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Men hydrating to get rid of water retention | HRI Herbal medicine

How to get rid of water retention in men

Brigitte Flower explains how to get rid of water retention to help the man in your life – whether that’s a partner, father, uncle or friend – ease the symptoms of this irritating and uncomfortable condition.

Water retention is something that’s traditionally seen as a problem for women, and much of the advice on how to get rid of water retention is targeted at them.

However, fluid retention can be an issue for men too, sometimes after arduous walks or long-haul flights, or more persistently for more mature men or those with limited mobility.

Water retention, medically known as oedema, occurs when excess fluids build up in the body’s tissues, leading to swelling and discomfort. While it is more likely to affect women, in men it often manifests as swelling in the feet, ankles, hands, legs or abdomen.

If the problem persists, or if it comes on suddenly, you should always consult your GP just to be sure it’s not a symptom of an underlying health condition. If it is down to obesity, it’s also a good idea to see a health professional to get some support to lose those excess pounds.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell if a swollen stomach in particular is down to weight gain or temporary ‘water weight’ caused by fluid retention. In our article on understanding the difference between bloating and fat, we explain that there are four clues that will help you understand the cause:

  • Does your stomach feel hard to touch?
  • Is the swelling just in one area
  • Does the distended look come and go?
  • Is your stomach tender to touch or does it feel sore?

If the answer to these questions is ‘yes’, then it could well be that you are suffering from bloating caused by water retention, rather than weight,

Here are some tips on what to look out for and how to help alleviate the symptoms of fluid retention naturally.

Balance hydration to get rid of water retention

If you suspect you’re retaining fluid, the first impulse is to drink less, but in fact, staying well hydrated is key in helping to prevent water retention. When our bodies notice we’re getting dehydrated, they hold onto water, causing bloating and retention.

By drinking plenty of water or clear fluids, the body knows that it doesn’t need to retain excess fluids and it expels it naturally through urine or sweat.

Men should aim to drink at least 8-10 cups of water daily, or more if he has an active job or takes strenuous exercise. Coffee or tea aren’t the answer as they can contribute to water retention.

Make small changes to your diet

Salt is the main culprit that can trigger water retention as sodium, the chemical in salt, causes the body to retain fluids.

To reduce salt intake, it’s wise to avoid processed foods, tinned soups and salty snacks such as crisps or nuts.

As well as cutting down on salt, it’s a good idea for anyone suffering from water retention to increase their intake of potassium. This counteracts the effect of sodium naturally, helping to balance the fluids in the body and help get rid of water retention. Potassium is found in foods including bananas, spinach, avocado and sweet potatoes, so it’s a good idea for the man in your life to include these in his diet every day.

Cutting back on booze – especially beer or lager – will help reduce water retention and, of course, minimise the risk of getting a ‘beer belly’.

Exercise little and often

Regular physical activity is crucial in preventing water retention as it improves circulation and helps lymphatic drainage, reducing fluid buildup.

If a man doesn’t enjoy the gym or running, activities such as walking, cycling or swimming for at least 30 minutes five times a week will make a huge difference, as well as offering a whole host of other health benefits.

If they do enjoy the gym or are happy to do weights work at home, strength training is a great way to boost circulation and reduce localised bloating.

Try compression socks

For people who can’t exercise, compression socks or sleeves can be useful in controlling fluid retention in legs and hands. They exert gentle pressure on the limbs, improving blood circulation and helping to stop excess fluid ‘pooling’ in hands, feet and ankles.

Elevate legs

If their main problem is swollen ankles or feet, elevating the legs above heart level while lying down is an ideal way to encourage excess fluid to drain away from extremities, where the circulatory system can deal with it more easily.

Take steps to ease stress levels

Let’s be honest, most men aren’t great at stress management. If they can give techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises or yoga a go, these can help to reduce stress and help the whole metabolism function better, helping to get rid of water retention at the same time.

If yoga is out of the question, just finding time to spend on their favourite hobby could help alleviate stress and potentially reduce water retention.

Give a herbal remedy for water retention a go

Dandelion extract is one of the most popular herbal ingredients for water retention and has been used for centuries to help flush out excess fluid naturally. HRI Water Balance is a triple herb formula containing extract of dandelion root and leaf, helping to promote urination to flush excess fluids out of the body. The Uva-ursi in HRI Water Balance has anti-microbial properties and Buchu has documented anti-inflammatory benefits. 

You should always read the patient information leaflet before taking any herbal medicine as it can interact with medications and is not recommended for people with diabetes or the elderly.

Get up and move!

Prolonged sitting or standing can hinder good blood circulation and contribute to fluid retention. Take breaks, stretch, and move around regularly to encourage blood flow.

Try a cold compress

If ankles and legs become sore or tender due to water retention, applying a cold compress or ice pack to swollen areas can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort.

The best way to get rid of water retention in men is through – often small – lifestyle changes and a little help from a licensed herbal medicine. While mild cases often improve with dietary adjustments, exercise, and elevation, it’s essential to get medical attention for persistent or severe edema. By adopting a holistic approach that combines hydration, healthy habits, and, if necessary, medical advice, men can effectively manage and reduce water retention and improve their overall well-being.

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