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How To Get Rid Of Water Retention

Updated on October 12, 2015

Water Retention Can Be Cured If You Know How

Most people believe that water retention is something you treat by taking a pill. That might be ok if it is caused by an underlying disease (check out with your doctor, of course). But most of the time it's not. It just causes uncomfortable bloating, swelling of ankles, feet, legs, fingers and so on. Or it can be 'generalized' which means it is all over your body in the form of excess water weight that is very hard to lose. You can't lose water weight with a fat-loss diet! For a long time there was no permanent cure for water retention. But now there is a program that can not only get rid of it but keep it away permanently. Some people have lost 10 pounds of water weight in a week on this program.

How To Get Rid Of Water Retention

By Linda Lazarides, author of the Waterfall Diet

There are many causes of water retention, but one of the most common is nutritional deficiencies. Try answering some of these questions. If you can answer yes to six or more it is quite likely that your water retention is caused by eating too many of the wrong foods and not enough of the right ones.

  • Do you have white spots on your fingernails?
  • Do you find it hard to grip pens, cutlery or tools?
  • Do you accidentally drop and break things much more than you used to?
  • You get a lot of twitches or spasms, or a flickering feeling in your eyelids?
  • Do you feel like fainting if you miss a meal?
  • Do you have a poor sense of taste or smell?
  • Do you get a lot of palpitations and/or breathlessness from minor exertion?
  • Is your sleep almost always dreamless?
  • Do you sometimes get sores at the corners of your mouth or itchy red patches around eyebrows or behind ears?
  • If you are a woman, do you gain several pounds or experience a swollen tummy before your periods?
  • If you are a woman who has reached the menopause, have you developed painful knots on the sides of your finger joints?
  • Do you eat fresh fruit and vegetables less than once a day?
  • Do you normally eat white bread rather than wholemeal?
  • Do you put sugar in tea or coffee?
  • Weight for weight, do you consume as much sugary food (e.g. sweets, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, jam, honey, syrup, ice cream, sugary cereals, desserts and sweet drinks) as other foods - or perhaps even more?
  • Do you eat fried or fatty food such as burgers, sausages or pastry every day?
  • Has there ever been a time in your life when you ate an extremely poor diet for several months or even years?

Water retention and vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 was first discovered in 1938. It seems incredible that we have known about this important nutrient for such a short time, and even more incredible that only in 1952 was it found to be essential for human life. The discovery happened when some babies in the USA developed convulsions after consuming an over-cooked commercial milk formula. The cause of the convulsions was found to be a deficiency of vitamin B6, which is destroyed by heat.

Researchers quickly discovered that vitamin B6 deficiency could cause seizures in children, anaemia, and sunburn after very little exposure to the sun.

In 1961, Dr John Ellis, a physician in Texas, developed a strong interest in vitamin B6, and spent the next nine years conducting research. This interest came about quite by accident. Dr Ellis had been experimenting with a new diet to help treat heart disease, because so many of his patients were dying from it. The diet consisted of lean meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and the use of vegetable oils instead of animal fats. Dr Ellis kept getting reports from his heart patients that this diet particularly seemed to help problems such as swollen hands and feet, tingling sensations, cramps and spasms.

A breakthrough came when one patient claimed he had cured pains in his knees by eating pecan nuts every day. The doctor tried adding pecans to his special diet, and discovered that some patients with such severe water retention in their hands that they could not bend their fingers, quickly shed this water retention and became able to bend their fingers easily within a few weeks.

Dr Ellis knew that pecans were a good source of vitamin B6, so he tried injecting the vitamin into people with water retention and got many amazing results very quickly. Not everyone was helped, but those who responded were people who also suffered from numbness and tingling - symptoms of vitamin B6 deficiency.

More about vitamin B6 deficiency

While official textbooks are slow in catching up with John Ellis' observations on water retention, they do now recognize that vitamin B6 deficiency can occur in people who drink a lot of alcohol, and women who take the contraceptive pill. Because people with this deficiency excrete larger amounts of a chemical known as oxalate in their urine, they are also at greater risk of developing kidney stones.

Most people who have a B6 deficiency also have deficiencies of other vitamins and minerals, due to eating a faulty diet. Hormonal problems such as premenstrual syndrome are much more likely to occur. Another problem is that small blood vessels can become quite 'leaky' and release too much fluid and protein into the tissues. (The tissues are the 'fabric' from which your body is made--lung tissue, kidney tissue and so on.) This protein sits in the tissues, attracting water retention. Diuretics or water pills are completely useless at treating this kind of water retention, and could actually make it worse.

Premenstrual Syndrome

Millions of women experience the discomfort of swollen, painful breasts and bloated tummies around the time of their period. These symptoms are due to water retention. If you suffer from them, you will probably have noticed that your body weight goes down soon after your period starts.

PMS specialist Dr Guy Abrahams is sure that premenstrual water retention is caused by temporary deficiencies of B vitamins and the mineral magnesium, brought on by the heavy demands of hormonal cycles. These deficiencies reduce dopamine levels, which in turn reduces the body's ability to excrete sodium. In order to protect itself from excessive sodium, your body has to retain water to dilute the sodium.

Are supplements the answer?

If you are eating a perfect diet - five portions a day of fresh fruit and vegetables, fish and white meat in preference to red meat, less than 3 units of alcohol a week, low salt, strictly controlled sugar and deep-fried food, and drinking water instead of sodas, tea and coffee, then your water retention is probably not caused by nutritional deficiencies. If it is, then supplements are not the answer. The reason is that it is not only the lack of good food that is causing your problems, but the excess of bad food.

The answer to most water retention problems is to improve your diet along the lines suggested above. If you already eat an excellent diet but are retaining fluid, then you may need some extra help in the form of a diet known as the Waterfall Diet. (You pee a lot when the water retention goes.) It has helped many people overcome this troublesome problem.

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