Extra water weight when sick with a cold? Is it normal to experience water retention when ill? What causes water retention when sick? We will be answering all these questions here in this piece. So, if you have a query related to your body getting bloated when sick, keep reading to learn more.

Water retention when sick

water retention

If you experience water retention when sick, you are not alone. Many people do experience the same when not feeling well `because of one or more reasons. If not sure why you experience water retention when sick, check out our list of facts below for more information.

Not staying hydrated when sick

Wondering how this is possible? This what happens. If you don’t take enough water (at least eight glasses of water a day), your body will hold more water because it feels like it needs to stay healthy. So, any time you are sick and not taking enough water, your body could respond by holding more and more water. Keep in mind that hydrating also speed up healing.

Not exercising as usual


When sick, in most cases, you will be required to rest to recover fast. No going to the gym, jogging, biking, and so on. If you exercise often, you may notice holding onto more water because you are not working out to shed that water weight as much as you normally do. Luckily, once you recover, your body will get back to its usual self.

Inflammation contributes to water retention

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When you catch a cold, your mucous membrane is likely to get inflamed. Virus infection is also likely to inflame your stomach. In these two cases, your body is more likely to retain water in an attempt to combat these illnesses.

If you are in a position to treat the inflammation, you are likely to see the retained water dwindling. One thing to note is that it can take time to deal with inflammation related to being sick, specifically those that pertain to the stuffy head or sore throat. So be patient, the swelling will dwindle with time.

Change of diet while sick

Most people, when sick, find themselves unable to eat, and this results in them getting into “starvation mode.” Once the body gets into starvation mode, it retains water as it does when it feels dehydrated. Again, if you eat much food and especially food that is high in sodium, your body is going to respond by holding more water. So, consider eating healthy when sick to avert water retention.

Medications you are taking can make a difference

Sometimes water retention could be a result of the drugs you are taking. Both over the counter and prescribed medication can be the cause. If taking the medicines for a short period and going to stop using them once you recover, no need to worry. Just be patient, your body will get back to normal.


Do you feel we have addressed the issue of water retention when sick well? Any questions you feel we need to revisit? As you can see, many possible causes result in that bloated feeling. A bug in the stomach, flu, drugs, and excess sodium are some of the possible reasons. Fortunately, water retention dwindles as your body gets to its usual self in almost every situation.

If you nurture a habit of hydrating your body well and eating healthy, likely, you will never experience water retention when sick.