Water retention sucks, and sometimes it seems impossible to get rid of. Often times water retention is easier to prevent than getting rid of it. So, here are the causes of water retention and how to avoid retention goes by a couple different names – whether it be fluid retention, water retention, or edema, they all suck equally. It occurs when excess fluids build up inside the body. It occurs in the circulatory system or within tissues and cavities. It causes you to swell around your legs, feet, ankles, hands, fingers, wrists, and etcetera. It is extremely painful too! While this isn’t a very serious health issue, it can scarcely be an indicator of heart failure or kidney disease.