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Why is There Water Retention in the Body?

The human body consists of 70% of fluids out of which water is the main ingredient. The wonderful part about the presence is its existence both inside and outside the cells. Blood, organs, and muscles have water content, and therefore, it is crucial to maintaining the needed hydration level to prevent failure of functioning of the parts.

What is Water Retention?

Water retention refers to the situation where the body accumulates excessive fluids in the tissues, cavities, and circulatory system.

How the Body Regulates The Water Level?

Both prostaglandins and hormones, which are complex systems, help in regulating the water level present in the body. It means, when the water level is above the needed value, these complex structures aid in excretion of the same in the form of urine by activating the functioning of the kidney. As kidneys come into effect, it helps in removal of the waste. Likewise, when there is less water content in the body, these hormones do not activate or come into play unless it reaches the required value. It is here that a person passes little urine.

Why is There Water Retention in the Body?

The reason for the cause of the water retention in the body changes from one individual to another. However, the following are the essential causes:

Capillaries: Fluids that are rich in oxygen, nutrients, and vitamins, pass through the blood vessels or capillaries continuously to surrounding tissues. The fluid helps in nourishing the cells and returns to the capillary. The occurrence of water retention takes place when there is a change in the pressure during the returning of the fluid to the blood vessels. It further occurs if the walls of the capillary are weak.

Lymphatic System: Lymphatic system of the body drains the water content present in the tissues and sends it into the bloodstream. When there is excess release in the first place, the lymphatic system becomes overwhelmed. As the system fails to regain the fluid content, it mounts up across the tissues.

Heart: Normal heart pumping ensures that there is no variation in the blood pressure. However, due to heart ailments, one can face the situation where it becomes difficult to maintain the required pressure. Such a case leads to water retention and legs, ankles, and feet as well. There is also the possibility of the buildup of water content in the lungs making it difficult for the individual to have a proper breathing pattern.

Kidneys: The improper functioning of the kidneys also leads to the development of water retention, as it fails to remove waste from the body. The accumulation of the content makes it impossible for kidneys to remove the waste in the form of urine and excreta. It results in swelling of knees, legs, and ankles, apart from developing several infections related to the urinary tract, kidneys, and intestines. The influential disadvantage is that there is no cure for kidney problems and noticing the symptoms will only occur in the intermediate stage, making it difficult for the individual to lead a healthy life.


With better diet and controlling of the complex system of hormones and prostaglandins, it is possible for any individual to keep away from water retention. The diet menu changes from one person to another depending on the diagnosis carried out. The dietician will ensure that the body is receiving appropriate levels of all the nutrients, vitamins, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. By maintaining the balance, regulating the body water becomes possible and helps in keeping the body hydrated with the needed quantity of water level.


  1. MedicalNewsToday – What is water retention and how to get rid of it?
  2. Healthline – How to Get Rid of Water Retention
  3. Mayo Clinic – Edema
  4. WebMD – Edema and Water Retention
  5. Cleveland Clinic – Fluid Retention and PMS

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 24, 2023

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