Have you ever felt that your legs feel or look thicker than they should? Does your belly feel like it has suddenly swollen or have you ever felt that your bust magically grew overnight? Swollen legs, tender breasts and bloating are all symptoms of water retention.
Sometimes called edema, water retention occurs when fluids that would normally flow through your body begin to pool into tiny spaces between your body’s cells. The condition is a lot more common in women than in men with women more likely to experience it during pregnancy or their menstruation period.
During pregnancy, water retention is one of nature’s ways of allowing for the body’s expansion. Of course, most women are very familiar with the problem during the course of their menstrual cycle when it is natural for extra fluid to accumulate. However, there are times when you may notice that you are retaining what feels like excess water.
Perhaps you find that fluid retention is happening all the time which can sometimes be a symptom of a larger problem. If you notice that you have been retaining fluid for more than one week, you should visit your doctor to receive a full diagnosis and treatment.
Side Effects of Water Retention Diuretics
If you seek help from conventional doctors, you will find that most will try to control water retention through the use of diuretics which are a special class of drugs that help flush water out of the body. However, as well as the excess fluid, they also flush out magnesium, potassium, and other important minerals from the body. These are important essential minerals that help keep the muscles in your body contracting, your nerve cells communicating with one another and also help your heart to keep beating.
Clearly, diuretics should not be relied upon for controlling fluid retention problems. They can also have other unpleasant side effects including a lower sex drive and raised blood sugar levels. It is no wonder then that so many traditional herbalists and naturopathic doctors are busy recommending more natural remedies for water retention.
How to Get Rid of Water Retention Naturally
One of the most commonly prescribed treatments for controlling the condition is by simply flushing the kidneys out with water. As counter productive as it may sound, one of the best ways to help relieve water retention is to actually drink more water. This is because when you are dehydrated, your body will naturally try to hold onto all of the water that it can which leads to bloating and fluid retention. However, if you keep your body well hydrated, it is much less likely to try to hang onto all of the liquids it has retained.
Another promising and natural way to control fluid retention is through the use of the herb dandelion with some traditional herbalists describing dandelion as nature’s best medicine. In particular, the leaf of the dandelion is believed to be one of nature’s best natural diuretics. However, unlike conventional prescription diuretics, the leaf of the dandelion is natural, safe and does not cause serious side effects. Most herbalists recommend that patients take 250 milligrams of dandelion leaf extract three times a day. If you find this difficult or distasteful, simply take 30 to 60 drops of tincture in half a cup of juice or water three times a day.
You can keep taking dandelion indefinitely as long as you need the natural diuretic. However, if you are taking it to reduce water retention during pregnancy, only take the dandelion leaf extract until the symptoms are under control.