General causes of water retention are excess of water intake, regular intake of cold or chilled water, intake of chilled drinks or juices, and excess of alkaline foods . Chemical salt available in the market is an important factor in water retention. Other general causes are water intake while eating food, Irregular eating pattern, lack of night sleep, prolonged stress and various medicines esp. hormones.
Water retention is part of the premenstrual syndrome. During this time, hormonal fluctuations can cause havoc in a woman’s body. In some women the monthly rise in estrogen raises the hormone aldosterone. Aldosterone, in turn, causes the kidneys to retain fluids and the woman to suddenly gain a few water-filled pounds.
While PMS is the major cause of water retention in women, water retention for both men and women can also be related to kidney problems, both serious (kidney disease) and common causes. Heart , liver, or thyroid malfunctions can also play a role in water retention. Thanks to the effects of gravity, retained water tends to accumulate in the feet, ankles, and legs, although no area of the body is immune. Other water prone areas are chin and eye esp. upper lids.
These symptoms vary from person to person depending upon age, presence of other disease, gender, duration of water retention and level of water retention. I have seen two worst cases of water retention, one with sixty glasses of water and other with forty glasses of water. First one died due to heart and kidney failure, fate of the second one is unknown.
Bloating is the result of wind and water retention. Certain bodies have a tendency for retaining water and other types retain wind more.