Bloating can be painful, uncomfortable, and embarrassing.
It’s no coincidence that people often compare being bloated to feeling like a water balloon: one of the most common reasons for this sensation is that your body is retaining too much water.
In some cases, it’s enough to make your abdomen bigger and cause your weight to shoot up (1).
What is Water Retention?
Water retention is the result of excess fluids building up inside the circulatory system, in your tissues and within cavities throughout the body (2). It’s typically accompanied by painful joints, hypertension, and obesity.
There are several reasons why it can happen, most of which are temporary. Many women experience bloating while pregnant or before menstruation, and bloating can often occur in situations in which a person is bedridden, or sitting down for long periods of time.
However, in some circumstances, bloating can be a sign of a more dangerous problem such as kidney disease or heart failure.
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Other causes include environmental factors (such as hot weather, high altitudes), thyroid malfunction, poor circulation, liver disorder, cardiovascular issues, allergies, dehydration, and stress.