Updated: 2018, Apr 19

Drinking Too Much Water Cause Water Retention: Myth OR Fact?

Drinking too much water

Many people wonder if drinking too much water can cause fluid retention. Although it seems counterintuitive, water retention is often caused by drinking too little water. When the body feels dehydrated, it starts to conserve fluid. This leads to water retention. Until more water is consumed, fluid retention problems will continue. Before new fluid is absorbed, the old fluid has to be eliminated. When someone is dehydrated, this process cannot occur.

Water retention occurs among people with various medical conditions. In the normal human body, water and nutrients are transported to the tissue through veins. In individuals with varicose veins, the cardiovascular system stops working correctly and this does not occur. Individuals with issues in their lymphatic system often have the same problem. The lymphatic system removes toxins and waste and deposits it in the capillaries. Once this occurs, the waste is transported to the kidneys where it is removed and sent out of the body. If the kidneys, heart or cardiovascular system are not working correctly, water retention will occur.

Individuals who do not suffer from any medical conditions may still develop water retention. In most cases, this is linked to consuming too little water or the menstrual cycle. If someone has suffered from water retention frequently over the past few months, they should always talk to their doctor to figure out the issue.

How Can Someone Find Out If They Are Retaining Excess Water?

Swollen parts of the skin

The easiest way to find out if someone is retaining excess water is to test the skin. Look for any swollen parts of the skin. At this spot, press a finger down for fifteen seconds and remove it. If a fingerprint remains, it is a sign of water retention.

There are also other symptoms of water retention. The affected tissue may feel painful. In addition, the extra stress on the joints may cause joint pain. Some individuals may notice increased swelling or inflammation. For patients with ongoing water retention, the body weight will change drastically. As the water retention becomes worse, the extra water will cause a rise in body weight. Once the added water leaves the body, the weight will drop. Anyone who experiences these symptoms can seek help from their doctor for the best ways to reduce water retention. In minor cases, drinking more water, diuretics or exercise may be advised. Changing diets can also help remove the symptoms of water retention.

How Many Glasses A Day Should Someone Drink?

Glasses of Water

A long time ago, doctors said that people should try to consume eight glasses of water a day. For the average person, this may actually be too much. The foods people eat often contain significant amounts of water. Vegetables and fruit have high percentages of water. Since the diet naturally contains additional water, it is not always necessary to drink a full eight glasses of water every day. The amount of water necessary varies from person to person. In some cases, even more water should be consumed on a daily basis. Recently, the Institute of Medicine set the adequate intake levels for individuals in a temperate climate. According to this estimate, women should consume nine cups of beverages and men should consume 13 cups. This figure includes all of the beverages, foods and soups eaten in a day.

Someone who is suffering from water retention should increase their daily consumption of water. Although water needs vary according to climate, gender, health and activity level, individuals with water retention must have more water if they want to release excess fluids. Until more water is absorbed, the excess fluid will be retained by the body.

Author

Melissa Feldman

Melissa Feldman is an independent research writer living in Toronto, Canada. She has professional experience as a researcher, and educa

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