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Water Retention??
Posted by: Elayne ()
Date: February 23, 2010 10:02PM

Hello I have questions about water retention.......

I’ve suffered from water retention for probably 6 years. When I retain water, it’s only from the mid-drift down. Some days my waist will swell as much as 2 inches and my calves as much as an inch. It doesn’t seem to matter if I am at my optimum weight and fitness level or slightly overweight, as I am right now. (Being I’ve not been very raw for the last year).

I have no swelling in my feet, which I know is a sign of heart problems. I’ve asked doctors about this and their answer is to put me on a diuretic. Which of course I am not willing to do, as I feel this is only treating the symptom and not the cause. No one can tell me why I have water retention of this extent. My kidneys are good and so are my thyroid levels. (according to blood tests)

I’ve eliminated virtually all salt out of my diet. I never put salt on or in anything!! If I eat a processed food that has salt in it I immediately feel my body start to bloat… When I was 80 to 90% raw the water retention was better, but not completely gone…

Some days are worse than others and there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to it. I do have a bit of a sedentary job, but it can happen even if I’ve had a very active day out hiking and walking or exercising. Of course when I wake up in the morning the water is gone, only to start all over again that day.

Are there certain raw foods I should avoid and are there other raw foods that would be good for reducing water retention? I drink plenty of water, so that is not why I am retaining water.

I’ve tried dandelion tea with no marked improvement.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Anyone else suffer from this type of water retention??

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: Prana ()
Date: February 23, 2010 10:46PM

There could be other toxins in your diet that is causing the water retention.

What are you putting in your mouth that is not fresh whole fruits and vegetables?

Are you eating non-organic?

Are you eating some salt-like products, though while they don't add salt, are still salty? Bragg Liquid Aminos are like this.

Or products that contain salt: Nama shoyu, miso, etc.

Are you using nutritional yeast? Or packaged raw foods? Or nori sheet, dulse, or other seaweeds? Or some sundried tomatoes have added salt. Olives?

On approach you can take is to do a total elimination of potential water retaining items, and then add things back slowly into your diet that you normally eat. So start out with just eating produce only - fruits and salad vegetables, no spices or condiments or other foods for a few days. Then add just 1 item at a time, perhaps one new item every 3 or so days, and see if you get a reaction. At some point, you'll hit the food that is causing you to retain water.

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: Elayne ()
Date: February 23, 2010 11:05PM

Byran... Right now I am only eating fresh whole fruits and veggies.. however, they are not organic.. I can't afford organic due to cost of the food alone and the closest location for organic veggies and fruit is over 50 miles (one way)... bummer for me... The little grocery store I have in the town I work only has a very very limited amounts of organic.. I'd be limited to eating apples, bagged organic spinach, a very few other fruits, which are so high priced I'd not be able to afford to eat.. Thus I've had to compromise and eat non-organic foods.. Could non-organic food really cause that kind of problem? Not challenging, just aghast that possibly this could be my problem!

I don't use any condiments of any kind... no nutritional yeast, no packaged raw foods... and when I was raw before I ate exactly the same way I am eating now. and yes the water retention was better but not as good as I'd wish for it to be...

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: powerlifer ()
Date: February 23, 2010 11:10PM

You may have a sluggish lymphathic system, have you tried rebounding?

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: Elayne ()
Date: February 23, 2010 11:17PM

I don't think I've tried rebounding, as I am not even sure what that is... I think of rebounding as one of those little mini trampolines... but I have a strong sense that is not what you mean by "rebounding" *smile

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: Elayne ()
Date: February 23, 2010 11:26PM

oh my gosh powerlifter.. You did mean rebounding using a mini like trampoline! I had no idea.. and when I visited a site regarding sluggish lymphatic system and read the symptoms I almost started to cry.. all these years that I've suffered from this and it might simply be tied to a sluggish lymphatic system.. They also suggested skin brushing and manuallymphatic stimulation massages...

Thank you for your post... I am going to start this regiment tonight... I don't have a rebounder, obviously, but will start at first on my trampoline.. it will have to do for now...

Thank you

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: February 24, 2010 12:02AM

"Are there certain raw foods I should avoid and are there other raw foods that would be good for reducing water retention? I drink plenty of water, so that is not why I am retaining water."

