Top 4 lifestyle changes for sufferers of fluid retention.
This post is close to my heart. The simplest way to explain fluid retention (or Oedema) is to say that it is fluid incorrectly stored in cells and tissues. Our lymphatic system plays a part in this, but that is an entirely different post for another day.
Today I´m bringing you some common sense and no-fail solutions to ease the symptoms. DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained general practitioner or naturopath (but I have a body and fluid retention). These tips are tried and tested lifestyle changes that have worked for ME, and today I am sharing with YOU my individual experience. You get it!
Firstly, have yourself checked out by a GP (I prefer a Naturopath, but I understand that it's not for everyone) to eliminate any underlying conditions causing the symptoms. If there is something deeper going on no amount of herbal, diet or lifestyle changes is going to STOP it.
Once you've taken this first step and are ready to make some changes here are some fail-proof tips to get you through those uncomfortable symptoms.
Certain foods help ease symptoms, but some set it off such as salt and most importantly hidden sodium in processed and packaged foods. Where you can, avoid anything, you haven't made yourself from scratch. Use natural ingredients such as herbs, oil, Himalayan salt and cracked pepper to flavour food. Did I just suggest Himalayan salt? Yes! Isn´t salt terrible for fluid retention? Typically yes, however, Himalayan salt has a profile of over 100 trace minerals and electrolytes to help keep you hydrated. If you are dehydrated, your body will retain more fluid so sprinkle a pinch of it into a liter of water and sip throughout the day.
That takes me to my next point, drink lots of water. Green tea, peppermint, chamomile and dandelion tea are proven to eliminate fluid (especially Dandelion - if there are no allergies or food intolerance to the herb).
Other foods that can help include; celery, parsley, artichoke, asparagus, salmon, avocado, and turmeric just to name a few.
I have just about tried and tested most products out there for fluid retention, and the possibilities are endless. This is why visiting a Naturopath (or GP) is crucial. Is your Oedema due to hormonal imbalance, sluggish liver, kidneys or digestive issues? Sometimes taking something to ease the symptoms isn't as effective as say taking herbs for the kidney to assist that organ doing what its supposed to do naturally (if that´s the primary cause of the symptoms).
For more general relief of symptoms - these are my favorites:
- Liotin topical cream (ABSOLUTELY swear by this)
- Orthoplex Lymphodran Plus (A staple in my house)
I also own a Circulation Booster. Worth having a try when you're at your local Pharmacy next.
When it comes to fluid retention the most important thing to remember is low - medium impact activity focusing on cardiovascular training that will increase blood flow to the body and boost circulation.
A light jog or brisk walk with a few inclines and declines along the way is the perfect exercise to get things moving. This way you are using your Aerobic energy systems (a level of activity we can do for prolonged periods of time requiring oxygen). More ATP is delivered this way, but it is provided slowly. Avoid exercising to the point of lactic acid release where the muscle is entirely fatigued and will undoubtedly retain and use water as cushioning around the muscles.
I believe in the benefits of using weights for strength training but don't forget that your body is weight in itself. Limit the amount of weight you are lifting and opt for lower weights and higher repetitions or just body weight. Remember to avoid the lactic acid release.
My favorite yoga pose held for 2-5 minutes is perfect for releasing fluid retention in your ankles and knees is the shoulder stand pose (Viparita Sthiti). Lie down and lift your legs into the air, hands supporting the weight on your lower back. Alternatively, lean your legs against a wall.
Try to wear loose-fitting clothes, keep your feet levitated when resting and give yourself a foot rub and aim to rub the pressure points in the middle of your feet where your foot curves (liver, kidney, and adrenal pressure points).
All these hints and tips will assist you on your way to feeling lighter and help your body get back into fluid synergy.