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Water holding in the body – causation

Water holding in the body – causation
The problem of excessive water holding is presented as quite frequent phenomenon with unclear etiology, which causes body aesthetics disorder. In practice, fluid retention may be the problem of aesthetics or the symptom of various diseases and the factor, which influences the functioning of the whole body. Skillful recognition of the prolem's nature, as well as setting its basic reasons is important and requires proper attention.

Why does body hold water?

Although it happens that the problem of holding water in the body is contrived and that, in fact, it is excessive amount of subcutaneous fatty tissue, in practice this phenomenon may occur in various people of different sex or age. But still, it happens mostly to women. Gathering too much fluid concerns the space outside blood vessels and often leads to swelling of different location. Those swellings concentrate either in one, or within few areas of the body, they are sometimes distributed around the body, therefore, they are hard to catch. The most popular reasons of increased water retention in the body are following:

  • change in the level of sex hormones accompanying menstruation cycle: water holding appears in the second phase of menstruation cycle, i.e. before period. Majority of women experience that,

  • the obvious factor contributing to occuring excessive water retention is pregnancy,

  • women who use oral contraception often suffer from swelling caused by water retention,

  • also diet may influence water retention, especially if it is unhealthy and rich in fast food,

  • the fluctuation of the quality and quantity of fluid intake can also cause excessive water holding,

  • water holding may be also caused by lack of movement, most of all, staying still in one position for many hours,

  • water holding may be also a consequence of some diseases or using particular medicines.

Diet as a factor influencing the problem of “too much water”

The influence of nutrition on holding fluids in the body may be considered on many levels. However, the following issues are of key importance:

  • intake of particular electrolytes (sodium and potassium),

  • intake of carbohydrates (quantity and quality).

Diet, which is very rich in sodium (at the same time – poor in potassium), fosters the process of gathering water in the body, but the drastic change of intake of those components is especially dangerous for people. If you eat a large meal in a fast-food restaurant rich in huge dose of sodium and refined carbohydrates after few days of less-calorific diet poor in sodium, you can experience the sad effect of gathering water in the body. Unfortunately, many people cause the water-electrolyte economy functions disorder by using junk food in their diet regularly in larger than just symbolic doses. Obviously, the problem of water holding is not the only one that such people will have to deal with after all.

The additional factor contributing to the problems with excessive amount of water in the body is the irrational attitude towards the matter of body hydration and the choice of quantity and quality of fluids. Drinking colourful beverages, which are a condensed source of sugar, as well as limiting the intake of fluids in total, are the two frequent factors, which make the problem of water retention appear. Additionally, the problem is worsened by insufficient intake of fluids, which starts the mechanisms of “saving” water, which may cause excessive retention, especially when the choice of fluids is bad...

Water holding in diseases

Water holding is sometimes one of the symptoms of diseases. Such type of problem can occur in case of:

  • kidney and liver disease,

  • heart muscle failure,

  • hypothyroidism,

  • during allergic reaction,

  • when there is too much glucocorticoid,

  • chronic circulatory failure.

If the process of water holding cannot be linked with diet or the natural swings of hormones level, it's good to go to the doctor's, or at least do the basic tests on your own. The tests should include the following:

  • peripheral blood counts,

  • CRP or ESR,

  • TSH or the total thyroid test,

  • blood glucose and insulin on empty stomach,

  • the level of electrolytes,

  • general urine test,

  • urea, uric acid, creatinine,

  • general liver test,

  • analysis of lipids,

  • cortisol (it's best in the daily collection of urine).


Holding water in the body may have different reasons and it can be a natural consequence of changes in releasing hormones (e.g. during menstruation cycle), it can be caused by bad nutrition habits, or it can be even caused by some diseases.

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