As you may know, your body is mostly made up of water. Water is found in your muscles, organs, blood, bones, and more! Clearly, your body needs water but it can also hold too much of it. When you are retaining water, you can notice puffiness and swelling. So why is your body retaining water?
What are you eating?
Sodium is an essential part of your daily diet. We need it to make sure our blood pressure and fluid levels are regulated. However, many people eat too much sodium, which is mostly in the form of table salt. It can also be found in lunch meats, canned foods, fast food, soda, and more. When you have too much sodium or salt, your body will begin to retain water.
What Do You Do For Work?
A lot of people not that their legs and ankles are swollen. If you have a job that keeps you on your feet for long periods of the day, you will likely feel swelling in these lower areas of your body. This is because gravity is still working while you are sitting or standing, so it is pulling the blood lower in your body, causing you to feel swollen in your legs or ankle areas. This applies to people that are standing or sitting all day and can also be found when people are on an airplane for a long trip.
What Are Your Hormones Doing?
One reason that women retain water is because of their hormones. Many women feel bloated or puffy before their periods and it will go away after a few days. For women that are taking birth control, these extra hormones may be causing you to retain water.
Do I Have a Medical Problem?
One reason you may be retaining water is because you have a weak heart. If your heart isn’t doing a good enough job pumping, you may have swelling in your legs and abdomen area. Here are a few other symptoms that can indicate a heart problem: weakness, feeling light headed, fast heart rate, fatigue, and can’t catch your breath.
Or, it may not be a heart problem, as there are other medical problems that can cause you to retain water. For example your veins; your veins have valves inside them that open and close. If they are not closing correctly, all of the blood may not be getting pumped back in your heart and will cause you to feel the swelling in your legs. More symptoms of this medical problem is aching legs, large veins, a change in the color of your skin, skin rashes or ulcers.
It could also indicate that you have serious medical problem that you need to seek immediate treatment. For example, Deep Vein Thrombosis– this could be a blood clot and is mostly characterized by swelling in 1 leg or foot. Or, Pulmonary Edema- this is when you have fluid buildup in your lungs.