Edema, or also known as water retention, is a state that is characterized by swelling of the hands, feet, legs and ankles. Due to the fluid accumulation in the cavity, the tissue and the circulatory system, swelling appears.

Edema is common in the menopause periods, during pregnancy, physical inactivity, burns, consumption of contraceptive pills or pills that contain estrogen, unhealthy diet, medicine, such as: NSAIDs or vasodilators.

The causes of the edema detect the symptoms, which develop slowly and can be diagnosed by urine or blood tests, heart or liver function tests as well as by X-ray. In many cases, edema is not a serious health issue, even though it may sometimes cause more serious health problems, especially if it is caused by heart damage, kidney disease or liver disease, and diabetes.

Unluckily, Edema is a frequent health issue. Usually, nearly 4.4 million of American experience water retention. However, the most important thing is to be able to realize the causes of Edema and to know how to prevent it.

The main causes of Edema or water retention are:

1. Dehydration

If the human body is not hydrated, it retains water, and thus leads to swelling of the hands, feet, legs and ankles. In order to prevent water retention, you should avoid soft drinks and coffee and consume a lot of water.

2. Increased intake of sodium

Edema often appears when the body starts to use the water supplies, which occurs when the body intensively consumes food that is rich in sodium. In order to prevent water retention, you should avoid using food that is rich in sodium and consume Himalayan or Celtic salt.

Sodium is usually present in food like processed food and meat, condiments, canned vegetables, etc.

3. Lack of Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is essential for numerous processes related to water balance, so the lack of it may cause water retention. A study, published in the Journal of Caring sciences, has shown that women with premenstrual syndrome took Vitamin B6 on a regular basis and noticed significant improvements.

Vitamin B6 is a soluble vitamin, which people can take through tuna, bananas, chicken, turkey, potatoes, lean beef, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, pistachio nuts, and so on.

4. Increased consumption of processed food

Processed food is loaded with sugar, sodium and toxins, which negatively affect the function of the kidney and the liver, thus increasing the risk of water retention.

Processed food is also loaded with artificial sweeteners and sugar, which in turn increases the blood sugar and insulin levels.

5. Lack of magnesium

The lack of magnesium in the body hampers the function of many body systems, thus causing water retention. A recent study has shown that the intake of 200 mg. of magnesium on a daily basis may prevent water retention in women with premenstrual syndrome.

You should consume food that is rich in magnesium, like spinach, avocadoes, nuts, dark chocolate, whole grains, etc, or take magnesium supplements.

6. Lack of potassium

Potassium is essential for the proper function of the tissue, cells and the organs. At the same time, it is essential for maintain water balance in the body, which indicates that the lack of potassium may cause edema or other serious health issues, such as: cramps, muscles cramps, gain of weight, etc.

Due to its capability to lower increased sodium level, it is also capable to prevent edema. Potassium is present in fruits, like watermelon, honey melon and rock melon.

In order to prevent water retention, you can use various natural plants that have diuretic properties, such as: dandelion, garlic, nettle, corn silk, fennel, hibiscus, horsetail, parsley, etc.


  1. www.webmd.com
  2. www.medicalnewstoday.com