Water Retention in Legs

Peripheral edema is the medical term used for

water retention in legs

which is nothing but swelling caused due to the accumulation of excess fluid in the tissues. Swelling is painless mostly and it can be observed in both thighs, legs and calves. Swelling can be mostly observed in the lower extremities of the body due to the gravity effect. Read on to know more about its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Causes of Peripheral Edema

The following are a few reasons that are responsible for causing water retention in legs.

  • Standing or sitting for a longer period of time especially during hot weathers can lead to the accumulation of fluid in ankles and legs.
  • The body of a human being may be less efficient or lethargic in removing the fluid accumulated in the tissues during summers further leading to water retention.
  • Venous insufficiency can mostly occur due to the presence of weakened valves in legs and this can further lead to fluid build up and varicose veins as well.
  • A person suffering burns are also at a risk of suffering from fluid retention as the burned skin always tend to retain the fluid. Swelling can also be observed in response to the injury and sun burns can also lead to this condition.
  • Many women experience this condition prior to the menstruation cycle and during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.
  • Malnutrition caused due to in take of low protein diet, liver or kidney diseases can result in causing edema in ankles, legs, etc. certain medication drugs can also lead to this condition.
  • The body of a person tends to retain excess fluid in the tissues when the heart fails to pump the blood properly to all the parts of the body.
  • Cancerous tumors, chronic lung diseases, hypothyroidism, arthritis are a few more health condition that can result in fluid retention in the body.


A person suffering from peripheral edema can experience the following symptoms.

  • Pain in the affected parts of the body.
  • Skin of a person suffering from this condition may hold indent at least for a few seconds when it gets pressed.
  • Weight loss cycle, unexplained weight gain and fluctuations in weight.
  • Rapid weight gain for a few weeks or days.


Water retention in legs

can be treated by correcting the causes of this condition. The following are a few steps that will help you overcome this condition

  • The very first step to lower this condition is to follow a low sodium diet.
  • If you also experience shortness of breath and swelling then you may have to lie down and place your legs in an elevated position as this will help in lowering swelling. This also helps in normalizing the flow of blood in the affected area.
  • Two spoons of mustard seeds soaked in water over night can be applied on the affected area as it shows effective results in getting rid of this condition.
  • Apply warm mustard oil on the swollen area everyday for better results and it is considered as the best home remedy for this condition.
  • Water retention can also be lowered by applying apple cider vinegar on the affected area.
  • Include foods that are low in carbohydrates in your diet as they help in lowering this condition.
  • Exercise regularly and avoid consumption of alcohol and smoking to overcome this condition.

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