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Water retention or fluid retention or dropsy or the condition most commonly known as edema, is an abnormal accumulation of clear, watery fluid in the tissues or cavities of the body. Water retention is the most common symptom in the feet and legs. It can also affect the hands, arms, face, and abdomen. Imbalances in the intake of water and urinary output mechanism can lead to water retention, which may be mild and asymptomatic to symptomatic with edema

There are two types of water retention, pitting and non-pitting edema. Pitting water retention is seen in systemic disorders like a cardiac failure, liver failure, or kidney failure. Non pitting water retention is caused by lymphatic and thyroid disorders.

Symptoms of water retention

  • Swollen legs, feet, and ankles
  • Puffiness of the face
  • Bloating of the abdomen
  • Unusual fluctuations in body weight
  • Stiffness of the joints and aching of body parts

Causes of water retention

  • A number of factors can cause water retention such as:
  • Standing or sitting for too long
  • Salty diet and deficiency of vitamin B1
  • Hormonal fluctuations such as menstrual changes and pregnancy
  • Certain medications such as analgesics, birth control pills and anti hypertensive drugs
  • Hot weather and gravity
  • Some medical conditions such as chronic venous insufficiency, nephrotic syndrome, heart failure, emphysema, cirrhosis, liver failure, malignant lymphedema, hypothyroidism and autoimmune diseases such as lupus can cause severe water retention.
  • Management and preventive measures for water retention
  • A balanced, healthy lifestyle will prevent water retention to an extent such as:
  • Following a low-salt and protein rich diet
  • Intake of potassium and magnesium rich foods such as bananas, avocados, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, leafy vegetables such as spinach, etc
  • Taking calcium, vitamin B5 and B6 supplements
  • Regular exercise and weight loss
  • Wearing supporting stockings
  • Moving around, avoid sitting or standing still for too long and keep the feet elevated
  • Regular massage will help to avoid stiffness and movement of the fluids
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol

Diagnosis of water retention

  • The underlying cause of the water retention must be found before starting the treatment. This can be achieved by:
  • A thorough physical examination
  • Medical history
  • Blood tests
  • Urine analysis
  • Liver function tests
  • Kidney function tests
  • Chest x-ray and electrocardiogram (ECG)

Homeopathic Treatment for Water Retention

Apis Mellifica: It is a best homeopathic medicine for dropsical swelling over ankles. The symptoms are waxy, pale, swollen ankles. Puffiness of face and swelling below the eyes. Parts are very sensitive to the touch with stinging pain and stiffness.

Apocynum:  It is also indicated for water retention with swelling over ankles. Dropsical swelling of ankles due to cardiac disease. Dropsical swellings may also be found in other parts of the body, along with the ankles. Water retention with scanty urine and great thirst. Great thirst, but drinking causes distress to the heart, Bloating and edema during menses.

Ruta: A great medicine for water retention with swollen ankles resulting from sprain. Pain and weakness in the ankle with lameness.

Hamamelis: It is a good homeopathic remedy for water retention with swollen ankles due to varicose veins. Swelling of the ankles from varicose veins. Swollen and inflamed ankles from engorged, congested veins. Sore, cutting pains in ankles.

Ledum Pal: It is one of the best medicines for water retention with swollen ankles due to arthritis. The ankles are swollen, hot, tensed, painful ankles. The pains are worse from warmth and better by cold application.

Arnica: It is indicated for water retention with swollen ankles caused by injury. The parts feel painful, bruised and sore to touch.

Arsenic Album: It is a great medicine for all forms of water retention, particularly in those depending on disorders of the heart, kidney and lungs. There is puffiness of the face with edema about the eyelids. The skin is waxy and transparent.

Acetic Acid: Acetic acid is best homeopathic medicine for edema of lower limbs and abdomen. There is great debility and profuse sweating.

Digitalis Purpurea: It is one of the best homeopathic medicines for cardiac dropsy. Feeble and irregular heart with frequent desire to take a deep breath. The urine is scanty and dark. The pulse is slow pulse. The scrotum and penis are swollen.

Helleborus Niger: It is indicated especially in general anasarca and ascites. It is one of the best medicines for hydrocephalus.

Ferrum met: It is a best remedy for water retention due to fluid loss. The person is weak and anemic with a face that flushes easily.

Aurum metallicum: It is indicated for water retention when it is due to liver and spleen diseases. There is dropsical swelling with albuminuria.

Bryonia:  When swelling of the legs occurs during pregnancy.

Cactus: It is a best medicine for water retention with swelling of hands and feet with heart complaints.

Lycopodium: It is the best remedy for water retention with abdominal bloating and digestive problems. Numbness or heaviness in the extremities. Complaints are worse in the evening.

Pulsatilla: It is an effective remedy for water retention when swelling occurs in the knees, ankles, feet or hands and is accompanied by a feeling of heaviness or weariness. The edema that occurs premenstrually or from overindulging in rich foods. Complaints are worse when the extremities are hanging down, worse from warmth, and improved by gentle motion.

Phaseolus: It is prescribed for water retention due to heart diseases with liver and kidney complications. Renal and cardiac dropsy with large quantity of urine with albumin.

Eel serum: It is indicated when water retention occurs due to complete failure of kidneys and suppression of urine.

Terebinth: It is prescribed for dropsical edema in Bright’s disease or inflammation of the kidneys.

Squilla maritima: For acute dropsical condition with suppression of urine

Bryonia Alba: It ia great medicine for anasarca and oedema of the feet; hydrothorax; ascites; congestion of the head; lower eyelids edematous; great thirst and scanty urine; obstinate constipation; dropsy after scarlet fever; the swelling increases in daytime and decreases in night.

Homeopathic Mother Tinctures for water retention

  • Aegle Marmelos Q: Water retention due to heart diseases or due to beriberi.
  • Apocynum Q: Water retention with heart affections and menstrual troubles.
  • Boerhaavia Diffusa Q: Water retention due to hepatic lesion.
  • Calotropis Gigantea Q: Water retention with frequent urination and strong smelling urine
  • Cephalandra Indica Q: Water retention with large quantities of water accumulation but dry mouth. Profuse urination due to diabetes mellitus.
  • Convallaria Majalis Q: Water retention due to sluggish action of heart with dyspnoea, palpitation and scanty urine.
  • Cynadon Dactylon Q: Water retention with retention of urine.
  • Hydrocotyle Asiatica Q: Water retention associated with frequent desire for urination.
  • Hygrophilia Spinosa Q: Water retention with hepatic obstruction, malaria and urticaria.
  • Strophanthus Q: Water retention due to congestive heart failure.
  • Terminalia Chebula Q: Water retention with scanty urine.
  • Vesicaria Com. Q: Water retention due to complete failure of kidneys.

Schwabe India’s mother tinctures and dilutions are the best and effective products available in the market as they are of higher quality. All the above medicines are manufactured in the best way by this manufacturer. Some of the special products from Schwabe India are Sedum Acre MT and Natrum sulphuricum 6X.