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I Was Thinking About Fluid Retention

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Old 11-11-2008, 08:26 AM   #1
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Default I Was Thinking About Fluid Retention

For the last two weeks or so, I've been tracking a pattern in the mornings. I know I feel puffy when I wake in the morning. Sure enough, as the day wears on, I often lose up to three pounds. My face and hands feel better.

I've also noted that if I have to sit all day (like in the car), my feet feel puffy, my legs ache and the next morning I'm up a pound or two.

At my age, with the specter of blood pressure looming, it's been years since I used much salt. I really notice fluid retention when I do eat Chinese food, chips, pretzels ...

I've done a bunch of reading about eating WRT fluid retention and diuresis. You know ... less salt, less processed ...

Many years ago I looked after a very old woman who'd had a very crude and early mastectomy. Her arm on that side was permanently swollen. It was because of the lymph nodes, she said.

Then yesterday, I read something about how movement can help the lymphatic system to move fluid around in the body more efficiently.

I guess I always knew that activity was better for fluid removal than inactivity but it all sort of came together for me this morning.

As usual, when I have an idea, I'd like to know your thoughts.
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:59 AM   #2
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Well, sometimes medications can do that. I was taking an OTC glucosamine mix that had a lot of herbs of different kinds. I noticed that it was puffing me up. I don't know which herb was doing it, but I'm sure it was one of them because I've had reactions to herbs before (but not to glucosamine). So, check the meds you're taking.

Another idea is your blood pressure. Have you checked that lately? Also your blood sugar... High blood sugar can cause water retention.

And are you drinking enough water? Some people decide not to drink water before bed because they don't want to get up in the night. Or they don't drink it at work because they don't want to have to go to the bathroom. And so on. Obviously this is a bad idea. I always drink a full glass of water before I go to bed, and if I have to get up in the night, then I know I'm doing the right thing!

Usually I'm on the dehydrated side in the morning. The only exception is if I've been eating salty foods and not getting enough water.

Movement is a good thing, I agree!

Jay

Last edited by JayEll : 11-11-2008 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Movement and drinking lots of water is key to keep my ankle/foot less swollen than it has been. A couple of years ago, I had cellulitis in my left ankle/foot due to a spider bite or something at the camp that I was working at. Even after the antibiotics cleared up the infection, my left foot/ankle has been swollen and significantly bigger than my right foot ever since. It was so frustrating trying to find shoes that fit and are cute, etc. My doctor said that it's a lot of scar tissue now.

Ever since I started watching what I ate and drinking water and going to the gym, though, I have noticed that the swelling has gone down. It's not still back to normal, but it's down.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:15 AM   #4
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I always get up in the night at least once so drinking at bedtime doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes, I even have a bottle of water on my bedside table.

I actually have a theory about frequent urination ... want to hear it? Too bad, I tellin' anyway ...

There are two different sensations WRT "I have to pee".
One is a urethral irritation sensation. This seems to be caused by caffeine, sugar, even dehydration. When you go, it's not really buckets full and is often darker.
The other is the sensation of actually having a full bladder. You can feel that in your lower abdomen.

Even tho' these are just my observations ... you should think on them if you're afraid to drink more water. You won't necessarily have to run to the BR more often, each trip will be more ... um ... productive.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:05 AM   #5
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One therapy for lymphedema is massage and compression, so the movement thing makes a lot of sense.

Some months I retain water, and some I don't. I can't seem to find any sodium related reason, it's just hormonal - but I don't understand why some months are different.
Last month, no water retention. This week - I am drinking a lot, but nothing's coming out, so to speak
Even my eyelids are puffy this morning. So - just have to wait a few days.
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Old 11-12-2008, 08:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SusanB View Post
I always get up in the night at least once so drinking at bedtime doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes, I even have a bottle of water on my bedside table.

I actually have a theory about frequent urination ... want to hear it? Too bad, I tellin' anyway ...

There are two different sensations WRT "I have to pee".
One is a urethral irritation sensation. This seems to be caused by caffeine, sugar, even dehydration. When you go, it's not really buckets full and is often darker.
The other is the sensation of actually having a full bladder. You can feel that in your lower abdomen.

Even tho' these are just my observations ... you should think on them if you're afraid to drink more water. You won't necessarily have to run to the BR more often, each trip will be more ... um ... productive.
Thanks for starting this thread and sharing your theory! I'm the opposite of you in that I usually feel puffy by evening and not in the morning, but I'm usually up 2 or 3 times a night visiting the bathroom. Couldn't possibly be sleep-deprived

I'm glad to hear your theory on having to pee, though. For years, I've wondered what is wrong with me in that I never, ever feel the sensation of having a full bladder. DH is continually frustrated because I have to go all the time, but it's just little bits and seems to be due to the 1st part of your theory-that irritation sensation. This all started when I started having some kind of demyelinating condition 16 years ago (MS?-docs don't know for sure). And, I actually go through spells where I don't even know that I have to go until I have to be in the bathroom immediately! So, thanks for sharing that info-it gives me a more descriptive way to explain to the doc just exactly what I am feeling

I do know that inactivity makes all of it worse-both the puffiness and the irritation sensations. Riding in a car for a couple hours makes me swell even to the point of my knees and back hurting again. Must remember to hydrate and get out and walk as frequently as possible.
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Old 11-12-2008, 09:20 AM   #7
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Glad to help Ronni! I like words

I had another couple thoughts ...

That irritated feeling can be caused by infection too.

And ... I also have a theory that the human body is meant to be horizontal for a good portion of each day. When I worked nights, I was always puffy and figured it had to do with not having my legs elevated for several hours each day.
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Old 11-12-2008, 12:59 PM   #8
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Exercise increases blood return to the heart, which means more blood flow to the kidneys. And having the legs level with or above the heart (while sleeping) does the same. I have sometimes tried laying with my legs up the wall when i feel like I'm retaining water. It seems to help, but I've never tracked numbers, so it might be all in my head!
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #9
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I agree Julie. It probably does help.
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