Health advice to retain fluids: I seem to be unable to retain water. Fluids run through me and I am constantly dehydrated regardless of the amount of water I drink. Is there a way to retain what I drink?

Constantly feeling thirsty is a sign that your body needs water. The fact that your body is constantly craving water and then passing it out in the urine is a sign that your body’s organs are functioning well. In fact, too much water retention is not good and can lead to complications such as edema and hypertension.

The feeling of dehydration may be caused by a number of reasons. These include:

  • Dry and hot weather may cause your body to lose excessive fluids
  • A high level of physical activity may cause you to sweat and lose fluids
  • Certain foods with a high salt content can make you feel thirsty
  • Drinks such as alcohol and caffeinated beverages may cause dehydration

Certain medical conditions may also fool you into believing that your body is not retaining water. One of these is an enlarged prostate gland. An enlarged prostate gland can cause you to urinate frequently and make you believe that your body is not retaining water.

Before attempting any home remedies to help in retaining water you should consult your doctor. Foods that cause your body to retain water include:

  • Salt: Table salt has a 40% sodium content. Consuming high amounts of salt will make you feel thirsty and this extra water will be used by the body to dilute the sodium. The excess fluid will be retained in your body. However, this can be very dangerous for your health in the long term and can lead to an increase in blood pressure, a condition known as hypertension.  Excessive salt in the diet is considered to pose an increased risk to the cardiovascular system and medical professionals recommend minimizing salt in the diet for this reason.
  • Processed Foods: Processed foods usually have high levels of sodium and can lead to water retention. Most canned, packaged and frozen foods have a high sodium content that will cause your body to retain water. These include vegetables, soups, entrees, processed meats such as salami and bacon, and snacks such as chips, crackers and pretzels. Before buying any packaged products, you should read the labels to ascertain the sodium content. All these foods will cause water retention. Health experts suggest minimizing your intake of these foods.
  • Cheese: Most cheeses have high sodium content and can cause water retention.
  • Monosodium Glutamate: Also known as Ajinomoto, this food additive will also result in water retention.

answered by G R

One possibility if you are unable to retain water is that you are sodium deficient. Buy some Celtic sea salt and put 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and drink. Take this about three times a day. 

This can also be a symptom of diabetes. You should probably see a doctor right away if the above does not help.

answered by K L

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