Edema is a condition in which your body retains water. This fluid build-up may be apparent in your feet, ankles and elsewhere. Your body needs water because it serves as a shock absorber in your spinal cord, joints and eyes. The body is made up of approximately 60 percent water. If there was no water content in the body it would not be able to regulate temperature or transport nutrients to your cells.
However, too much water is not a good thing. It can make you feel and look puffy. When edema occurs it tends to manifest itself in the lower extremities due to gravity. Sometimes your entire body may swell, but other times the swelling may be concentrated in your feet. When you retain water, you gain weight, and this can happen in a few days time. Before menstruation, women may experience water weight gain.
Medications That Cause Edema
If you are taking medications that contain estrogen, the female hormone, this may cause water retention. Hormone replacement therapy drugs and birth control pills both contain estrogen. Blood pressure lowering drugs also tend to cause water retention as do antidepressants and steroids, according to Healingnaturallybybee.com.
Tread Carefully With Diuretics
Some people take diuretics to get rid of water weight gain but this can be risky. Diuretics can deplete your potassium levels and can also cause rebound edema, according to Healthguidance.org. If you take diuretics all of the time, this can result in activation of salt and water retaining hormones. When you stop taking diuretics, these hormones become activated and cause water retention.
Diuretics are sometimes necessary because of your medical condition. Before you take them, let your doctor know what other medications you are taking. The medicines that you shouldn't take with a diuretic include cyclosporine, especially if you are taking a potassium-sparing diuretic. Lithium, high blood pressure medication and digitalis should not be combined with diuretics. Digoxin shouldn't be taken in conjunction with a diuretic, especially if your potassium is already low. Certain antidepressants should not be combined with water pills, according to the Texasheartinstitute.com.
If you have to take medications that are causing water retention, the Mayo Clinic says there are natural ways to combat this. Cut back on salt and look for foods that contain reduced sodium. If you eat more fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in water, such as celery, watermelon and cucumbers, this will make you urinate more frequently, which reduces water retention. Also, remember to drink more water.