I feel like I’m going to burst: Natural ways to reduce water retention – By Summer Cavalier-Banks
I remember waking up mornings feeling like the skin on my face would split it was so tight. My feet hurt, joints ached and every inch of my body felt like it was stretched to its ultimate capacity. Water retention feels horrible and no woman likes to spend the morning trying to use makeup and clothes to cover the physical effects of water retention, let alone walk through life feeling like the Stay-Puff marshmallow man. Water retention can be linked to premenstrual syndrome, hormone replacement therapy and menopause, but just because it is a fact of life does not mean women have to just deal with it… I didn’t.
Low-carb dieting reduces water retention. According to the MayoClinic, low-carb diets like Atkins have a diuretic effect. This effect is strong for the first two weeks on Atkins, also known as the Induction phase. Atkins also offers the benefit of weight loss. Make sure to drink lots of water and eat foods rich in potassium, like tuna. Water loss causes potassium and electrolyte loss, which can lead to muscle cramping.
Natural diuretics help push out excess water. Herbal diuretics like dandelion root and uva ursi are available over the counter from vitamin companies. These herbs increase urine production. Going to the bathroom more often means relieving typical water retention. Herbal diuretics can cause dehydration, so it is important to take these herbs on an as-needed basis as directed by your physician.
Drink lots of water to reduce water retention. I may seem that drinking more fluid would cause more water retention, but the opposite is true. Drinking water causes the kidneys to process fluids and increase urination. Think of water as a natural, safe diuretic. It is important to drink enough water to flush toxins and hydrate skin and organs.
Walk, run, lift, because sweating purges water. When I’ve taken an herbal diuretic and upped my water intake without reprieve, I get out in the hot summer sun and take a long walk. Sweating helps relieve water retention and it’s a great way to build bone mass for women approaching menopause and those who’ve already gone through the change of life. Exercise is linked to improved sleep, immunity and mood, so that walk offers more than a little water shedding.
Waking up every morning feeling like your eyes won’t open is not a way to live. I chose to combine natural diuretics with a regular exercise program and a low carbohydrate diet to combat water retention in menopause. I wake up without that feeling of stretched skin and my energy levels are through the roof. While prescription medications are the answer in some medical cases, there are natural ways of reducing water retention that are both safe and effective.