How to Get Rid of Bloating & Water Retention

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Bloating or water retention may cause severe discomfort.
Bloating or water retention may cause severe discomfort. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bloating is the build up of air or gas in the stomach and intestines caused by diet, stress or medical conditions. Water retention occurs when fluids build up in the body instead of being released by the urinary system, which may be caused by diet, lifestyle factors, certain medications and serious medical conditions, such as heart disease. Bloating and water retention caused by diet and lifestyle factors can usually be relieved by making some simple changes in these areas. However, prolonged symptoms should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out a medical cause.

Bloating

Identify bloating triggers, such as anxiety or eating fatty foods, certain carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners or carbonated beverages.

Eat slowly and try to make mealtimes relaxed occasions whenever possible. Eating too quickly or when you are stressed can interfere with digestion, resulting in bloating.

Reduce the amount of fat in your diet. Fat slows digestion, allowing food more time to ferment and increasing the risk of bloating, according to Mayo Clinic.com.

Exercise regularly. Exercise helps to move food through your digestive system more quickly, so a brief walk after a meal may help to reduce bloating.

Talk to your doctor if bloating does not improve with diet and lifestyle changes. Bloating may signify a serious medical condition, such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance or another serious digestive condition, according to Mayo Clinic.com. Inform your doctor of symptoms including constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomitting, severe or recurring abdominal pain, bloody stools, weight loss, fever or chest pain.

Water Retention

Identify water retention triggers. These may include premenstrual syndrome, medical conditions or medications, an unhealthy diet, dehydration or lack of exercise.

Limit the amount of salt in your diet by avoiding processed foods and not adding extra salt to foods . Sodium-rich foods contribute to water retention.

Drink a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water or other fluids each day. Proper hydration helps to remove excess sodium and toxins from the body which may contribute to water retention. Also, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, celery and onions.

Exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week. Exercise stimulates the body's lymphatic system, helping to regulate the body's fluid balance, and relieves the severity of premenstrual symptoms, such as water retention.

Take 1,200 mg of calcium and 200 to 400 mg of magnesium each day to relieve water retention. Consult with your doctor before taking any supplements to avoid harmful side effects or potential drug interactions.

Talk to your doctor if water retention does not improve with diet and lifestyle changes. Your doctor can determine the cause of your water retention and recommend treatment options.

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