Diuretic is a medicine which eliminates sodium (salt) from body. Diuretics are popularly known as water pills. These medicines are consumed orally. It operates by augmenting the excretion of sodium in the urine.
During excretion kidneys excrete sodium and diuretics excrete water from the blood along with sodium. This compensates the quantity of fluid flowing all the way through the blood vessels.
This drug can augment the quantity of water and sodium which is excreted in the urine. That is why diuretics are considered really very effective for the treatment of diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, edema, liver diseases and kidney diseases. This drug acts positively on body for the treatment of above-mentioned diseases.
Diuretics are usually regarded as safe for the body, but there are few possibilities of side effects and reactions with other drugs.
Types of Diuretics
There are many classes of diuretics, each class have different mechanism of action. Primary function of every kind of diuretics is to lower the amount of salt and water of the body. Hence they all contribute in lowering blood pressure of body.
The choice of particular class of diuretic depends on the situation for which these water pills are being prescribed by doctors. Different classes of diuretics are:
1. Loop diuretics: Loop diuretics are the most effective type of water pills. This drug can result excretion of up to 20 % of sodium chloride (filtered salt). Normally, only 0.4 % (approximately) of the sodium salt passes into the urine at the time of renal reabsorption process.
The agents are used to avert the body from absorbing again sodium salt at the ascending loop of ‘Henle’ in the nephron of body. This sodium salt is then excreted by loop diuretics, along with the water that go behind it. This drug actually make kidney to speed up the flow of urine to reduce the amount of water from the body.
Loop diuretics are used during congestive heart failure symptoms. During heart failure emergencies, these type drugs are considered really very helpful. Unlike other type of diuretics, loop diuretics aren’t used for lower blood pressure that is why they aren’t recommended for treatment of high blood pressure.
It doesn’t significantly lower the blood pressure of body. In medicine market, you can easily find many drugs which are example of loop diuretics. Some common loop diuretics are furosemide (lasix), torsemide, bumetanide (bumex), Edecrin (ethacrynic acid) etc.
2. Thiazide diuretics: Water pills of this class posse’s sodium-chloride symporter which aids in the retention of water and sodium in body. These are basically antihypertensive drugs which can lower preload and ultimately blood pressure of the body. This class of waterpills is also considered effective for the treatment of edema during heart failure.
These are only diuretics which widen the blood vessels to lower blood pressure. This class of drugs is also used to clear fluid from the body in situations where your body accrues too much fluid. Thiazide allows kidneys to pass more fluid. This drug does this by interfering in the transportation of salt and water across some cells in the kidneys. Thus it weakens the action of kidney.
If Thiazides are consumed with loop diuretics, it is possible to get positive results in lowering blood pressure. Common examples of Thiazides are bendroflume thiazide, xipamide, metolazone, chlortalidone, and indapamide.
3. Potassium-Sparing Diuretics: Potassium-Sparing Diuretics are used for increasing urine production in the body. These pills lower the potassium concentration from urine which increases the urine production.
Potassium symbolizes one of the most significant electrolytes which are required for normalizing blood pressure and maintaining heart health. When sodium concentration in urine is increases, it balances potassium concentration. Ultimately we can say that Potassium-Sparing pills are used to reduce amount of water from body.
Commonly used potassium sparing diuretics are Aldactone, Dyrenium, and Midamor. Among all Aldosterone antagonists and Epithelial sodium channel blockers are widely used in medical and healthcare industries.
The Aldosterone antagonists are known for adding sodium channels to principle cells. This drug is used for prevention of reabsorbing of sodium and water. While epithelial sodium channel blocker blocks the sodium.
4. Osmotic diuretics: Osmotic diuretics are commonly used for the reabsorption of sodium and water. This class of diuretics is used for osmolarity of the blood and renal filtration.
Primary use of osmotic diuretics is to reduce the intracranial pressure i.e. pressure between the skull. It is also found helpful in the treatment of the oliguric renal failure.
In medical science the osmotic diuretics are even used for transportation of drugs directly to brain. So, osmotic diuretics find its applications in many important treatments.
For What Purposes Diuretics Are Used?
Doctors may prescribe diuretics for many different purposes. This drug can be used in every phase of treatment which are prevention, detection, evolution, and treatment. Water pills find their application in the treatment of many kinds of ailments.
Diuretics are even used in combination of other medicines to fight with severe diseases. It is right time to become aware about different uses of diuretics or water pills.
1. Heart failure: Diuretics are frequently used in the treatment of heart failure. When these pills are consumed during heart failure, it helps body get rid of unnecessary water and salt. Thus this unneeded stuff is discharged through the urine. Thus by removing excess water from body, blood pressure gets under control which prevent the heart failure.
Types of diuretics which are used in prevention of heart failure are furosemide (lasix), bumetanide (bumex), torsemide (Demadex), hydrochlorothiazide (Esidrix), metolazone (Zaroxolyn) and spironolactone (Aldactone).
