood circulation while increasing perspiration, the perfect combination to fight against water accumulation.
The perfect sports are cardio sports like running but also walking , yoga , stretching , etc.
Even more recommended: aquatic activities . Not only will you stimulate your blood and lymphatic circulation with cold water, but you will also improve venous return. So don't hesitate to run to the nearest swimming pool to swim laps or do a few aquagym or aquabike sessions!
WEAR SUPPORT STOCKINGS
Compression stockings are invaluable in protecting your veins during long journeys by plane, train or car and even more so if you are pregnant . They will prevent alteration of circulatory function during times when the position is not optimal.
Do not hesitate to consult your doctor so that he can prescribe it for you.
DO AN ADAPTED MASSAGE
Nothing better than lymphatic drainage to relieve you of these unsightly, unpleasant and painful swellings. This gentle massage technique is recommended to relieve heavy legs and deflate and soothe ankles. As its name suggests, it stimulates lymph circulation. This is the fluid that carries toxins and waste out of the body and helps eliminate excess fluids.
Such a massage brings you tone and lightness.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR FOOD
Food is our first medicine and therefore the solution to your problem. Diuretics , vascular protectors and therefore to combat water retention are hidden in your everyday foods: artichoke, asparagus, leek, fennel, celery, cucumber, red fruits. Do not hesitate to add these foods to your diet to stock up on benefits and free yourself from this accumulation of water.
Did you know that a diet low in protein amplifies the phenomenon of water retention? Because yes, proteins facilitate the reabsorption of water in the vessels. They nourish muscle cells and improve venous return. Find them in products of animal origin which are rich in them: meat, fish, eggs, etc. but also of plant origin: lentils, quinoa, buckwheat, nuts, algae, etc.
Also, avoid processed foods whose salt content quickly causes you to exceed WHO recommendations (10 mg of salt per day vs. 5 mg recommended) and break records in terms of water retention.
Do not hesitate to drink plenty of water , as hydration promotes drainage. Because yes, counter-intuitively, you can drink and lose aqueous mass.
You have probably noticed that it is in the heat that you suffer the most from these feelings of swelling. Quite simply because the heat dilates the vessels which promotes water retention. We therefore advise you to limit your exposure in summer and to help your body with a cold shower (at least a jet of cold water at the end!). And just because you are colder in winter doesn't mean you have to overheat your home. This is the best way to encounter the same problems as in summer, so stay reasonable!
SPECIAL CASE OF PREGNANCY
Knock knock who's there ? Baby ? Yes, but first: a bunch of little surprises. Like water retention, ultra-common among pregnant women, regardless of lifestyle or diet quality. No question of practicing intense physical activity, just staying active with walking or yoga . To relieve this pressure from the uterus on your vessels, one solution may be to sleep on your left side . Last but not least, drink plenty of water to drain your body and help it eliminate excess fluids and combat water retention.
Now that you know the various causes of water retention, you are equipped to take action and say goodbye to this unwanted swelling. Whether by adopting a balanced diet, promoting physical activity or favoring natural solutions such as lymphatic drainage, the possibilities for countering this phenomenon are numerous. Also remember that listening to your body is essential, especially for pregnant women, in order to take care of yourself and feel better every day. So, get ready to regain your lightness and vitality by chasing away these little water problems! You are now ready to flourish without hindrance and to feel good in your body, in all circumstances.