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Top 5 Reasons people retain water

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3. Medications
Prescribed and OTC (over-the-counter) medications are often the reason people retain unnecessary fluids. These usually include steroids (corticosteroids, etc.), contraceptives containing estrogen, high blood pressure drugs (nifedipine, diltiazem, and verapamil), antidepressants (phenelzine, tranylcypromine, and desipramine), hormones, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may interfere with the natural processes of fluid removal from our bodies, such as by affecting electrolytes, interfering with hormonal levels, or putting unhealthy pressure on vital organs.

You should not stop taking a medication because of water retention without first consulting your doctor. However, you should make your doctor aware of any changes in your body as a result of taking any medication.

4. Disease
Many medical conditions can pressure the body into retaining water. Some of the more common ones include high blood pressure (hypertension), chronic venous insufficiency, cirrhosis of the liver, malignant lymph edema, hypothyroidism, allergic reactions, hepatorenal disease, and congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF, for example, leads to compromised blood pressure, which, in turn, makes it more difficult for kidneys to drain the blood of excess fluids and waste by-products. One common remedy is to prescribe diuretics to help the body get rid of excess fluids.

Ironically, water retention can be an important symptom in diagnosing disease, which is why you should never assume that it is from “natural” causes. In most cases, water retention can be classified as abnormal and treated successfully.

5. Hormonal Fluctuation
More common in women than in men, hormonal imbalance is a common source of water retention, especially for women experiencing pregnancy, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and menopause. This is especially true for women receiving hormonal replacement therapy. Hormones affect how kidneys function, how much fluid the body retains, and how the body manipulates protein, electrolytes, and important enzymes. In pregnant women, for example, it tells the body to retain more fluids for the sake of the fetus.

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