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Fluid Retention

Read the article to collect important information on the causes, symptoms and treatment of fluid retention in the body.
Under normal circumstances, your body maintains a balance of fluids in tissues. It ensures that the amount of water that enters the body is almost equal to what leaves it. There are some factors, discussed in the lower part of this article, tend to disturb this balance. If the amount of water entering your body is more than what is leaving it is results in fluid retention. It occurs in the form of mild to severe swelling in one or more body parts.

Fluid Retention Causes
There are several factors that lead to fluid retention in legs, arms, feet and many other parts of your body. The most common is the excessive intake of salt. You tend to take too much salt by eating processed foods products and foods high in salt. Gravitational force may be held responsible for fluid retention as it causes the fluid to collect in the tissues of the lower body parts, particularly legs. If you happen to stand for long hours a day, you are at high risk of developing fluid retention. Heat, chemical, or sun burns are causes of localized fluid collection and swelling. This is because, your skin tends to retain fluid as a reaction to the burn.

The problem of fluid retention is often found to get aggravated during summer. This is because your body finds difficulty removing fluid from its tissues. Many women experience fluid retention a few days before menstruation. This is probably due to reduction in the progesterone level before periods. Retention of fluid is also common in women approaching menopause. Some suffer from it after menopause. Expectant mothers usually retain sodium and water, some of which are needed by the growing fetus.

Malnutrition can result in fluid retention. It is usually the deficiency of vitamin B1, B5 and B6, and a protein called albumin. There are some medicines which can cause fluid retention as a side effect. Some of such medicines are antihypertensives, corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. A medical condition, known as chronic venous insufficiency may make your body to retain fluids. This particular medical condition is marked by weakening of the valves in the veins of the legs, which results in insufficient return of blood to the heart. The collection of blood may even lead to varicose vein.

Fluid Retention Symptoms
Fluid retention commonly occurs in feet, ankles and arms. Its most prominent symptom is swelling of the affected body part. When pressed with a finger, the skin may hold the indent for a couple of seconds. The body part under effect may or may not be painful. Due to retention of fluid, there is a rapid gain of body weight. It mostly occurs in a short period of time. Weight gain often causes stiffness of joints. Many patients of fluid retention experiences rapid fluctuation in body weight.

Fluid Retention Treatment
As you have learned from the above account that there are numerous causes of fluid retention. The medical practitioners often conduct several diagnostic tests. The diagnosis starts with your physical examination and studying of your medical and family history. Some of the diagnostic tests commonly carried out are blood work, liver function test, urine test, kidney function test, chest X-ray, heart function tests such as electrocardiogram. The treatment completely depends upon the cause. The medical professional may use some of the general treatment measures. He may put you on a low-salt diet, prescribe you diuretics and suggest you some dietary adjustments.

In case, the fluid retention is mild, you can use some home remedies to restore the normal state. Reduce the amount of salt in your regular diet. Stay away from processed food products. Eat foods rich in vitamin B5, vitamin B6, Vitamin D and calcium. You can get some of them from brown rice, red meat and low fat dairy foods. Drink plenty of water, at least 8 - 9 glasses a day. Consume mild diuretics like cranberry juice. Follow a moderate exercise routine. For example, walk for at least a half hour. All these things are expected to help you recover from fluid retention. However, it is always advisable that you consult a doctor even for mild retention of fluid in your body.
By Kalpana Kumari
Published: 5/5/2010
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