Fluid retention, or oedema, occurs when excess water builds up in the body, causing affected tissue to swell. This may be limited to one part of the body – often the feet or ankles – or may affect the body more generally. Fluid retention can occur following certain health conditions such as kidney or heart failure; thyroid, lung or liver disease; malnutrition; and even pregnancy.
Fluid retention symptoms
As well as causing puffiness, oedema may lead to:
- Discoloration of the skin
- Tender or aching limbs
- Stiffness in the joints
- Raised blood pressure
- Weight loss or gain
While fluid retention tends to clear up when the underlying condition is treated, there are ways to speed up the recovery process and to reduce swelling. These include:
- Losing excess weight
- Taking part in regular exercise, for example swimming or walking
- Avoiding long standing periods
- Elevating the legs three or four times a day
- Taking diuretics in some cases (consult your GP before taking these as some can make the situation worse)
Keeping the legs elevated
While it’s important to keep the legs moving if you are suffering from fluid retention, it is also vital that you allow them to rest at certain times and to keep them elevated on a regular basis. Electric beds allow you to rest in a comfortable position, to keep the legs moving in a gentle way and to improve blood circulation by ensuring that they are elevated when necessary.
Electric beds are easy to operate and make sleeping, reading and watching television in bed more comfortable. These beds support your back, taking the pressure of your joints while allowing you to easily adjust your position from upright to horizontal, and through the many stages in between.