“Water retention” refers to abnormal accumulation of fluid in the circulatory system or within other bodily cavities and tissues. General causes of water retention include regular and excessive water intake, consumption of chemical salt and alkaline foods, and irregular eating patterns. Lack of night sleep, prolonged stress, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and heart, liver or thyroid malfunctions can also offset the complex hormonal system the body uses to regulate its volume of fluid and lead to water retention. Various unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, difficulty in weight loss, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue indicate possible water retention. Fortunately, water retention can be treated by controlling water intake and relieved through an assortment of common foods.