MILAN - We asked Doctor and Dermatologist, Magda Belmontesi, to explain what dreaded water retention is and what to do to overcome it.
What causes water retention?
Water retention or cellulite, they are two things that are not the same but that often coexist. In women of childbearing age - and even more in young women – “physiological” water retention exists also in relationship to the menstrual cycle and hormonal cycle. The physiological changes between estrogens or progesterone encourage water retention, particularly at the soft tissue level. Coupled with this there may be problems linked to a family-genetic characteristic of circulatory problems or venous insufficiency (from mild to more pronounced) and there may also be external causes such as diet. Salty foods or overly seasoned foods, in fact, promote fluid retention. Lastly, clothing can also be a factor if too tight or close-fitting, and wearing high heels may also cause water retention problems and poor circulation.
What categories of women and how many on average are affected in Italy?
It is believed that about 90% of women may have problems with both cellulite and water retention. At risk are also women undergoing hormone therapies: contraceptives in younger women, and hormone replacement therapy for older women. Coupled with this, women more prone to retention are also those taking oral medications for problems ranging from asthma to more severe disorders.
Speaking of cellulite and water retention, what is the value of proper hydration?
Moisturising skin with cosmetics and drinking the right amount of water during the day (from 1.5 to 2 liters) are two joint activities that promote elimination with diuresis of a good amount of liquids.
Are there any waters which are particularly indicated due to their mineral composition?
Certainly, waters low in sodium, because they promote both vascular and lymphatic natural draining. The richer they are in sodium the more they encourage liquid retention.
What are your tips for women who are starting to look in the mirror for summer?
It should be a consistent and multiple point approach. Focused efforts for only a month to then start over again are useless because this is a condition that tends to be chronic. A diet with a rich supply of fresh foods as well as fruits and vegetables which are very rich in water, is appropriate. Then salt should be limited and with high intake of fluids, in this case not sweet or carbonated drinks but the main choice remains water, which may be accompanied by herbal teas, decaffeinated tea and fruit juices. A minimal amount of physical activityis also very important: A simple walk or using the stairs instead of the elevator is already something. Lastly, using comfortable footwear, better still if they have shaped insoles because these provide a natural massage to the sole of the foot, increasing circulation.