29 Aug How to combat water retention symptoms
Do you feel bloated and puffy around the time of your period? You’re certainly not alone! Most women and girls experience some water retention symptoms during their menstrual cycle, including a bloated tummy, puffy ankles and a general feeling of your clothes being too tight.
Although men can also suffer from fluid retention, it’s we women who are most prone to water retention because of our hormonal fluctuations during our menstrual cycle.
Fluid retention – sometimes called ‘water weight’ – varies from person to person, but is caused by changes in the hormones progesterone and oestrogen leading up to your period. Fluctuations in our hormone levels at the time of ovulation control how much water your body retains, and for some of us, can mean up to a fortnight of water retention symptoms.
One way to find out if you are retaining water is by gently pressing your foot, ankle or calf with slow, steady pressure with your thumb – if the little dent left by your body doesn’t ping back quickly, it probably means that you are suffering from fluid retention.
Should you worry about water retention symptoms?
If your water retention comes and goes during the month, it is nothing to worry about, but if you feel you are suffering from puffiness for longer periods, or suffering pain with the swelling, you should always see your GP.
How can you relieve water retention?
Happily, there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the symptoms of water retention:
Increase the amount you drink – you need at least a litre a day to flush out your system and keep yourself healthy. Try drinking half a litre of water first thing in the morning, then if you end up rushing around, at least you have already had around half of what you need before the day begins!
1. Keep your temperature regulated
Fluctuating from hot to cold can contribute to water retention, so make sure you take a cardi if your office air conditioning is fierce on a sunny day, or wrap up if you are likely to be out in chilly conditions
2. Cut your carbs
Food such as brown rice or unprocessed pulses move through your system more quickly, so you won’t exacerbate that bloating feeling that comes from water retention
3. Reduce the salt in your diet
The sodium in salt makes us conserve water, so it’s well worth cutting back on salty foods and holding back on the salt shaker whenever you are suffering from fluid retention
4. Move more
If you suffer from PMS, you often feel less like exercising just before your period – you’d rather just curl up indoors with a cuppa in front of the TV. However, it is well worth keeping up gentle exercise in the days before your period as this will help to dispel retained water, and help boost your mood into the bargain!
5. Eat parsley
This herb is not only tasty sprinkled on grilled fish or meat, or mixed into your steamed veggies, but it is also a natural diuretic, helping to flush out that unwanted fluid.
6. Try natural herbal water retention tablets
HRI Water Balance is one of the most popular tablets for fluid retention on the market and contains herbs which are traditionally used to relieve the symptoms of bloating and swelling caused by water retention:
- Dandelion Leaf and Root, natural diuretics that promote urine production
- Buchu Leaf – traditionally used to disinfect the urinary tract and with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Uva-Ursi Leaf – a popular choice for people for its association with reducing inflammation and treating urinary tract infections.
It is essential that when selecting any herbal medicine that you choose one marked with the THR symbol, a guarantee of safety and quality.
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