Usually thiazide diuretics are used for the treatment of heart failures because these types of diuretics have characteristics to moderately increase water excretion. Thus they are appropriate for long-term usage.
2. Edema: Edema or tissue swelling can be treated with the diuretics. Edema is caused by renal dysfunction and diuretics and help in dealing with them. Edema results in swelling in legs which give lots of pain.
With the consumption of water pills, it is possible to treat edema at a faster rate. Diuretics function by compelling the kidneys to drive out more amount of sodium in the urine. The body then generates a balanced amount for this increased sodium by adding more water to the urine from the blood, at the time of urine formation.
Diuretics must be consumed with care as removing too much of water at faster pace can lower the blood pressure, which results in side effects like lightheadedness, and harm kidney function.
You should also have empty bladder frequently after taking a diuretic. These are some side effects associated with the diuretics if it is consumed in more quantity.
3. Polycystic ovary syndrome: Diuretics are actively used for the treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome.
Diuretics can abate this syndrome and give instant relief. POS can result infertility in women but with proper medication, it is possible to deal with this syndrome. Along with the infertility, POS are likely to give anxiety and stress. That is why it is recommended to treat this syndrome as soon and possible. Water pills are considered as good treatment for it.
Although water pills can result in certain side effects in this case, but they are regarded as good treatment for POS. Many women complain about fatigue and abnormal hair growth after consumption of diuretics.
4. Kidney disorders: Diuretics are considered an effective and efficient drug for the treatment of the kidney disorders.
In many cases this pills abjure to treat kidney disorders in very positive manner. When you consume diuretics you need not to abide the pain and dilemma due to kidney. It isn’t abstruse to understand that how diuretics become successful in the treatment of kidney disorders.
The kidney disorder which results oodles of pain is kidney stones and with the help of diuretics it is possible to get over from the kidney stones. Regular consumption of diuretics results frequent urination in which stones get melted and get removed from body along with the urine.
Water pills are commonly used for lowering the urinary calcium excretion, which them beneficial for preventing calcium-containing kidney stones. Thus it removes kidney stones.
5. Hypertension: Diuretics can act like very effectual therapeutic agent for the treatment of the hypertension. Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. This pill comes in action immediately and removes excess water and salt from body through urine.
When access salt and water is removed from body, it becomes easy for heart to pump blood easily. Thus increased blood pressure get instant soothe. That is why it is also used for the treatment of other heart related diseases.
When diuretics are used in combination with other antihypertensive drug, it can be very effective drug for the treatment of more severe forms of hypertension. This drug can give positive results in much lesser time.
Loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, and Potassium-Sparing diuretics can be used for the treatment of hypertension. Sometime combination of two or more types of diuretics works more effectively for the treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure. Yes but Thiazide or diuretics that end with ‘ide’ are very effective for the treatment of hypertension.
Diuretics can also results the blood vessel’s walls to get relaxed and widen that make it easy for blood to flow in the body. This finally consequences in lowering blood pressure instantly that is why many doctors recommend, water pills for the treatment of hypertension.
But people who have other health issues like urinary problems, allergy with drug or both low and high blood pressure problem, should strictly avoid water pills dose. Otherwise, they might have to deal with serious health issues.
6. Diabetes: Diuretics is an acclaimed treatment for the diabetes. There is an absolute relationship between diuretic treatment and impaired glucose tolerance and a probable relation to insulin resistance, and biochemical diabetes. The consequence of water pills on glucose resistance is related to amount of dose.
Spironolactone doesn’t damage glucose resistance even for high dosage, but evident differences among other diuretics may exists due to evaluation at doses which are not equal.
The changes introduced by diuretic in the carbohydrate metabolism aren’t convincingly related to changed potassium homeostasis, occurs when relatively small doses of thiazide are united with potassium-sparing diuretics.
The consequence of diuretics on glucose resistant is wholly reversible. This turmoil of carbohydrate homeostasis has been detected by detailed biochemical testing, and their clinical importance is unsure. In the establishment of diabetes, diuretics can have adverse effect on metabolic control.
7. Hirsutism: Hirsutism is male pattern growth on female body. Water pills are found to be really very helpful in treatment of hirsutism. The potassium sparing diuretic named Spironolactone in combination with other drugs can provide treatment for hirsutism.
When women take higher doses of spironolactone, then there are better chances to get rid of male pattern hairs. This drug work positively on all body parts means hairs from entire body parts will get treatment with this drug. It is one of the least expensive treatments for hirsutism.
With the proper dosage of diuretics it is possible to get rid of unwanted hairs. Yes! In case you have any urine related problem, it is recommended you should avoid this drug.
8. Osteoporosis: Diuretics are accolade drug for the treatment of Osteoporosis. Loop diuretics are widely used for this purpose. The consumption of this drug let body lose water with other vital minerals, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Thus consumption of these diuretics in large quantity are prone to bone fracture.
What are Natural Diuretics?
