Water retention, which is also known as fluid retention, occurs when there is an increased or excessive accumulation of fluid in either the circulatory system, some cavities in the body or body tissues. The lymphatic system, which is a system of tubes running throughout the body, has the primary purpose of draining the excessive fluid(called lymph) from the tissues of the body into the bloodstream. Water retention is usually known to occur when the lymphatic system fails to do this successfully.

Water retention causes may include an allergic reaction, a malfunctioning system in the body or a disease among other things. Here are some of them explained.


Large quantities of sodium in our diet is one of the major water retention causes. Sodium is present in large quantities in a lot of the foods we consume a regular basis typically processed foods, instant noodles, salad dressings and fast food. The concentration of sodium in the food is transferred to our digestive organs. These organs then draw in excess water in order to dilute the sodium thus leading to water retention.

Another problematic diet could be one that is low in carbohydrates and high in proteins. This adds an increased amount of pressure on the kidneys whose job is to filter out certain substances for the bloodstream. Since the kidneys are too occupied in filtering the protein, they let the excessive water remain in the bloodstream leading to water retention again.

Lack of Exercise:

Whether it is a result of being pregnant or unwell or you are simply too lazy, a lack of exercise is one of the top tings on the list of what causes water retention. This is because when you exercise, your muscles respire. The byproducts (including water) of these are carried in the used up blood back to the heart through veins. The heart then cleans the blood and ensures that the waste materials of muscle respiration are secreted mainly through the bladder. A lack of exercise decreases this function and may lead to a buildup of water.


Another common water retention cause is pregnancy. Basically, the developing uterus applies its weight on some of the major veins in the body, this prevents them from being able to carry fluid to the bladder from where it can be excreted and as a result, there is a buildup of fluid in the body. However, this is usually not a cause for concern because the fluid drains away after the baby is born.


There are a lot of women who experience water retention in the two weeks before they get their period. This contributes to that feeling of bloatation that is characterized as being one of the symptoms of pre menstrual syndrome.

Allergic Reaction:

There are some people who experience water retention in the form of an allergic reaction. If they are exposed to the particular allergen, say from an insect bite, their body may swell in response and this occurs because there is a buildup of fluid inside. Such reactions are fortunately rather short-lived in nature.