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Fluid retention is very annoying due to the feeling of bloating and heaviness, in addition to what can cause looking at the scale and seeing that the weight has risen for no apparent reason. The increase in volume will be especially significant in the legs and ankles, and the fovea may also appear. The latter is observed when pressing with the fingers in the area and checking that the skin sinks.
Catching it is a matter of implementing a series of healthy habits that also help prevent it in the future, in addition to incorporating natural remedies for fluid retention.
Is it possible to eliminate fluid retention?
It is possible, but we already anticipate that there is no magic and effective solution that will make you lose fluids in a matter of minutes. Fluid retention in the tissues is common and behind there is a wide cause, such as increased sodium in the diet, circulatory problems or kidney and liver diseases. Sedentary lifestyle, stress, the use of certain medications, even climatic factors, can also be related to fluid retention.
The most common for its treatment is to prescribe a diet low in sodium, so start by eliminating salt.
Home remedies for fluid retention
It is not about resorting to specific home remedies that make you lose fluid in a few days and that allow you to forget about it until the problem reappears. It is about implementing healthy habits that prevent edema, so it is best to opt for what is natural.
A good diet
Without a doubt, the best remedy for fluid retention is a good diet that is also low in sodium. As indicated by the Tomás Pascual Sanz Institute, excess sodium ingested through diet stimulates the sensation of thirst, and forces the consumption of water for the hydric balance and the elimination of the overload through the urine. It will result in an increase in blood pressure.
What are the keys to configure it? A study published in the medical journal Clínica Las Condes indicates that ideally, reduce sodium intake and increase potassium intake. The ratio should be 1: 1, then it is advisable to consume between 1.2 and 2.3 g of sodium per day, and reduce consumption as you age due to the higher prevalence of hypertension problems.
Table salt isn’t the only thing to avoidSince prepared foods are also usually high in sodium. Therefore, you have to opt for fresh and cooked foods that maintain their flavor without the need to resort to seasonings, such as papillote or the oven.
We have already dedicated a whole post to the ideal diet for fluid retention, in which we discuss the appropriate portions of vegetables, meats, fish, dairy products, cereals or weekly nuts. We also gave you preparation suggestions to enjoy eating and that it costs you less to maintain those healthy habits.
Following the study, we can conclude that the other great home remedy for fluid retention is taking potassium rich foods to reach 350 g of the recommended daily allowance. Spinach, sweet potato, avocado, banana, watermelon, thistle, natural yogurt, pistachios and dried legumes are high in potassium.
In general, vegetables have water, potassium, and fiber, so you don’t have to restrict your intake of any of them.
Infusions to eliminate liquids are a classic, and a whole range of them is recommended: green tea, horse tail, fennel, ginger, dandelion, etc. The brands strive to sell the so-called diuretic infusions, which are those that facilitate or increase the elimination of urine with which to eliminate excess sodium.
Infusions are drinks made from fruits or aromatic herbs, so they are considered natural remedies for fluid retention and healthy options to incorporate into the day to day. Along with water alone, it is the best drink you can have.
Two important questions: 1) if you consume bottled water, check that it is not high in sodium. Some brands do, so check the labeling to make sure it’s less than 50 mg per liter.
And 2) don’t be obsessed with diuretic infusions. Any health or nutrition professional who checks that you are retaining fluid will suggest that you cut the salt and try to reach 1.5 l of water a day, that’s the basics. The infusions add to that amount, and any of them can serve you. Choose the ones you like the most with the idea of enjoying a healthy drink. Nothing happens if they are not labeled diuretics.
Other remedies for fluid retention
Eliminating salt, or at least reducing it to negligible levels, involves using imagination to extract the maximum flavor from our recipes and enjoy eating. Because it goes without saying that industrial sauces for sale in supermarkets are extremely prohibited.
To make your recipes more palatable, we offer you some healthy suggestions:
- Homemade ketchup. It is ideal for potatoes and meats. You can use crushed tomato, black pepper, apple cider vinegar and a little avocado to give it consistency. If you buy the crushed tomato already made and packaged, see that it is well processed and does not contain much sodium.
- Mushrooms sauce. Great for pasta, meat, or gnocchi. Cook the mushrooms in the pan with a little onion and white wine. Put everything in the blender glass with a little milk and pepper, and blend. You can reserve some whole mushrooms to accompany.