Whether you consume natural diuretics or synthetic diuretics, it will increase water of your body. There are some natural foods which are regarded as diuretic food because they can lower the blood pressure. Few herbs and food, like dandelion, ginger and juniper, can have a diuretic effect on body.
Natural diuretics might aid water retention by creating more urine in your body. But there is no scientific evidence for affectivity of diuretic, so you may not take them as medicine. And if you are targeting for long-term weight loss with natural diuretics then it is right time to realize that this isn’t going to work for you.
Diuretic foods can help in lowering your blood pressure, or retaining water. Well, water pills are good and scientific idea to accomplish this task but in order to get minimal side effects, natural diuretics are good option indeed. Some natural food which posses diuretics properties are:
- Lemon: Combination of lemon and water (only) might not taste good, but it will definitely help in high blood pressure. During emergency of high blood pressure this kind of lemonade is easy and quick to prepare. This drink has some diuretic properties which will aid in high blood pressure.
- Oats: Oats constantly topped the list for the best food for losing weight, and unexpectedly this food even have a diuretic effect on the body. With this effect it is clear that only hydrating food are considered to have diuretic properties but oats are capable of proving them clear myths.
- Celery: Celery are source of plenty of water, it is great food for keeping body hydrated. Celery is another great example of natural diuretic food. If you don’t care about taste you can gulp celery directly, for taste you can make its smoothies or shakes.
- Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are great food which accrues property of being diuretics too. This food will fail to impress you with its taste but if you are on strict diet and want to gain health benefits then Brussels sprouts will definitely impress you.
- Ginger: Well, we aren’t saying that you should eat ginger alone because it is natural diuretic food. You can consume ginger in tea or food to grasp its diuretic benefits. Ginger is affable food and it will definitely help you in achieving your fitness goals.
- Cranberry Juice: Finally, we lot food in our list which is natural, diuretic as well as which even taste good. Cranberry juice can be great for your health. It will defiantly adorn your health as it is treasure of benefits. You can even eat raw cranberries to get its health benefits.
- Eggplant: Eggplant has properties of a natural diuretic food. For weight loss special eggplant water can be consumed. It is easy to prepare this eggplant water by boiling eggplants and consuming water to lose water weight. This can be a bit extreme for novice, but you can still eat eggplant as a side dish with any meal and prepare yourself to experience the side effects a diuretic food ambidextrously with benefits.
- Caffeinated Beverages: Caffeinated Beverages like coffee and tea are considered as natural diuretic food. This food provides same effects like water pills and as compared to other natural diuretics food, these beverages provide much instant effect on body.
- Parsley: Parsley is indeed a great food with lots of health benefits. Now diuretic property of parsley adds another benefit to the linty of parsley.
What Are Side Effects of Diuretics?
Along with benefits, there are side effects of diuretics which can trouble your body. Basically these side effects might be result of rapid elimination of sodium, potassium, calcium and other essential minerals from the body. Side effects may vary from person to person. Somehow everyone have to deal with the side effects of diuretics. But it is good practice
- Fatigue: Fatigue is common side effect of diuretics. This side effect is experienced during the initial phase of starting diuretics. Extreme tiredness is observed by person in the beginning of the diet. That is why it is recommended that starting ith minimal dosage is good practice. With the course of time, it is possible to get over the fatigue because after sometime your body will become use to of these drugs. Well this isn’t case for everyone; some people can’t adjust themselves with it. So it is better to avoid its consumption without any medical assistance or lower the amount of dosage.
- Thirst: Dry mouth and thirst are also things which come in combination with diuretics. Dry mouth will aggravate your thirst. Problem is that diuretics are known for removing access water from body but sometimes it removes necessary water from body which results dry mouth and thirst. Diuretics directly affect the salivary gland which doesn’t allow salivary gland to secrete saliva and hence dry mouth problem arises. In order to get over from this problem, it is advisable to reduce amount to dosage and drink plenty of water.
- Lethargy: Many times lethargy also comes with the package of water pills. When you start consuming these pills, it absorbs excess water of your body. Thus you feel lazy and clumsy all around the day. This side effect of diuretic may disappear with time (if your body can resist the change). You might feel sleepy all day long and your participation in any work will get reduced. Once your body completely adapts water pills, you can get you’re agog and alacrity back.
- Fractures: When water pills are consumed at regular basis, they sweep away the calcium, magnesium, potassium and other useful minerals from body. Actually these minerals are removed from body through urination. Hence it makes bones weak and thus results in fractures. Adults are more prone to this side effect of diuretics.
- Cramps: Cramps can be side effects from diuretic drugs. This cramps results dizziness and lethargy. You will feel clumsy all day long. These cramps create aches in legs and so you will find it difficult to walk around. Diuretics are responsible for creating low blood pressure and also decrease amount of calcium and magnesium in body which results low blood pressure. The lower amount of magnesium openly enhances the excitability of both the ending nerves and the muscles which they stimulate. This may be a prompt issue for the impulsive true cramps experienced by older adults and ladies. That is why pregnant women aren’t advised to consume diuretics.
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