Fluid Mechanics: Understanding Water Retention in the Body

Problems expelling water are caused by one of several mechanical failures of the body, sometimes induced by imbalanced hormones or chemicals. Very often, it is a symptom of old age. Whatever the cause, it is clinically known as water retention. Common effects are the swelling of hands and feet, and sometimes entire limbs can become bloated and inflamed. The lymph nodes are responsible for storing extra fluid, but sometimes they can become overwhelmed and leak into the surrounding tissue.

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Water retention is caused by two things: An excess of histamine, or the improper functioning of an organ. The body naturally manufactures histamine and releases it in the presence of allergens. Allergens can be pollen or any foreign compound that the body develops a reaction to. The allergen in question can be very specific to the individual. Histamine causes water retention by causing capillaries to dilate and allowing them to leak fluid. This normally is beneficial, because it releases white blood cells and fluid to injured or infected tissue.

Improper excretion can be caused by malfunctioning kidneys or the heart. In the case of the heart, this is caused by a drop in blood pressure. Without pressure, fluids back up and leak, and also the kidneys are less able to filter blood. The kidneys fail in their duty if they become infected or inflamed. Swollen kidneys are too pressurized to filter blood properly, like a hose being restricted by doubling it over. Kidneys become sick as the result of bacteria and other contaminants being ingested from food and water sources.

Curing water retention requires a complete physical examination. This should be a patient's first step anyway, given the startling sight of an entirely swollen hand or foot. It is necessary to seek evaluation right away in order to determine the cause because swelling can be a sign of a more serious condition. Allergens and chemicals are not always the culprits; there is always the chance of organ malfunction which must be eliminated first. In the event allergens are suspected, the food or drink that was consumed should be isolated.

Drinking purified water can eliminate the chance the allergen came from chemicals found in tap water. Purified water also does not contain any bacteria or viruses which can also affect water retention and clean water consumption is one way to prevent or reduce water retention in the body. In severe cases, the medicine may be required and the individual will likely be given an antihistamine, either over-the-counter or even prescription. However, some drugs themselves can also cause water retention so people should always be careful when taking medication for retaining water.

Read Next: Stop Retaining Water... By Drinking More Water!

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