Edema, or water retention, is the condition of accumulated fluid within the tissues and cavities or the circulatory system. It is common before or during pregnancy and leads to swellings in the legs, feet, ankles, and hands.
Edema is also common in inactive people, those who are on long-term medications, bedridden or people with sedentary lifestyles. Water retention is usually not a life-threatening condition, but it can often indicate a more serious issue, like heart failure or kidney disease. Yet, in most cases, water retention can be prevented, treated and the swelling can be reduced.
If you specify the underlying cause of edema, you will know how to treat it. These are some of the most common causes of water retention:
- Excessive Sodium Intake
In the case of consumption of high- sodium foods, and insufficient intake of water, the body enters a “reserve mode” and starts to retain water. In this case, the cells may become 20x enlarged with water, in order to dilute the salty environment.
Moreover, salt is not the only food that is rich in sodium, but canned vegetables, some condiments, and processed meat have also been found to be abundant in sodium.
Conversely, there is a salt that does not lead to water retention, but in fact, can help you reverse it. The consumption of water with Celtic sea salt or Himalayan salt can help you in the case of water retention.
- Vitamin B6 deficiency
Vitamin B6 is in charge of the balance f water in the body, so if the body lacks it, you may suffer from water retention.
A study done by the Journal of Caring Sciences found that women who suffered from water retention due to premenstrual syndrome found the intake of vitamin B6 extremely beneficial.
Namely, they reported that it reduces the symptoms more effectively than any other supplements they have used before. This vitamin is actually water-soluble, and it needs numerous cofactors to work, so for best results, take in the form of whole foods.
Moreover, foods which are high in vitamin B6 include chicken, tuna, turkey, sunflower seeds, dried fruit, pistachio nuts, unpeeled potatoes, tuna, chicken, turkey, lean beef, and bananas.
- Potassium deficiency