Look at a calendar if you are a woman who gets a monthly period.,
See your doctor if you notice signs of water retention that you know are not hormone related.,
See your doctor right away if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms along with your water retention: swelling in the feet, legs, or ankles, swelling in the abdomen, chronic coughing, or extreme fatigue.,
Keep a food diary.
Water retention is a classic symptom of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Hormonal changes associated with your menstrual cycle may cause monthly water retention problems. For most women, period bloat occurs 1 or 2 weeks before their periods begin.Water retention is also a common problem during pregnancy and menopause for the same reason. Hormonal changes that occur during these longer transition periods in the body cause excess fluid retention that may be constant, cyclical or intermittent.;
Your doctor may run various types of tests, such as blood or urine tests, depending on your other symptoms. These will check the health of your heart, kidneys, liver, circulatory, lymphatic, and thyroid systems. He or she may also ask you about symptoms of arthritis or allergies, both of which can also cause water retention in some cases.,
Water retention that is heart related is a result of changes in your blood pressure. Typically, the legs, feet, and/or ankles will start to swell. Fluid will also build up in the lungs, giving the patient a chronic cough. A doctor may order blood tests, a chest X-ray, or an electrocardiogram (ECG) to determine if your water retention is a symptom of a heart condition.
A urine test will determine if you are losing protein through the kidneys and your water retention is a sign of a more serious kidney problem.
A physical exam and/or blood tests can determine if there is a liver problem. Again, with a more serious liver condition you would likely have swelling in the feet, legs, ankles, and abdomen. This is actually one of the first signs of liver disease.
Finally, blood tests can determine if your water retention is a symptom of circulatory system problems (leaky capillaries), a congested lymphatic system, or a thyroid disease (hypothyroidism)., Notice what you ate for a few days leading up to the water retention. It may take a couple of days for your body to retain excess body fluid after you eat salty foods.
Food sensitivities and/or malnutrition can be causes of water retention. If you have food sensitivities and are still eating these foods, or you are not eating a healthy diet in general, this will show up in your food diary. You can then take steps to change what you are eating.
High salt intake and dehydration are leading causes of water retention. How to stay hydrated and eat a balanced healthy diet are discussed more in the next section, “Reducing Water Retention With Diet.”