A body is shown, half normal and half retaining fluid and swelling as a small man with a watering can fills the foot and hand.

Retaining Fluid

Most people don’t know or will not understand how fluid retention starts, and also how you retain fluid. Well, my experiences have taught me to notice when I start to retain fluid quickly. You will just have to know how to slow it down.

Recognizing the signs of fluid retention

Sometimes you will retain fluid in every part of your body and sometimes you will retain it in only areas affected by your lupus. During my first kidney failure, I retained fluid only in my face, heart, and lungs. This affected me in not being able to breathe properly in any position I was in. What is fluid retention, also referred to as water retention? It is an accumulation of fluid in the body tissues and cavities. There were plenty of ways that I noticed I was retaining fluid:

  • Tightness of the skin
  • Tiredness
  • Feeling as if excessive weight is on your bones
  • Less frequency in urine or incompetence of urination
  • Increase in appetite
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Out of breath more often than usual

Preventing fluid retention

These were the ways I noticed when I started to gain fluid. I realized I gained fluid by doing certain things like eating more salt and candy, or anything high in sodium.

How did I prevent fluid retention once I learned I gained a new symptom dealing with lupus and kidney failure?

  • Eat less salt
  • Monitor a strict diet
  • Rest more
  • More cardio or yoga
  • Drink more water
  • Increase vitamin B6, magnesium, and potassium
  • Drink cranberry juice

Diet and lifestyle changes

Diet change basically helps with retaining fluid. It's like lupus can be a tricky card you pull and you're trying to figure out should you or should you not indulge in your cravings or not. The answer is most likely not. They were so many difficulties I had with trying to not retain as much fluid as I needed to.

The fluid would seep through my pores and come out my skin to where it looks like I am sweating profusely and I was not at all. For some people, skin can peel like a newborn baby because you're sweating so much your skin opens like bedsore. When your pores are open it comes to play with discoid lupus, which is when lupus affects the skin. When your pores are open releasing fluid it can also cause an infection within your pores or bloodstream. I would get skin infections around the clock and It will release water, pus, infection, and blood.

It can also cause weight gain. I gained so much weight I started to lose myself and poured into my insecurities. When I retain fluid now I refer to a low-sodium strict diet. It helps prevent you from gaining fluid and causing any other issues. When I retained fluid, I ended up using fewer seasonings high in salt and mostly used Mrs. Dash to season food. I will drink no soda, juice, or anything salty. You might see your health get better with a diet change.

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