Diuretics: What Are They, How Do They Work, and Are They Safe?

Diuretics (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)
Diuretics (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)

Diuretics, often referred to as water pills, help get rid of excess salt (sodium) and water.

They icrease the amount of salt and water expelled. That helps remove water from blood and reduces amount of fluid flowing through the arteries and veins, which helps reduce blood pressure.

Diuretics are usually prescribed for managing high blood pressure, but they can be used to treat other conditions too. In this article, we will talk about diuretics to understand what they are, their functions and use.

What are Water Pills?

Diuretic or water pill (Image via Pexels/Jeshoots)
Diuretic or water pill (Image via Pexels/Jeshoots)

Diuretics or water pill is used to manage high blood pressure and also used in treating other conditions. They come in different categories, including:

Loop – It's a powerful diuretics used in emergency only.

Thiazide-like – These're often used in the long run and help remove moderate amounts of water from the body.

Potassium sparing – This diuretic helps maintain potassium in the body while helping get rid of excessive water and salt.

Apart from these drugs, there are also natural diuretic such as foods, supplements, and herbs you can incorporate in your routine.

What Do Water Pills Do?

Water pills help the kidneys remove extra salt and water through urine. Less fluid helps in reducing pressure inside the body, making it easier for the heart to function.

What Is A Natural Diuretic?

Natural diuretics are dietary and herbal supplements that have many benefits. However, you should always talk to your doctor before trying it because of the risk of possible allergic reactions.

Here're a few common supplements and herbs that can act as natural diuretics:

  • Horsetail
  • Juniper
  • Hawthorn
  • Dandelion
  • Parsley
  • Green and black tea
  • Hibiscus

There are also natural diuretic foods you can incorporate in your routine, including bell peppers, asparagus, celery, berries, watermelon, garlic, onions, and grapes.

What Are Diuretics Used For?

Diuretics are generally used to treat high blood pressure. This medication helps in reducing fluid from blood vessels, helping lowering blood pressure.

They're also used to treat other conditions such as congestive heart failure. This condition affects cardiovascular functioning, resulting in blood not being pumped throughout the body. That results in a build-up of fluids in the body, known as edema. Diuretics help reduce this fluid build-up.

Diuretics are also used to alleviate symptoms in people who have liver failure, kidney disorders, and heart failure.

Diuretic or water pill (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)
Diuretic or water pill (Image via Pexels/Pixabay)

Diuretics are generally well tolerated and are safe to consume when taken as prescribed. However, there are some risks and common side effects.

These include dizziness, low sodium levels, dizziness, diarrhea, skin rash, headache, lowering your cholesterol levels, skin rash, gout, increased thirst, and more.

In some rare cases, water pills can lead to serious side effects, including irregular heartbeat, allergic reactions, and kidney failure. That's why it's recommended to consume water pills after talking to your medical professional. You should also be on the look out for potential side effects.

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Edited by Bhargav
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