Signs of Water Retention in Stomach and Other Body Parts
Most of the time, water retention occurs in the lower extremities. This is for two reasons. For one, the simple force of gravity keeps excess built up fluid from heading upwards, making water retention in legs and feet more common. Secondly, water retention as a result of leaky blood vessels (which may appear more abundantly from the waist down) can contribute to symptom of water retention in legs, ankles and feet. Swelling and puffiness are the most common signs of water retention here. Additionally, a tendency for the skin to stay indented when pressed upon may also occur (this phenomenon related to the swelling may also come from socks and shoes, leaving marks and dents in the skin).
Water retention symptoms elsewhere however may vary. For instance, in congestive heart failure, where fluid buildup in the lungs is not uncommon, symptoms can include shortness of breath and fatigue. Congestive heart failure contributes to water retention causes due to decreased pumping activity of the heart. Thus, blood vessels, slowed from the decreased heart muscle function, can become leaky and contribute to the formation of water retention symptoms. Sometimes in congestive heart failure, the signs of water retention are most evident in the abdomen. When fluid buildup occurs here, it can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like stomach bloating, cramping and discomfort, along with pain and pressure and sensations of fullness.
This can lead to excessive flatulence in some individuals. While it may be hard to “digest” that flatulence, a bodily function nearly solely related to digestion, can be linked to water retention, the two have more in common than many people think. Because water retention can lead to decreased amounts of water in the intestinal tract, digestion can become slowed and gas and bloating can result.
There are some cases where signs of water retention in the abdomen can be indicative of serious underlying health conditions. Severe abdominal water retention is referred to as ascites, and it’s a symptom of numerous health conditions. For instance, cirrhosis (advanced type of liver disease) is one of the most common causes of ascites. And, kidney disease may also be behind the symptoms. Congestive heart failure, as previously mentioned, can contribute to abdominal fluid retention, along with certain kinds of cancers. Lung cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, ovarian cancer and lymphoma have all been associated with ascites formation. When abdominal fluid buildup occurs in this capacity, it’s called malignant ascites.
Much of the time however, signs of water retention in the stomach are related to much less ominous sources. For instance, indigestion from overeating or a very high salt meal may lead to signs of water retention in the abdomen. Additionally, menstruation can lead to a stomach that seems just full of fluid. Common conditions like irritable bowel syndrome may also contribute to increased abdominal water weight too. For causes such as these, over the counter or natural diuretics for water retention can be considered. There are a great many foods that are used as water retention remedies, thanks to their naturally water relieving properties. Celery and parsley are some of the most popular, along with dandelions. Many potassium rich foods are considered good natural diuretics. Additionally, some spices and herbs are also used to combat the symptoms and signs of water retention naturally. Corn silk, hawthorn, ginkgo and green tea are all considered natural diuretics. While adding in these types of consumables is useful, avoiding salt and avoiding other dehydrating foods and beverages like alcohol (known for its tendency to contribute to water retention).
It’s incredibly important that because of the wide range of health conditions that can be associated with the signs of water retention in the stomach or abdomen that a doctor or health care provider be consulted should it present without explanation, be persistent or recurring or be accompanied with unusual or severe symptoms. Self treating at home can delay the diagnosis of potentially serious health conditions. However, when abdominal bloating and water retention rear their ugly heads due to menstruation, diet or lifestyle, exercise, some dietary changes and a little help from the water reducing power of nature can go a long way.