What Are the Causes of Midriff Water Retention?

Updated February 21, 2017

Water or fluid retention refers to the excess build-up of fluids in your body. Retention can occur in any part of the body such as the arms, legs and thighs. However, a common place to notice extra water weight is in the abdomen or midriff. Fortunately, there are quick and effective ways to remove excess water from your body and slim your midsection. Knowing the cause of water retention is key to combating this problem.

Too Much Sodium

A main cause of fluid retention in the midriff is excessive intake of sodium. Sodium, or salt, is a common seasoning that's used to prepare a variety of foods. Foods with high sodium include processed or packaged foods and most foods served at fast food restaurants and casual dining establishments. Too much sodium dehydrates the body, which prompts the body to store extra water. This triggers fluid retention and extra body weight. Quickly reverse water retention by cutting back on sodium (no more than 1,500 mg a day) and drinking eight glasses of water a day.

Lack of Physical Activity

Regular exercise or physical activity quickly transforms your body. Lack of exercise plays a role in fluid retention. Too little exercise can also cause water retention in the midriff due to your body's inability to release stored water through perspiration. Exercise is imperative to ridding your body of toxins and excess water. Lack of exercise decreases blood circulation and sweating, which forces toxins and water to accumulate.

Prescription Medications

Certain medications such as corticosteroids and birth control bills can result in water retention. These specific drugs typically increase appetite and cravings for foods. Taking these medications increases your likelihood of consuming unhealthy foods and foods high in sodium. Additionally, these medications can alter the way your body metabolises water. Drinking extra fluids to stimulate your kidneys and decreasing your sodium intake can relieve water retention.

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) can trigger water retention in the midriff, commonly referred to a bloating. In this case, hormonal changes affect the way the body stores and metabolises water, which induces a tightness or heaviness around the abdomen. Over-the-counter premenstrual medications, calcium supplements (1,200 mg a day) and magnesium supplements help control water retention associated with PMS.

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About the Author

Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Virginia. She has contributed content to print publications and online publications such as, AOL Travel, and ABC Loan Guide. Higuera primarily works as a personal finance, travel and medical writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/journalism from Old Dominion University.