Water retention can be caused by a number of medical conditions and some medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor about the possible causes before treating it yourself. Furthermore, some herbs and supplements can worsen medical problems or interact with medications, so be careful.
You may be able to manage water retention (especially if it is related to menstruation) through some changes in your lifestyle. Premenstrual water retention causes a bloated feeling the week before your period begins and the main causes for his problem and other premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms are hormonal changes, heredity, and your diet.
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We can only deal with the third cause, so here you have some home remedies and changes in lifestyle that will help you:
Vitamins and Minerals
Many vitamins and minerals may help with PMS symptoms, so you can try the following, but be careful because excessive amounts of these products or taking them with other medications can be harmful:
- B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin),
- Vitamin E.
There are also many herbs that work as diuretics, among which we can find a dandelion leaf, parsley, corn silk and hawthorn. A useful recipe is the following:
- 1 bunch parsley.
- 1 blackberry leaf (chopped).
- 1 dandelion leaf (chopped).
- 10 cherry stems.
- ½ teaspoon celery tops.
- ½ teaspoon couch grass.
- ½ teaspoon corn silk.
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds.
- 0.25 gal boiling water.
If you use dried herbs, take 3 parts of parsley and 1 part each of the other herbs.
- Put all the herbs into a large saucepan.
- Pour boiling water over the mixed herbs until the water covers them.
- Steep for 10 minutes and then strain.
- Have the tea throughout the day (at least for 1 day).
You can introduce garlic in your diet in one of these ways.
- Chew a couple of raw garlic cloves in the morning.
- Use raw garlic paste in your bread spreads.
- Use garlic in your soups and broths, for example.
Slice a few bananas on your cereal, make a smoothie with them, or just peel and eat them plain. Bananas contain high amounts of potassium, which helps eliminate fluid retention. If you do not like bananas, you can eat some of the potassium rich fruits instead: raisins, apricot, blackberries, peaches, strawberries, apples, oranges, raspberries, spinach, fresh mushrooms, bell peppers, avocados, sunflower seeds, melons, and watercress.
When ankles swell, apply an ice pack to bring them back to normal size. Put ice cubes in a plastic bag. Wrap a light towel around the bag and apply for 5-10 minutes. In the summertime, dip your feet (ankle-deep) into a bath of ice water.
Here you have a long list of diuretic foods: cabbage, cranberries, watermelon, leafy greens, lemon, pineapple, juniper berries, tomatoes, pumpkin, asparagus, artichokes, beets, onion, Brussels sprouts, leeks, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, watercress, celery, and eggplant.
If you feel bloated, eat a cup of plain, low-fat yogurt that contains active cultures, because they aid in digestion and increase the good bacteria in the gut.
Water flushes out of the system better than anything else and can reduce premenstrual bloating. Drink 8 to 10 glasses a day (more when you exercise).
This advice is only for PMS bloating. If your water retention is caused by any other medical condition, ask your doctor before treating it with extra water.
Here you have some other pieces of advice to help you with water retention:
- lift your legs (if ankles swell while seated at work, try lifting your legs up parallel to the floor every few minutes),
- include physical activity in your daily routine (walking, running, bicycling, and aerobic dancing; during breaks, walk around the office or up the stairs),
- keep your feet up (while resting, reading, or watching television, prop a pillow under your feet),
- limit the amount of salt you ingest (stay away from canned, processed and junk food, do not add extra salt to food and pay attention to hidden sources of sodium, such as soy sauce and deli meats),
- eat a healthy diet (plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains),
- do not cross your legs,
- do not wear tight clothing,
- avoid caffeine and alcohol,
- do not smoke,
- and eat 6 small meals a day.