Young woman drinking water. Woman With Water Glass. image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from Fotolia.com

Edema is a condition where the body is retaining fluid--usually water. The water retention can show up any place in the body but, because of gravity, it usually shows up in the feet and legs. It seems counterintuitive that the treatment for water retention is to drink more water, but this is often exactly the case, and it is definitely the first thing to try. Edema is often the result of the body trying to hold on to water. Once we show the body that there is plenty of water coming in, the efforts to hold on to water cease and the edema subsides.

Start slowly increasing your water intake. Edema took a while to develop and it will take a while to cure. If you pour a large amount of water into a system that is used to processing a small amount of water, the water will not be absorbed. One extra cup a day at first is recommended, and after a few days, slowly increase the amount until you are drinking to eight to ten glasses a day.

Make small permanent changes. If you usually drink coffee or soda with meals, try to change to water instead. If you can't make the change, drink a glass of water along with your favorite beverage. It is important that you find a modification with which you are comfortable as you are looking for a permanent dietary change. The edema is a response to incorrect dietary behavior, and to permanently get rid of the edema, you must permanently change your dietary behavior--make changes with which you are prepared to live.

Keep water handy. Buy water in bottles that you find convenient and pleasing and put them everywhere that you spend time--at work, by your favorite reading or TV chair, by your computer, on your kitchen or dining room table, by your bed, and in the bathroom. If the water is handy, you will be more likely to drink it. Once you get in the habit of reaching for the always-convenient water, you will drink more water--and you will be imbibing in the best possible way: small amounts all throughout the day.

Considered flavored waters. If you are having a hard time switching to plain water, it might help to look at some of the many flavored waters on the market. These are especially helpful in making the transition from sodas to water. To cure edema you don't have to completely give up sodas, coffee, and tea, you just have to drink more water and flavored waters can help you make this transition.