Water retention usually occurs during premenstrual syndrome, medication, disease or excessive sitting or standing. Also called edema, water retention is defined by the University of Maryland Medical Center as the accumulation of abnormally large amounts of bodily fluid. Water retention can be life-threatening in some instances and should be evaluated by a medical professional once you notice symptoms, to rule out underlying medical conditions that require medical treatment.
Drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day. Although edema is fluid retention, drinking plenty of clear fluids, such as water, will flush out toxins and excess fluid build up. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, excess water retention can cause kidney strain, therefore flushing the kidneys with water will relieve unnecessary damage due to continuous kidney strain.
Take over-the-counter or prescription diuretics to alleviate fluid retention. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, loop diuretics work by eliminating fluid without removing necessary vitamins and minerals from the body, such as potassium.
Eat plenty of vitamin B and iron enriched foods, such as green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Also adding fresh fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants is will help your body to rid itself of excess fluid, according to MayoClinic.com.
Prop your legs up using a pillow to support your knees and ankles when lying down. Avoid lying flat as this can worsen fluid retention. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, propping your feet not only helps eliminate water retention but also helps increase circulation that may be inhibited through edema symptoms.
Wear support stockings while standing for long periods of time, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Support stockings apply gentle pressure to the legs, allowing for proper circulation and preventing swelling associated with edema.
Apply cold compresses made of yarrow tea to your legs to help draw out and relieve swelling from fluid. Cold compresses help relieve inflammation and stretching of the skin that is associated with edema.
Take 1200 mg of calcium per day to help eliminate fluid retention as well as alleviate premenstrual syndrome symptoms, recommends MayoClinic.com. Also recommended is 200 to 400 mg of magnesium however this supplement should be avoided if you suffer from heart problems.