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There are a number of dietary steps that can be taken to help reduce water retention & oedema:

•  eat 2-3 portions of oily fish a week, or take fish oil supplements or hemp seed oil to supplement Omega 3 & 6

•  test for food insensitivity/allergy. Wheat, grains & dairy tend to be the most common, so many people try & avoid these for about 3 months until they have established whether this is the cause or not.

•  Drink 3-5 pints of water a day

•  Vitamin B6 (up to 100mg/day for a maximum of 3 months, & is best taken as part of a liquid B complex), biotin, zinc & magnesium (200-300mg/day) supplements may be helpful

•  Eat plenty of seeds

•  Eat plenty of water rich fruit & vegetables

•  Avoid salt & sugar (watch out for hidden salts & sugars by checking labels)

•  Avoid refined carbohydrates like bread. Opt for wholegrain wherever possible

•  If overweight, choose a healthier diet bearing in mind the above recommendations. Please feel free to contact me for further advice if needed. Otherwise Gillian McKeith's 28 day plan is a good book packed full of great recipe ideas.

•  Where possible, avoid diuretics. Long term these may increase water retention as the body compensates for the biochemical changes. On stopping the diuretic, water retention usually gets worse at first while the body adjusts, but it will settle down if you follow the above measures.

•  Some essential oils like sweet orange, grapefruit & lemon can all help ease the symptoms, especially when combined with massage & acupressure.

•  Soft top socks for anyone who has swelling in their legs/oedema/circulatory problems

•  Rosemary infusions (Roger says you have a bush in the garden...just snip a few tips off & pour hot water over them. Add honey to taste if preferred. This boosts circulation & aids detoxification, as well as toning the liver.

•  Ginger infusions; cut up ginger root & pour hot water over it. Add honey (manuka is particularly beneficial) &/or a cinnamon stick for extra flavour. This is a great brew that will warm the coldest of tootsies & improve circulation.

Persistent fluid retention cause by heart problems will require medical attention. ©2002

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