Water retention in the arms, legs, or stomach can cause heavy legs, swollen feet, and aching hands. But where does the body’s excess water come from? What can we do to treat the swelling, too? We provide the top advice and DIY treatments for water in the legs.
It is common for the body to retain water; particularly in the summer when it is warm, water tends to collect in the hands, feet, ankles, and legs. Before their period, many women simply feel bloated and uncomfortable with their bodies.
Water retention, also known as edema, is not medically dangerous, but it can lead to tired, heavy legs and unpleasant pain. We explain where this water accumulation can come from and what you can do about it
Water in the legs: how does water retention occur?
Water retention happens when moisture seeps into the surrounding tissue from the lymphatic system or blood vessels. The legs are particularly frequently impacted because the water retention causes them to thicken and become heavy. Ankles and feet can swell as well. Water retention might also have an impact on the hands, fingers, cheeks, or stomach.
You can easily determine for yourself whether it is really edema: press your finger on the swollen area for a few seconds. If a visible dent remains, which only slowly recedes, it is an edema.
The 5 most common causes of water retention
There are many reasons why unpleasant water retention occurs. But these are the most common causes:
Water retention through predisposition
While our genes are somewhat to fault for the swelling, other factors include various lifestyle choices. For instance, if we spend a lot of time standing or sitting, the blood in the body sinks into the legs, increasing the pressure and causing the water in the veins to leak into the tissue.
Water in the legs due to the heat
In the summer, edema is a common problem for many people, who notably lament their heavy legs and feet. The explanation: Blood vessels expand in hot weather in an effort to better dissipate body heat. Veins become less elastic and blood flow slows down. This makes it possible for water to penetrate the nearby tissue unimpeded.
Hormonal changes in women
Pregnancy or the female menstrual cycle are two other causes of water retention: During pregnancy, the legs, feet, hands, and breasts are frequently tense in an uncomfortable way before, during, and after the period.
Some medications cause edema
Edema may not usually result from heat or pregnancy, though. Among the most frequent causes of water retention are certain drugs, such as antidepressants, inflammatory drugs, or prescriptions for high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as excessive salt intake or bug stings.
Additionally, major conditions like cancer, liver and kidney illness, hypothyroidism, and heart disease can all be contributing factors to the edema. Therefore, it is imperative to see a doctor, especially in the case of severe and persistent symptoms, in order to rule out dangerous conditions. Anyone who has excessively fat arms or legs should also be evaluated to determine if they have lipoedema.
One thought on “Get rid of water retention: tips against heavy legs”
Very useful tips.