Is water retention common among people with type II diabetes? Is it safe to take over the counter diuretics or should my doctor prescribe a certain drug? It suddenly began after being diagnosed about a year ago. My doctor must have been expecting this because she asks about a swelling in my ankles and in general at each visit (every 3 months).

Dr. William Sullivan


Water retention, which is usually associated with edema (swelling) in both legs, is a common symptom caused by many different diseases. Possible causes include venous insufficiency, congestive heart failure, and liver or kidney disease. Water retention occurs in people with or without diabetes. Diuretics can be used to treat leg edema, but their use needs to be closely monitored, as side effects include dehydration and low potassium levels. Compressive leg stockings can also be used to treat leg edema. You should discuss with your healthcare provider how your water retention might best be treated.