Swellings in the hands, feet, and legs are a result of water retention, or otherwise known as edema. Edema is manifested by the buildup of fluids in the tissues, circulatory system, and cavities.

Fluid retention in women is naturally associated with pregnancy and for some women, also with their monthly cycle. Lack of physical activity for extended periods of time, when bedridden from an injury or on long flights for example, can also cause temporary water retention.

While this isn’t a very serious health issue, it can scarcely be an indicator of heart failure or kidney disease.

  • Swelling of body parts (ankles, feet, and hands) – Are your rings feeling tight on your fingers? Shoes rubbing or pinching for no reason?
  • Bloated tummy – Finding it hard to fit into your favorite pair of jeans?
  • Feeling stiffness or aching
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Joints may feel stiff
  • When pressed the skin may hold the indent for a few seconds

Fluid retention if often caused by certain medical conditions and medications:

  • Sitting or staying in one position for too long
  • Eating too much salty food
  • Premenstrual signs and symptoms
  • Pregnancy

Edema can also be a side effect of some medications, including:

  • High blood pressure medications
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Steroid drugs
  • Estrogens
  • Certain diabetes medications called thiazolidinediones
  • Pramipexole

Here’s what you can do to avoid or reduce your water retention and alleviate the discomfort it causes.


Most processed foods are loaded with salt, a prime factor in water retention. The sodium in salt binds with water and influences the flow of water throughout the body. While salt is important for proper functioning of the body, evidence shows that it will help us to retain water.

Watch the nutrition labels and eat a low-sodium diet in order to flush water through your body more rapidly,  but keep in mind the body’s need for salt in hot climates.


Magnesium is a vital mineral or the body, and without it, your body can’t perform at its peak. One research showed that taking 200 milligrams as a daily dose of magnesium can reduce water retention in women with premenstrual symptoms.

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Written by jale