Hi Elayne,
As I understand it you avoid salt and drink plenty of water. I've avoided salt down to zero myself in the past, no longer though, instead getting UK type daily amounts around 1000-1500mg.

Water retention can be caused by lack of sufficient sodium as well as too much. Those on fresh food diets, often, are sure to eat foods higher in sodium like celery and seaweed to get sodium (and chloride) an essential nutrient. If not, edema can result from the body trying to compensate for too little sodium or too much water.

"Hyponatremia can also affect... people who fast on juice or water for extended periods and people whose dietary sodium intake is chronically insufficient." Wikipedia

--sounds like possible chronic hyponatremia. I've heard of raw foodists getting as little as 35mg/day of sodium, then if eating normal food for a day and getting 3000mg, it could be quite a chemical balance roller coaster, seems to me.

Best of luck

By the way, T.C. Fry suffered from terrible edema in the legs and feet later in life, cause unknown but he was a passionate avoider of salt. Symptoms vary, so they say.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2010 12:08AM by loeve.

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: kwan ()
Date: February 24, 2010 12:37AM

Interesting theory, but I personally have pretty strong doubts, based on my own personal experience, that water retention problems are caused by not getting enough salt. I retain water in my midsection too-- have all my life, no matter what I'm doing or how pure my diet-- and whenever I've inadvertently added even a very tiny amount of salt to a meal I have immediately retained a whole lot more water and noticed a weight gain in my midsection, such that the next day I notice my clothes feel tighter, etc.

I'm so similar to you! The only time I don't retain water in my midsection and thighs is when I water fast. I am going to google 'sluggish lymphatic system' immediately-- thanks!!



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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: loeve ()
Date: February 24, 2010 01:44AM

Kwan, I rather doubt it myself but when I see a thread speaking of minimizing sodium or salt on the raw food diet without mentioning sources or the need for sodium I post, though knowing little of other possible causes of edema. Lower limits for sodium are sometimes expressed, in the following case regarding edema and pregnancy--

"Sodium Restriction
"Many women are casually advised by friends or family to restrict their salt intake to prevent 'swelling' of feet and ankles. This is not a current medical recommendation. While it is prudent to avoid 'excess' salt use, sodium restriction should not be casually undertaken. Edema (accumulation of fluid) in the feet and legs often occurs during pregnancy. This is a result of increased estrogen production and greater blood volume. Estrogen increases a mother's ability to absorb water into connective tissue, thus fluid retention is naturally higher. At the same time, progesterone increases the sodium content of urine, so more sodium than usual is lost by women during pregnancy. Therefore, despite the presence of edema, sodium needs still increase for pregnant women.

"Although the increase in sodium requirement is not dramatic, it is important. Restricting sodium during pregnancy can cause problems for mother and her fetus, by disrupting this delicate fluid balance. Edema that occurs during pregnancy is not considered harmful, unless high blood pressure or protein loss in urine is also occurring. If your obstetrician advises a low sodium diet, clarify with the doctor the extent of sodium restriction and any fluid recommendation being made to you."


I used to avoid salt and even sodium by choosing No or Low sodium foods. It's possible to reduce sodium consumption to almost nothing for someone dedicated as I was.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/24/2010 01:53AM by loeve.

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Re: Water Retention??
Posted by: Elayne ()
Date: February 24, 2010 02:45AM

Loeve.. I do know that the body needs sodium for optimum cell function... However, I don't think I suffer from a lack of sodium.. Because the water retention I've had over the last 6 years was actually helped by going on a 80-90% raw food diet... Additionally, I have absolutely no swelling in my hands and feet. It's all contained in my mid-section and my legs, above the ankles... The only time my fingers swell is when I've worked out really hard or I've not drank enough water in the day.. Additionally, my estogen levels and progestrone levels are faily low due to entering into Menapause.

I am like Sharrhan, I can eat 2 or 3 salty chips or nuts and instantly feel my mid section start to bloat. It seems to me I fall more inline with what powerlifer suggested in possibly having a sluggish lymphatic system... I fit many of those symptoms described..

For years I've been perplexed about this water retention problem and I've asked lots of people (women) if they've ever experienced water retention, such as I have described above.. and none have.. Now I think that is really strange.. That no woman I've ever asked has experienced this.. and my doctor wasn't very sure either.. Except she said low thyroid or maybe it was low iron can cause water retention. Both of which I suffer from...

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