Fluid retention while cruising!!!

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Gadsden, Alabama
297 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I am very prone to fluid retention-during certain timesof the month(sorrry guys) during long car trips, when standing on feet long periods of time, etc. And no I am not terribly over weight(do want to lose 10-15 lbs before my cruise though) Anyway, what can I do to help with this while cruising? Should I take a fluid pill each day? I will be drinkg some alcohol while on board and of course eating will make it worse. I dont want my feet, ankles, fingers and knees to look like stuffed sausages!! Help!!I have heard that cruising makes this problem even worse so I thought some of you might have some advice.
This isnt related to a health issue-just something I have always been cursed with as is my mom.
New York, NY
1,728 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Make sure you drink a lot of water. WATER, WATER, WATER. I always bring some aquaban with me as well but take it as needed. I somehow don't think men have the same problem but every woman I know who cruises does have this same problem. My fingers swell so much I can't wear my rings. If you didn't get what I was trying to say, drink WATER, WATER, WATER!
East Brunswick, NJ USA
3,538 Posts
Joined Oct 2003
When we took our Crown Princess cruise 2 weeks ago, I also experienced swelling of the feet and ankles.

We had to visit the ship's infirmary for my husband on a different matter and I happened to ask the doctor if there was anything I could do about the swelling.

He told me to take the life jackets and wedge them under the mattress each night to elevate the feet.

Worked great! Didn't stop the swelling (I'll have to check out Aquaban, never heard of it) but at least I started each day with my feet back to normal.
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1,407 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
I agree with consulting with your doctor. I don't think it is normal to retain a lot of water with normal activity, or to not be able to wear your rings because of the swelling, especially if you are not overweight.
GTA, Ontario, Canada
34,929 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Don't put extra salt on your food ...I find the food seems to be cooked with more salt than I am use to.
Drink plenty of water & walk, walk, walk
Last cruise I did not swell up as much as I normally do so I am thinking the extra exercise must have done it !!
Dayton, OH USA
579 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
I thought I was the only one who did this!

I work hard to look good in the swim suits and formal wear only to have myself retain water and look like I have the worse care of cellulite I have ever had.

I also cant seem to have a regular bowel when I travel. I eat prunes each morning, bring laxatives etc, to no avail. I think the moment i step on a plane everything just shuts down.

I will try the water pills, and I do drink tons of water every chance I get.
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New York, NY
1,728 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
I know many people who suffer with fluid retention while cruising. It is quite common. Besides the humidity and the heat, change in diet contributes (especially salt). Putting fear into people by telling them to consult their doctor is not necessary. Not the day of but the day after I return home, my fluid retention is gone. Now if only the extra pounds were gone too.
516 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
if you do a search you will see its very common. most say its from all the extra sodium in the foods. someone said to ask your waiter for some parsley it helps. now i dont know if any of this is true just what i read here.
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Fairfax VA
306 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Water water water. Sounds sort of counter intuitive but it helps. And other liquids -- juice, coffee, tea, alcohol even flavored water do not count.

If you are flying, that will definitely make it worse. Do ankle circles and toe lifts during the flight. Also hand extensions. Not the entire flight but a least a couple minutes every hour. Or walk up and down aisles.

Watch the salt of course. And salty foods that might not be readily evident -- bacon, olives, ham,

AND during a stop at St Kitts a couple of years ago, a very friendly local vendor noticed my ankles were quite swollen. He recommended massaging them with ALOE. He graciously gave me three pieces of it. It worked like a charm! I rubbed the cut ends over my ankles and swelling was diminished within several hours. Don't know any scientific basis for this but then again I don't know why the skunk root ointment I got in Alaska works on almost any ache or pain -- including the bruises incurred during an embarassing tumble down several stairs during the muster drill.

Good luck!
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MB, Canada
11,101 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Drink mint tea and sleep with pillows under your ankles. This will help alot. Also do not eat most of the soups as they are loaded with salt.
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Be careful about taking water pills if you plan to drink alcohol. They can have a kind of "force multiplier" effect and you may discover your drinks are "stronger' than you imagined. Another problem, while you are adapting to water pills, you will run to the bathroom much more often than you are used to. That can be inconvenient on excursions. They also can cause a dry mouth, so you always feel thirsty, but it is a thirst that drinking liquids won't quench.

The water pills I took for one year also came with a warning to avoid the sun because you can burn more easily.

Perhaps the biggest problem with them was that when you first start taking them, you can have a problem with dizzyness, epsecially when getting out of bed or when turning suddenly.

The water pills I took were prescription-strength, but the weakest strength made. I'm not sure about over-the-counter water pills, but if they are weaker than what I took, they may not do much good. It just depends on how serious your swelling problem is. If you are like I am, swelling hands, ankles and even face, OTC water pills may be ineffective. Even with prescription-strength water pills, I still had swelling, but not as bad as without the pills.
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Jimmy Buffet
3,362 Posts
Joined May 2005
I just asked my GP about this last week. I take a RX diuretic daily. He said to take two a day when traveling, one in the AM and one in the late afternoon. I never use salt at home, but on a cruise (or traveling anywhere) salt is used in abundance .

On our last cruise I had "cankles" (as my friend calls them-you can't tell your calves from your ankles ) from the second day until the end of the cruise. They were fine in the morning, but by evening I couldn't get into my shoes!

Like several other posters, I drink lots of water, but it just doesn't help all the time.

If your ankles (or other parts!) swell enough to be painful (mine have ) I'd suggest you talk to your GP, too.
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109 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I agree with the other cruisemates, i would consult a doctor, i am a nurse, and the most important thing by far is to elevate and elevate as often as you can, this should solve some of the problem, also when you go to sleep put your legs on a few pillows.....you should see an improvement in the morning....
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111 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I too have big trouble with swelling/water retention once a month. I was told to take vitamin B6. I'm taking some on the cruise with me just to play it safe. Don't know if it works, but I don't guess it can hurt.
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