How to Know If You Are Retaining Water


Water retention, also known as edema, is unpleasant. The condition occurs when your body's lymphatic system is not properly removing fluid. Swelling takes place because the fluid is retained in body tissue instead of being discarded. Steroid medication, standing or sitting for long periods of time, hormonal fluctuations or a diet high in salt may all be to blame. Figuring out whether you are retaining water requires observation on your part. There are various physical signs that may indicate water retention.

Your clothes may fit tighter when you retain water.
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Things You'll Need

  • Scale
Step 1

Push a finger, for ten seconds, into a bloated area of your body. Remove your finger. If there is an indentation left on your skin you are most likely retaining water.

If you can leave an indentation on your skin with a finger, you're likely retaining water.
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Step 2

Remove your socks at the end of the day. Look at your legs. If they have indentations on them that remain present for a long time, it may be a sign of water retention. Water retention is often present in legs and feet because gravity pulls the water down.

Check your legs for sock marks.
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Step 3

Stand on a scale. If your weight has rapidly changed within 24 hours, the extra pounds may very well be water weight.

If your weight has changed within 24 hours, the extra pounds may be water weight.
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Step 4

Determine whether your menstrual cycle is due or if you are going through menopause if you are a woman. Water retention, especially in the tummy, is a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. Hormone fluctuations and imbalances during menopause may also cause water retention.

If it's time for your menstrual cycle, you may experience water retention.
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Step 5

Observe the way your clothes fit. If they fit tighter than normal, it may be due to bloating from water retention. Rings that you wear on your fingers may not fit as comfortably anymore.

If your clothes are fitting tighter than normal, it may be due to bloating.
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Step 6

Consult your doctor to determine whether you are retaining water. Water retention may be caused by underlying conditions such as thyroid problems, kidney disease and hypertension. These conditions have to be treated to eliminate water retention.

Consult your doctor to determine whether you are retaining water.
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Tips & Warnings

  • Watch your salt intake because salt can cause water retention. Consume less than 1,500 milligrams per day, as recommended by the American Heart Association.


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