Diuretics are used to get rid of excess fluid or salt from the body. Diuretics are also used by people with high blood pressure, heart failure, swollen muscles and kidney disease to treat these conditions.
Extra fluid in the body makes it difficult for the heart to function properly and can hinder breathing.
Prescription diuretics are generally referred to as water pills and their first effect is that urination is increased.
Don’t use diuretics to gain weight loss.
Fast facts on diuretics
Here are some key points about diuretics. More detail is in the main article.
- Diuretics can affect the levels of certain minerals in the body.
- Diuretics can be drugs, but some foods and drinks act as natural diuretics.
- Doctors can prescribe diuretic medication.
- There are also many foods and drinks that work as diuretics.
A lot of people use a doctor’s prescription diuretic medication. Many foods and beverages, however, are often used as natural diuretics.
Types of diuretic medications include:
- thiazide diuretics
- loop diuretics
- potassium sparing diuretics
Thiazides decrease blood pressure when eliminating excess fluid, while the blood vessels relax. They will help in chronic heart failure situations. A prime example is chlorothiazide.
Loop diuretics in patients with pulmonary edema, high blood pressure, kidney disorders and heart failure, for example, furosemide is used.
Potassium-sparing diuretics do not lower the blood pressure but also avoid potassium loss. Amiloride is a prime example. They are known as poor diuretics, and can be used with thiazides or diuretics of the loop. They can not be used with added potassium.
Some foods, drinks, and spices can act as natural diuretics.
Nigella sativa, black cumin, black seed or black caraway is a natural diuretic that has the potential to be as powerful as a common prescription diuretic.
Nigella sativa improves production of urine and in effect reduces levels of sodium and potassium.
The seed has a good peppery taste and is used in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine.
Nigella sativa is being investigated as a potential hypertension treatment. Large doses of Nigella sativa can cause damage to the liver.
The plant of Hibiscus sabdariffa functions as a natural diuretic and prevents the body from getting rid of potassium too.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is also known as the red sorrel or roselle. It is sometimes used, or made into a tea, as a medicinal supplement. Hibiscus tea is made by steeping the hibiscus flower’s dried petals into hot water.
Alcohol is a well-known diuretic that works by rising the release of urine. Alcohol, however, has many negative health effects, and should always be consumed in moderation.
A common wildflower found in many parts of the Northern hemisphere.
Both dandelion and ginger are popularly used in beverages and teas which claim to be detoxifying due to their diuretic qualities. Nevertheless, no sound human experiments have proved its results.
One study showed that the extract of parsley seed given to rats significantly increased their urine volume. Parsley has long been used as a diuretic home remedy.
Perezini is a common cooking herb. Whether used fresh or dried, it blends well with Italian cuisine, chicken or fish.
Caffeine may have a slight diuretic effect at short notice. Caffeine can be used in coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks. People who regularly have caffeinated drinks will build caffeine tolerance and won’t see any difference.
Diuretic effect of caffeine is improved by theophylline, a compound contained in tea.
Swelling caused by the excess fluid in the tissues of the body is called edema. Mild edema mostly goes away alone, but some cases need diuretic care.
Fluid retention can be caused by several different medical conditions and by other medicines. Anyone who wants to use diuretics to get rid of excess fluid should first explore with a doctor the potential causes of fluid retention.
Diuretics can be effective for people with kidney disease who can not transfer potassium to their kidneys. It can trigger a accumulation leading to severe health problems.
Diuretics can also alter the levels of other essential minerals, including magnesium, in the body.
The levels of sodium, potassium, and magnesium must be routinely tested when using diuretics. Blood pressure and kidney function do require routine monitoring.
Adverse effects of prescription diuretics can include:
- frequent urination
- muscle cramps
- skin rash
Individuals can use diuretics only if they have a disease that allows their body to hold water and they should only use medications that their doctor prescribes.
The use of diuretic medications can lead to complications such as:
- kidney and liver problems
- worsening of gout symptoms
- risk of fetal or neonatal toxicity and preterm birth if used in pregnancy
It is considered safe to use natural foods such as ginger or parsley as a spice or tea in the food. Supplements, however, are not regulated, and may contain what they say or may not.
Before that the intake of natural diuretic it is necessary to consult a physician, especially if a prescription diuretic or other medication is already in use.
Mineral deficiencies can be caused by long-term use of diuretics. Mineral rates should also be monitored closely when taking diuretics.
Some diuretics can result in low blood potassium levels. The low potassium signs include:
- muscle cramping
- heart rhythm problems
Diuretics isn’t effective in weight loss. Anybody who wants to lose weight will consistently adopt a healthy, balanced diet and exercise. Any lost weight will come back as the body rehydrates.
Natural diuretics may not be effective in reducing high blood pressure or treating certain issues that diuretic drugs may be used to treat. Other medications may be needed for this.
A doctor may prescribe:
- angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- angiotensin II receptor blockers
- beta blockers
- calcium channel blockers
Speak to a physician first before using some type of diuretic.Before using any type of diuretic, first speak to a health professional.