So a week has passed and you’re still ballooning. If you’re a woman, you might be tempted to blame it on your period, but you know something else is up. Your fingers, ankles, and face look somewhat different. You feel bloated, but you can’t really pinpoint why that is. You worry it might be something more serious. Well, hold your horses! Before you start jumping to conclusions, check out these common things that trigger water retention and might help explain why you’re feeling so puffy.
It’s That Time Of The Month Again
Most women will start retaining water two weeks leading up to their period thanks to higher levels of estrogen and progesterone. When this happens, some women will notice their bodies getting puffier, but the feeling should go away once Mr. Monthly leaves town.
Contraceptives Might Be To Blame
Contraceptives may protect you from getting pregnant, but it throws your estrogen and progesterone levels out of whack, which reduces your body’s ability to get rid of excess water. So, you temporarily gain water weight. But once your period starts, your body will excrete the excess water.
Your Thyroid’s Malfunctioning
If your immune system attacks your thyroid, you may feel tired, colder and experience water retention, too. If that’s the case, then you need to get checked out by your doctor. A malfunctioning thyroid could lead to other health issues like difficulty to breathe and heart disease.
You’ve Been Flying Too Long
If you’ve been sitting on a long flight for hours, your bowels might not be moving the way they should be. This can lead to constipation that blocks blood and lymph flow in your abdominal region causing swollen legs and ankles. Try flexing your feet and walking around the plane to increase blood flow and reduce the amount of swelling.
You May Have Kidney Problems
Kidneys are your body’s filtration system. So, if they’re not working properly, they’ll build up waste and water, leading to fluid retention. You’ll probably feel intense pain in your lower back too. If you experience this type of bloating, see your doctor as it could indicate your kidneys are about to fail.
It Got Hotter All Of A Sudden
If you feel bloated during the hot summer months, it’s because your tissues hold on to water to stay hydrated and cool. So, if you experience dehydration, drink more water and find a place to cool off. Also, avoid drinks with lots of caffeine as they reduce your body’s chances of draining fluids, which lead to water retention.
You Might Be Pregnant
Water retention is quite common during pregnancy. It’s why your pregnant friends are always complaining about their bloated legs and ankles. But this allows the body to expand as the baby grows. The fetus also puts pressure on the abdominal regions, restricting blood flow to the body and causing water to pool in your lower extremities. But elevating your legs can ease the bloating.