Water retention is a normal response for your body to handle certain inputs (sodium, carbohydrates, muscle repair after exercise, etc). If you eat about the same amount of carbs or sodium each day you will retain about the same amount of water and you will be able to see a downward trend over time, though not as fast as if you were to cut your carbs and sodium in half (fast strategy that has no long term impact unless you can maintain those levels). It's normal for the fluids in your body to follow gravity throughout the day, which is why they say to buy shoes at the end of the day rather than first thing in the morning (When you sleep fluids settle head to toe somewhat evenly. As the day progresses fluids head to your legs and feet). This is entirely normal.
There is a point where a certain amount of water retention is part of your body working normally and healthily. There is a point where some people are more sensitive than others. There is a point where swelling signifies a small issue that needs addressing, for example when I run and my electrolytes aren't balanced my fingers swell up like sausages (and the solution is to have some different salts). There is a point where swelling is a sign of another medical condition and you should be sure that your doctor is aware of this issue. My grandfather, and this is a very extreme example here, would always swell up when he went into congestive heart failure. He did this for years, so it's not entirely untreatable, but you do have to address the medical issue if you have one. Which means this is a conversation you should really be having with your doctor.
-google first. ask questions later.
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3/23/19 8:58 A
See the doctor for sure. Maybe they can prescribe a diuretic, but that needs to be monitored frequently with bloodwork. Water retention can be hard on circulation, joints, your heart, and can cause high blood pressure.
Your part is definitely to drink lots of water, look more into reducing salt (read labels and set goals even here on SparkPeople), and get more exercise. This will all help, but your doc surely should be informed.
My mother-in-law has also been wearing thigh-length support hose for years because her ankles get extremely swollen from water retention. Without them, she can hardly walk.
Do you have a sedentary desk job ? If so, get up and move around more often. Sitting for too long reeks havoc on a person's joints. Try to be more active by taking the stairs when possible, walking around the office, taking a 10-20 minute walk at lunch, have a stretch at your desk. These are simple things you can do to make your day more active. there are more suggestions posted all over this website.
And if you are salt sensitive, it's time to learn to read nutrition labels. What do you eat for lunch ? let's say you're eating one of those frozen meals because they are portion controlled. Did you check to see how much sodium they have ? Frozen meals or cans of soup may be low calorie, but can be very high in sodium.
Do you eat out a lot ? If your family enjoys going to a restaurant, restaurant food is notoriously salty. One way to reduce the amount of salt you eat is by cooking your own food. Replace salt with spices and herbs like pepper, cinnamon, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cumin, etc. Spices add flavor AND are extremely nutritious.
One thing I did in order to reduce salt was to start using more pepper and spices.
Learn to read labels so that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Reducing your sodium intake is a good place to start.
I agree that a discussion with your doctor would be best. In the meantime, ensure you are eating as many whole foods as possible and drinking enough fluid. Processed foods have a tendency to b higher in sodium so you may want to avoid those.
I need tips about how to control water retention. I seem to be sensitive to sodium, something I probably got from my mother. I swell up pretty easily, and when I do, I feel rather stiff and sore. So I've been decreasing sodium.
My work is not active, since I mostly sit throughout the day, teaching my children. Being 250ish pounds, I'm sure my body's functions don't circulate too well. I do exercise 50 minutes a day now on my rebounder, 5 days a week and some on Saturdays. I'm considering a few minutes of rebounding between 'classes'. Walking outdoors isn't very feasible, because my schedule or situation usually doesn't allow me to do it on a regular basis. Yet. Inside, I could. My house is large enough.
What kind of things do YOU do? I want to keep this water retention under control so I can finally see my scale moving down! ? Thanks in advance!
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