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May 1964

Psychological Disturbance and Water Retention

Author Affiliations

Biochemical Correlates Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(5):513-518. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720230075008

Recent reports by Hill et al,1 Thorn,2 and others on the subject of "idiopathic pedal edema" in psychologically disturbed females has generated some interest in the study of psychological factors in the production of water retention states in general. Though this syndrome appears to be a distinct entity and apparently unrelated to demonstrable cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease, one may speculate that it may be reflective of an exaggeration of a normal phenomenon: the retention of water during a psychologically disturbed state. Recent psychosomatic research, documented in the areas of functional hypoglycemia and hypersecreting ulcer patients in relationship to uropepsin levels,3 indicates that many of the so-called psychosomatic disease entities are probably exaggerations of normal physiological events. Thus, the possibility that psychological state may significantly influence water balance may have implications for refractory edematous states of various primary etiologies, the

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