Puffy eyes, swollen fingers, face, ankles, stomach, arms - you name it, you’ve probably retained water there at some point in time. Fluid retention is a form of bloating that mostly involves the circulatory system and the lymphatic system, and can range from mildly annoying to severely upsetting.
There are a whole host of things that can cause you to retain water, from full on medical conditions & medication side effects to lifestyle factors. The common lifestyle factors include stress, traditional allergies, food allergies, too much sodium (salt), electrolyte imbalances and vitamin deficiencies and lack of exercise. Alcohol is a big fluid disruptor, as are MSG and nitrates.
If you’re constantly retaining water, it’s important to look at diet and lifestyle factors. Food allergies, too many food additives (preservatives, sweeteners, processed meats etc) can contribute to water retention. If you’re chronically stressed, you can also consider supporting your kidney & adrenals with herbal adaptogens. You can read more about how to test yourself for food allergies here. Insulin is one to watch, so if you’re a refined carb or sugar bunny – this is one of the first things you’ll need to address.
Chronic water retention can also be a sign of hormone imbalances, so if it’s something that you can’t seem to shift with diet and exercise, then it’s worth a trip to your GP. Thyroid issues can cause swelling & puffiness, but it could also be a result of vitamin D deficiency or a cortisol imbalance.