My Menopause Fix has received many emails in regards to menopause and water retention of the legs, ankles and now face.
Let’s first begin with the medical definition of water retention. It is a nonspecific term meaning the accumulation of excess fluids in body tissues, medically known as edema. Water retention is also used to describe the symptoms of feeling bloated or experiencing a small weight gain due to physiologic shifts in body fluid balance brought on by dietary changes, hormonal factors, or dehydration. Dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount being taken in. The body is very dynamic and always changing. This is especially true with water in the body. We lose water routinely when we sweat to cool the body. Weight gain can result from an increase in body fluid, muscle mass, or fat. An increase in body fluid can come from medications, fluid and salt retention. An increase in muscle mass is commonly seen with exercising. An increase in body fat is commonly seen as a result of diet or lack of exercise as the body converts muscle to fat.
During menopause estrogen and progesterone are said to have impact on the body’s water metabolism. The fluctuating hormone levels during not only peri-menopause but menopause can cause fluid retention in your legs, ankles and face.
Here are 5 suggestions to help reduce water retention during menopause:
- Sodium: reduce the use of sodium in y our diet. Don’t add salt. Many of our foods already consist of salt. If you use canned foods, rinse before heating and eating. Fresh veggies are always best. Reducing your amount of daily salt intake will drastically reduce leg, ankle swelling and water retention during menopause.
- Diet: A lack of vitamin B can also lead to fluid retention and swelling of ankles. You can take vitamin B supplements or incorporate it into your diet by consuming such foods such as meat, eggs, chicken or fish.
- Water Intake: Drink plenty of water. Distilled water works best. This might sound confusing, but drinking lots of water can actually help to reduce water retention. If your body isn’t getting enough water, it will hold onto the water it does have very readily. Drinking several glasses of distilled water each day can help your body get rid of excess fluid. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, because all fluids count toward the daily total; water is best.
- Exercise: Throughout the day, exercise your legs periodically. If your job consists of standing or sitting for long periods of time, try to walk around for a few minutes every one to two hours. Regular exercise is also advised at a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
- Rest: When you lay down to rest or sleep, elevate your legs above your heart. Water retention and swelling in the ankles, feet and legs result from decreased circulation. Elevating your legs above your heart helps to return some of the excess fluid back into your heart and kidneys and allows it to drain out of your swollen lower extremity tissues.
Many menopausal women suffer from water retention of the eyes and faceas well. This is usually apparent by puffy eyes, congestion in your nose. They may also experience bloating of the belly or fingers (which is usually noticed by rings that don’t fit).
Here’s how you can reduce water retention of the face during menopause.
*Elevate your head. Add a pillow to your head to raise it a few inches. Fluid tends to pool in your face when sleeping. This is one of the reasons you often wake with puffy features.
While there is no clear explanation for water retention during menopause, it is clear that it is primarily due to retention of body fluids. The most common reason for swollen ankles, feet, legs and face are due to the presence of gravity.
Until next time, Be empowered, Stay motivated, Be connected … AnnaMaria
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