The signs and symptoms of fluid retention include swelling in the body parts, including the feet, lower legs, hands, arms and face, according to Healthgrades. Based on the condition that causes fluid retention, other signs and symptoms that may occur together with fluid retention include cardiovascular symptoms, such as pressure in the chest; difficulty walking long distances; shortness of breath; difficulty urinating; and unconsciousness.
Because fluid retention may signify a life-threatening underlying cause, it is advisable to visit a doctor promptly when the symptoms appear to receive early diagnosis and treatment This helps to minimize chances of developing complications, such as organ failure, including heart failure; inability to move; spread of cancer; skin ulcerations; and physical disability, notes Healthgrades. To diagnose the underlying cause, a doctor reviews the patient's medical history by seeking information from the patient. The information may include the duration the symptoms have lasted, the location of fluid retention, the medications and diet that the patient takes, and other symptoms that accompany fluid retention.
Fluid retention is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the body tissues as a result of an underlying condition, states Healthgrades. Conditions that may cause fluid retention include cancer, high blood pressure, heart failure and excessive salt in the body due to diet and pregnancy. Burns, diseases of the liver or kidney, lymphadenopathy and venous insufficiency are other possible causes of fluid retention.