Water is a critical component of the human body. Around 70% of the human body is made up of water. All body tissues, organs, and fluids, like blood and lymph, are made up of water. The regulation of water in the body is a complex mechanism and is carried out by different organs of the body. Management of water helps in maintaining the water within reasonable limits despite the amount of water taken by the person or the climatic conditions outside. Any disturbance in the regulatory mechanisms can lead to water retention in the body. When the retention of water in the body tissues or tissue cavities exceeds the desired amount, it is known as edema. Water retention can be generalized, which means that it is present in the whole body; or it can be limited to one body part, like pedal edema where water retention is seen only in the ankles. Homeopathic treatment for water retention is very beneficial. A thorough investigation in each case of water retention is a must to rule out the involvement of any major organ before the beginning of the treatment.
In mild cases, medicines for water retention can be prescribed along with changes in diet and lifestyle. But in cases where retention is associated with disorders of major organs, treatment helps in managing the case. In such instances, treatment can be used in conjunction with conventional medicine to offer support to the patient. Medicines for water retention not only help in providing symptomatic relief but also assist in the treatment of underlying causes. Treatment for water retention is very safe since the medicines are prepared with natural substances. They have no side effects and can be used safely for all age groups.
Homeopathic Treatment for Water Retention
Some prominent medicines for water retention are Acetic acid, Apocynum, Apis Meliffica, Cardus Marianus, Digitalis, Fluoric Acid, and Terebinth. These medicines should be prescribed by individual symptoms in every given case. Homeopathy treatment for water retention should be taken under the supervision of a homeopath only, and self-medication should be avoided.
Causes and Types of Water Retention
Temporary water retention is the result of issues like the patient’s diet. Excessive intake of salt or sodium in the diet and deficiency of proteins and vitamin B complex are some causes of water retention. Another factor is the person’s lifestyle, which includes having a job that requires long periods of sitting down or standing. Water retention also occurs in bed ridden or immobile persons. Long flights may also lead to water retention. Medications like hormone replacement therapies, oral contraceptive pills, drugs for diabetes, anti inflammatory drugs, and drugs for heart disorders also cause water retention. In females, water retention commonly develops before the menstrual cycle. It is temporary and most likely due to hormonal imbalance. Water retention is also common during the last phase of pregnancy. It is due to the pressure put by the uterus on circulation and subsides after childbirth. Other medical conditions which lead to the retention of water are thyroid disorders, allergies to food, insect bites, disorders of the lymphatic system, deep vein thrombosis affecting lower limbs, congestive cardiac failure, kidney failure, and cirrhosis of the liver.
Types of Water Retention
There are two types of water retention. Cases, where depressions or pits are formed on the swollen part on exertion of pressure by the finger tips, is known as pitting type of water retention. Pitting type of water retention is seen in systemic disorders like a cardiac failure, liver failure, or kidney failure. Non-pitting edema is where no depressions form. It is a characteristic feature of water retention due to lymphatic and thyroid disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Water Retention
Symptoms vary from mild to severe depending on the underlying cause and the organs involved. Water retention usually occurs on the feet, ankles, legs or hands. Here are some situations that lead to the retention of water.
1. Persons having a high sodium diet, sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, or long flights may experience water retention in the ankles or lower limbs. This retention is temporary and subsides with a little movement or leg elevation.
2. In cases where the person has to stand for a long time, the blood from the lower limbs cannot get pumped to the heart since the valves of the veins get incompetent. It leads to dilatation of the veins of the legs or varicose veins. In such cases, there is pain and heaviness in the legs. There may be skin changes like the development of skin eruptions or ulcers.
3. In congestive cardiac failure, the retention is usually on the legs, feet, and ankles. Along with this, other symptoms like tiredness, weakness, and an increased heart rate appear.
4. Retention may be present in the lungs, or pulmonary edema, leading to a chronic cough and breathlessness.
5. In cirrhosis of the liver, the retention appears on the abdomen and legs.
6. In kidney failure, there is puffiness around the eyes and swelling on the legs.
7. In disorders of the lymphatic system, the retention, or lymphoedema, is usually localized. Swelling may be present on the affected limb.
8. Persons having hypothyroidism may experience swelling and puffiness around the eyes and face. Water retention may be present on the feet and legs.