Water weight and bloat occur when fluids accumulate in the soft tissue of your body. Symptoms generally are most severe in the feet and ankles, but any area of the body may be affected. Being overweight or having a condition that interferes with circulation puts you at greater risk for water retention. Home treatments generally are sufficient to treat bloating associated with these causes. Sometimes, water weight and bloat may be caused by liver, kidney or heart disease. Therefore, it is essential to inform your doctor of fluid retention before attempting to treat your symptoms at home.
Limit the amount of salt in your diet by reducing the amount you use during cooking and at the table, avoiding processed foods and choosing low-sodium food products as often as possible. Aim for 1,500 milligrams of sodium or less per day to reduce water weight and bloat.
Lose weight if you currently are overweight or obese. Being significantly overweight strains your cardiovascular system and interferes with circulation. This leads to an accumulation of fluids in your tissue.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the weeks to promote heart health and improve circulation. Exercise strengthens the heart and encourages the pumping of fluid from your limbs back to your heart to prevent and treat bloating.
Prop your legs up on pillows when sleeping and watching television to encourage retained water to drain from your feet, ankles and legs.
Take regular breaks when standing or sitting for prolonged periods to keep fluid from accumulating in your lower body. Wearing compression hose also is beneficial, especially if you have a job that requires sitting for many hours at a time.
Drink plenty of water while cutting out carbonated beverages. Gradually increase your intake of fiber-rich foods while avoiding gassy foods like beans and broccoli. Over time, once your system has gotten used to fibrous foods, start adding legumes and broccoli back into your diet. Eat slowly to avoid swallowing too much air. And avoid chewing gum which can cause your tummy to bloat.
If your water weight fails to respond to home treatment, speak with your doctor about possible underlying causes. Also, ask your doctor if any medications you currently are taking may be contributing to your symptoms; calcium channel blockers, hormonal drugs, steroids and monoamine oxidase, or MAO, inhibitors are some medications that can cause water weight.