That of water retention a very serious problem, especially among women. However, it often happens that people struggle a bit distinguish between fluid accumulation in the subcutaneous tissue and fat deposits or cellulite, phenomena that, moreover, can coexist.
What is the cause of water retention?
Under normal conditions, the human body is made up of about 70 percent water and a complex system of hormones regulates its correct metabolism and balance. Sometimes, for various reasons, it may happen that the excess fluids are not disposed of, being trapped in the space between one cell and another, giving rise to water retention – he explains Andrea Giustina, director of the endocrinology unit of the Irccs San Raffaele in Milan and full professor of Endocrinology and metabolic diseases at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University -. That of water retention a problem across all specialist clinics because there are numerous conditions, or actual diseases, which can have among their manifestations the stagnation of liquids. In most cases water retention however is the result of incorrect eating and living habits, starting with a diet too rich in salt. And not only because there is a tendency to add it to dishes but also because perhaps too salty foods are consumed, often unconsciously, such as sausages and cured meats. Moreover, the excess sodium is also harmful for other reasons, just think of thehypertension. Other habits that can promote water retention are the poor water intake, the regular consumption of alcohol as well as the sedentary. Contrary to what many still think, the water we drink does not aggravate retention, rather it facilitates diuresis and the excretion of liquids.
What pathologies can cause it?
Not rarely in young women, water retention indicates a thyroid disease, for example Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which has two peaks: during adolescence and in perimenopause. This condition can lead to hypothyroidism with possible fluid retention. Water retention can be also associated with major diseases of the kidneys, heart or liver as well as being a sign of problems in the lymphatic system (lymphedema). In these cases, however, other disorders are generally present and the disease is already known. An exception could be acute renal failure in a person without a previous illness: a sudden edema of the limbs, accompanied by a reduction in diuresis, could be the alarm bell.
Can it also depend on drugs?
There is no shortage of cases in which the swelling associated with the use of certain drugs including the cortisone, some antihypertensives (calcium channel blockers) and the contraceptive pill. The latter sometimes determines a water retention such as to have to consider its suspension or replacement with preparations with a lower dosage of estrogen.
What can be done?
If a pathology causes it, it is necessary to intervene on that, when instead the water retention linked to the lifestyle it is necessary to put in place some measures. In particular water intake must be increased if this reduced, reduce salt in your diet, eat more fruits and vegetables that help eliminate excess water, and practice regular physical activity. In case of drug water retention it must be evaluated together with the doctor whether to stop them, change their dosage or even change medicine. Less salt, in case of water retention. More salt (iodized), on the other hand, to protect the thyroid and prevent goiter. Two apparently contrary dietary indications? In reality it is not so because precisely To reduce the risk of excessive sodium intake, a considerable amount of iodine is added to table salt per gram. So it is enough to consume four to five grams of iodized salt per day.
How can you distinguish it from cellulite?
The simplest way to distinguish water retention from localized deposits of fat or cellulite observe where swelling is present. If the alteration is evident above all at the buttocks or upper thighs generally it is an adipose accumulation, while if there is swelling of the legs, especially in the lower part of the limbs, more likely it is water retention. It is also useful to look for the sign of the fovea: through acupressure it is assessed whether the so-called fovea or dimple can be created. When there is water retention, the dimple forms quickly without exerting particular pressure and disappears as quickly. In the case of some edemas of a pathological nature, it may be necessary to press more to form this dimple, which then lasts even longer, explains Giustina.
July 8, 2021 (change July 8, 2021 | 5:56 pm)
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