Water is a large and significant part of our body. Every part of us we can think of contains a solid percentage of water. However, sometimes our body might take on too much water and this is harmful both for your health and your beauty.

The state of the body when it contains too much water is called retention. Here are a few signs of water retention and ways to deal with it. We at Bright Side give you these tips to help you stay healthy.

Swollen legs and ankles

Reasons and symptoms: You sit all day at your office desk? Or maybe your work requires standing on your feet for long shifts? Do you do either of those without much moving? This may result in swollen legs and ankles.

You may also experience pain and the feeling of “heavy legs.” These symptoms will be worse if your dress code includes high heels.

How to deal with it: Lie down with your feet raised a couple of times a day. Take a break and go for walk once in a while. Wear comfortable shoes.

Belly-area water retention

Reasons and symptoms: Is your period close? Are you using birth control that contains hormones? Or are you on hormone replacement therapy? Any of those may cause a swollen and “heavy” belly.

How to deal with it: If the condition is pre-menstrual, it should go away after a couple days. But if is connected with your medication, you can consult your doctor. You should also go to the doctor if your bloated belly is combined with pain or other unpleasant symptoms.

Swollen legs and abdomen

Reasons and symptoms: Do you easily become out of breath or often feel weak and lightheaded? Do you feel short of breath or is your heart rate elevated?

If these symptoms appear with no clear reason, go consult your doctor. These, combined with swollen legs and belly, might be a signal that you have heart problems.

How to deal with it: Consult your doctor and follow the instructions you get from them. Check your health regularly and lower the amount of salt in your diet.

Swollen face (especially the eye area)

Reasons and symptoms: What did your evening meal consist of? Was it salty snacks, fast food, or something from a can? If yes, then no wonder you wake up with your face swollen.

How to deal with it: This condition goes away naturally after some time. To avoid it, lower the amount of salt and preservatives in your diet.

Swollen and aching legs

Reasons and symptoms: Do the veins on your legs seem bigger? Did your skin color change? Do you have rash?

Those might be symptoms of vein problems. For some reason, your veins don’t work the way they should or you could have a blood clot.

How to deal with it: Consult your doctor. You might need to start taking medication or even have surgery. Follow their prescriptions accurately and allow your legs to rest enough.

Wearing a pair of high-quality compression stockings might be useful as well.

Other common symptoms which might cause water retention:

  • Illness in the lungs or other organs, including cancer
  • Air travel
  • Malnutrition

Remember that water retention should be considered dangerous only if appears for no clear reason or if it’s combined with other symptoms like pain, rash, or fever.

General rules of coping with retention:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and reduce the amount of salt in your food. Be sure to include nuts, bananas, avocado, citrus fruits, and green vegetables in your diet.
  • Put your feet up after a long day.
  • Consult your doctor if retention feels abnormal or if it’s combined with other symptoms (pain, rash, etc.).
  • If prescribed, take medicine regularly and follow your doctor’s instructions.
  • Consider using special compression stockings but consult your doctor before buying a pair.

We at Bright Side want you to stay healthy and beautiful. Do you ever experience retention? How do you deal with it? Please tell us in the comments!

Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for Bright Side