Fluid retention can occur when too much sodium builds up in your body, causing tissues to become inflamed. Avoid excess consumption of alcohol or saturated fats.
Surely this has happened to you at some point. You’ve come home from work to find your legs are swollen and you might even have an uncomfortable feeling of heaviness and cramping in your calves and feet.
Fluid retention in the legs affects women more than men, and while it’s more common during the summer months it can also be associated with some classic circulatory problems.
Tissues can become inflamed due to the presence of toxins, causing fluid to be retained and slowing the flow of blood through the veins. This causes the legs to swell, which is usually accompanied by pain.
What can you do? First of all, don’t worry. In today’s article we’ll discuss some solutions to bring you relief from this unpleasant condition.
Find out what causes fluid retention in the legs
Not all of us are created equal. We have different lifestyle habits and physical characteristics.
That’s why it’s important to first know what causes this annoying condition:
- Being overweight. It’s common for women who have large amounts of cellulite to suffer from fluid retention in the legs
- If you sit for a long period of time on a plane or train, you will retain fluid in your legs
- Check your medications. There are many drugs on the market that have fluid retention as a side effect
- If you’ve suffered an injury to your knees or ankles, it can cause fluid retention
- Varicose veins
- Renal problems
- Heart or circulatory disorders
- Hormonal imbalances during your period
- Remaining standing for long periods of time
- Not controlling your salt intake
If you notice that your problem with fluid retention in your legs is starting to affect your day to day activities, you should see your doctor. Before implementing any of the following home remedies, it’s important to first know the cause.
1. Fennel tea
This aromatic herb of Mediterranean origin can easily be found in any natural store, or in the tea section of your normal grocery store.
Fennel tea is a diuretic, digestive, and cleansing tea. It’s excellent for fighting fluid retention, and you can drink it once or twice a day, 15 minutes after each meal.
- 1 teaspoon of fennel (5 g)
- ½ teaspoon of anise (3 g)
- 1 cup of water (200 ml)
- This is very easy to make. Just boil the water, and add the fennel and anise.
- Let the tea steep for at least 20 minutes.
- Drink this slowly while it’s still warm.
2. Horsetail tea
Horsetail is one of the best plants for fighting fluid retention. You can find it in pharmacies and natural stores, and there are many reasons why it can help:
- It promotes clogging, slowing the flow of blood
- It contains silicon, a mineral that helps regenerate the skin and repair connective tissue
- It’s highly effective, increasing your production of urine and eliminating toxins as a natural cleansing diuretic
- Interestingly, horsetail contains two active compounds that stimulate circulation and filter toxins from the blood
- It’s a good idea to drink horsetail tea in the morning for best results
3. Foods to add to your diet
One of the most important things you need to do is regulate how much salt you consume on a daily basis. Your body will adjust the level of fluid it retains through a complex hormonal system.
When salt accumulates in your body, however, tissues become inflamed and edema occurs, i.e. fluid retention.
Your body can’t eliminate the excess water through your urine or sweat glands, making you feel uncomfortably swollen.
But salt isn’t the only thing that can cause inflammation. Saturated fats, sugary drinks, sweets, and white flour are other harmful foods that alter your basic bodily functions.
Avoid these pitfalls and start regular consumption of the following:
4. Drink plenty of water, the right way
It’s easy to make small mistakes that have a big impact. You’ve probably heard that it’s a good idea to drink at least two liters of water a day.
If you have that rule of thumb in mind, you might try to drink a cup or two of water at a time. But what if you just drink six glasses in a row, to satisfy your daily need? Is that a good idea? No!
All this does is fill your stomach, causing your body to store the water improperly.
What you should do is drink small amounts of water throughout the day. That way you stay hydrated without overloading your body.
5. Go for a half hour walk every day
Put on some comfortable clothes, get out your shoes, and go for a walk. This shouldn’t feel like an obligation or even exercise: consider it a break for your body and mind to allow them to relax.
This gentle, regular movement will improve your circulation, helping to deliver oxygen to your veins and arteries while keeping them elastic.
You’ll notice that in a few weeks your legs will feel lighter and more rested. By controlling your diet, you’ll maintain a healthy weight and avoid the pitfalls of a sedentary lifestyle. Just these minor changes will erase all memory of that annoying fluid retention.