For women going through the change of life, otherwise known as menopause, they are faced with a wide array of symptoms that change from one person to another. If you find yourself in this role, chances are you find yourself frustrated. Unlike other conditions, you are not treating just one or possibly two symptoms but many. Because of that, it is common to take more than one prescription, herbal remedy, or form of therapy. One common symptom that is often overlooked has to do with menopause and water retention. Let’s face it, as women age, the one thing most worry about is weight gain. Therefore, as water builds in the body, the numbers on the scale begin to rise.
Typically, when a person retains fluid, it indicates some type of weakness in the kidneys, adrenals, circulatory system, or even the heart. However, when it comes to menopause and water retention, the problem is generally harmless. In most cases, what happens is that the kidneys simply become tired from working so hard.
With this, fluid is retained. So how can you help? Well, the good news is that treating menopause and water retention is usually as simple as keeping your intake of fluids to no more than a quart or liter a day. Yes, we hear all the time how important water intake is, and it is important but for women going through menopause, especially when they are having an extremely hard time holding water, lessen the intake.
Menopause and Water Retention – Do’s and Don’ts
A common problem is that many women going through menopause and dealing with water retention will turn to diuretics, which seems like a logical solution. The problem here is that diuretics zap essential potassium from the body, which can lead to osteoporosis.
Therefore, rather than take a standard diuretic, you should consider natural remedies, which include things like Uva Ursi, Juniper, Parsley, Astragalus, Dong Quai, Dandelion, Nettle, Vitamin C, or Vitamin B6, all that help to increase fluid output. Keep in mind that while an adequate dose of Vitamin C is helpful, too much can actually cause stress on the kidneys and make water retention worse in the future.
To give you an idea of ways in which these natural remedies can help you deal with menopause and water retention, let’s look at a few, starting with Dandelion. Just 10 to 20 drops is ideal for lessening edema, or swelling. Best of all, Dandelion can be used for a long time without any ill effects.
In addition to helping with the water retention, Dandelion has another benefit – it nourishes and tones the kidneys, adrenals, and liver, while also increasing food digestibility. Next, there is Dong Quai, a popular herbal remedy. Although for menopause and water retention this remedy is not as effective, when taken long-term, it does provide relief from bloating.
Another benefit is that Dong Quai helps in inhibiting the growth of many forms of bacteria.
Just as some herbal remedies can help provide you relief from menopause water retention, there are common foods that also work. For example, corn, cornsilk tea, asparagus, cucumber, watermelon, and grapes, all work quite well and can be used as often as needed.
Other foods that help include tea, coffee, parsley, black tea, and celery but these should not be taken are freely. Of course, one of the best ways to fight water retention is to cut down your intake of salt or salty foods. Then, you can try certain essential oils that would include geranium, juniper, lavender, rosemary, and cypress.
When to consult a Doctor
Although menopause water retention is common, and most often can be treated successfully at home, there are times when a doctor should be consulted. If you notice that the swelling in your legs, arms, or stomach lasts longer than seven to ten days, or if your skin stays dented in when pressed on, you could need something else to help with the problem.
Obviously, menopause water retention is simply miserable. Your fingers swell, making getting your rings on and off difficult, you have trouble getting your pants zipped up, and any type of elastic on clothing leaves an indent.
You see, the body’s cells are bathed in water. In fact, there is water on the inside of the cells and then water around the cells. However, the amount of water associated with the cells is regulated by sodium, hormones, and the kidneys. If the body is holding too much sodium, then blood becomes saltier, meaning that water is drawn from the cells to try to dilute it.
With this, you tend to be thirstier, drinking more water, which only makes the menopause water retention more of a challenge. In addition, steroid medications are notorious for causing swelling since they cause the kidneys to hold onto sodium.
Another common problem is that menopause water retention can be caused from hormone replacement therapy. Since recent studies show that this form of therapy is dangerous, often leading to various forms of cancer, most doctors will recommend hormone replacement therapy be stopped.
Remember, while skipping high salt intake, avoiding junk food, getting more exercise in the form of walking, tennis, bicycling, or elevating your feet for a few minutes are all excellent methods for helping with menopause water retention, there are cases when this could be a sign of something more serious.
Therefore, use good judgment and if you have any concerns whatsoever, talk to your doctor.