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Water Retention - edema

Water Retention - edema

Water retention or edema is the abnormal collection of water within the tissues of the body. Also known as fluid retention, it is commonly noted as puffiness in the feet, ankles and legs, and sometimes in the face and hands. This problem can be noted at any age and both in men and women. The joints may feel swollen, stiff and painful to move if they are involved. A dull pain may be noted in certain instances.

Water retention can be caused due to a wide range of factors. The causes of water retention could be categorized broadly into general causes and pathological causes.

The general causes of water retention include: burns, pregnancy, consumption of medications, dietary factors, and menstrual cycle.

Pathological causes of water retention include: disorders or conditions such as heart failure, kidney failure, lung diseases, liver failure, thyroid disorders and allergic reactions. These conditions have been associated with water retention in the arms and legs.

Water retention in the absence of any underlying disease can be treated easily with home remedies. Some of the simple steps that relieve water retention include the following -

• Keeping a pillow below the legs while resting or lying down improves the return of blood from these areas.

• Avoid standing or sitting in the same position for prolonged periods of time.

• Shifting the position of the legs or taking a few steps in between prevents water from getting collected in the feet.

• Certain types of stockings that fit snugly to the feet and improve blood circulation in the feet may also be used.

• Restricting the intake of salt is often beneficial. Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables supplies the body with all the essential nutrients that improve blood circulation and prevent water retention.

• Regular exercise keeps the muscles and blood vessels fit enough to function normally. Better circulation ensures faster clearing of water and other fluids from the tissue spaces.


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