- Romesco sauce. You may find vegetables tasteless without salt and you simply cook them in the oven or steam, but this recipe is ideal to accompany them. It is made with ripe tomatoes, garlic, Señora, toasted almonds and hazelnuts, toasted bread, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, sweet paprika and chilli. Also with salt, but it is better not to use it.
- Yogurt sauce. Also ideal for vegetables, more specifically for raw vegetables: dip carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, endives, celery … It is made with natural yogurt, lemon juice, minced garlic, parsley and olive oil.
Regardless of the diet, against fluid retention it is recommended wear loose clothing, because the tight one hinders the transit of liquids.
As the physiotherapist Eva Tello indicates, there are techniques ascribed to this discipline that can also help, such as manual lymphatic drainage or pressotherapy. The first is a low pressure therapeutic massage that activates the superficial lymphatic system of the area in question.
The second is a treatment that promotes lymphatic drainage and improves circulation due to the sequential air pressure that is produced inside the boots that surround the legs. It can also be done on the arms and in the abdominal area.
Medications and pills
Pills for fluid retention in pharmacies are sold without a prescription. Brands strive to convey the idea that their active ingredients are natural, but they are not always cheap products. Not only are pills sold, but also capsules, infusions and even flavored syrups which supposedly alleviate the problem if you take it for a few days. What do you need to know about them?
As Mayo Clinic explains, there are three types of diuretics: thiazides, loop and potassium sparing agents. Each will affect a part of the kidneys, and some medications combine more than one diuretic or other compounds recommended for hypertension.
Each type of diuretic contains active ingredients such as chlorothiazide or hydrochlorothiazide (thiazides); bumetanide, ethacrynic acid, furosemide or torsemide (those of loop); and eplerenone, spironolactone, or tiamterene (the potassium savers).
What’s more, each one will be indicated in specific cases, for example, when starting the first treatments for hypertension or to improve symptoms in people with heart or liver failure, swelling, or certain kidney disorders.
Diuretics are generally safe. However, thiazides can lower potassium levels, and potassium savers can raise it. Dizziness, headaches, cramps and even impotence can also appear.
In summary, there are different types of diuretics whose use will be recommended depending on the underlying problem, and who can diagnose and prescribe the most appropriate treatment is a professional. Do not take medications without medical supervision, and do not waste your money on non-prescription products that will have limited or no effectiveness.
Exercise is the other great remedy against fluid retention. It is about leading a healthy and active life in general, so physical activity is one of the great pillars. Choose those disciplines that most motivate you to settle and not lose the habit, such as swimming, yoga, pilates, riding a bike or elliptical.
It may interest you:
Exercise and fluid retention: a guide to finding solutions
In the case of old people who have reduced mobility and cannot practice certain sports, can move on the site varying the points of support from the heels to the balls of the feet, and vice versa. The pedals available in some public spaces they are highly recommended.
Perhaps what brought you here is the search for home remedies for fluid retention in pregnancy, especially visible in the ankles. In addition to the usual diet recommendations, there are exercises that can come in handy, such as those explained by Rafael Vicetto for Being Parents. She is a physiotherapist specializing in pregnancy and postpartum.
You should be lying on a comfortable surface and have a fitball to do the exercise. Is about move the toes back and forth, so you should place your calves and feet on the fitball and move your feet back and forth, controlling your breathing.
A variant of the exercise is the one that is done sitting instead of lying down, so you can sit on the fitball carefully, and with your bare feet on the floor on a towel or carpet. Keeping your heels supported, go up and down one floor and the other alternately, as if you were pedaling. You can also grab the towel with your toes, one foot and the other alternately and for two minutes.
Most of the causes of edema can be solved by leading healthy lifestyle habits, based on good nutrition and physical exercise. You need to implement them, especially if you already have the symptoms of retention such as weight gain for no apparent reason or swelling, the latter especially visible in the abdomen, legs and ankles.
To treat the problem, monitor the sodium and potassium levels in your diet and resort to natural remedies such as herbal teas herbal with diuretic properties. Ask your doctor if you do not improve so that he can advise you on medications as a solution to fluid retention. You can also see a physical therapist for manual lymphatic drainage or another technique.