Fluid Retention and Weight Gain

Pelvis | General Practice | Fluid Retention and Weight Gain (Symptom)


Fluid retention appears in certain physiological situations (pregnancy, menopause, pre-menses) and in many diseases (heart, kidney, liver, etc. ). It always appears as a soft tissue swelling due to accumulation of fluids especially in those areas. Water is the most abundant element in the body and reaches 72% of the adult body weight. It is distributed in three compartments: (i) Intracellular: that found inside cells, (ii) Intravascular: that is inside the blood vessel, (iii) Interstitial: which is located between the two, i. e. in the tissues around the cells.


All of these compartments are separated by a semipermeable membrane, that is enabling the passage of liquids and certain components. Therefore water retention occurs when an imbalance between the forces that regulate the passage of fluids from one compartment to another occurs.

If the flow of water is abundant, intravascular, to the interstitial space the retention of fluids tend to appear. Fluid retention is one of the hidden factors of weight gain, which is evident both in the scale as in the mirror. It can occur either by lifestyle (sedentary) and hormonal fluctuations, imbalance in fluid intake, or significant disease (cirrhosis, heart failure, hypertension, cancer, malnutrition, etc. ).