Water Pills (Diuretics) For Weight Loss – Is It a Health Hazard?

What are Water pills? and How do they work?

water-pills-weight-lossDiuretics are commonly referred to as water pills by non-medical people. They are, by and large, available only with a prescription. They are used to treat different conditions like high blood pressure, edema (water retention) and glaucoma. They are used to rid the body of excess salt or sodium as well as water. The way they work by causing your kidneys to excrete more sodium in your urine content. The sodium that is being excreted causes water to be taken out of your blood. These two things combined decrease the fluid which flows through your blood vessels and that, in turn, reduces the amount of pressure which will be exerted on your artery walls.

Types of Diurectics

There are three different types of diuretics and they each affect a different place in your kidneys. Each has different side effects and may be used differently. The type of diuretic which you may be prescribed will depend on the condition for which you are being treated. The three different types of diuretics are called: loop, thiazide or potassium-sparing.

While diuretics are usually available with a prescription, some are available for purchase over the counter as an herbal remedy. There are many different types of herbal remedy diuretics but most of them contain caffeine. These herbal remedies are, by and large, non-toxic but there has been some incidence of interaction with some prescription medications such as lanoxin, lithium or traditionally prescribed diuretics.

Herbal remedy diuretics do not increase water loss in great enough quantities to be considered as effective weight loss tools. You may be able to rid yourself of a few excess pounds of water while taking these remedies, but that weight loss will only be temporary. Once you stop taking them and begin to rehydrate yourself, you will regain the weight you lost. Long-term weight reduction requires the loss of fat, not just water.

The Mayo Clinic says that water pills are typically very safe. Be aware, though, that they do have some side effects. These include increased urination, low blood sodium levels and an increase in cholesterol levels and joint problems.

The three main types of diuretics are:

What Kind Of Side Effects Can I Expect When Using Diuretics?

As discussed, the most bothersome side effect of diuretics is the increase of potassium that is excreted through the urine. If you have a decreased level of potassium in your bloodstream, you can experience disturbances with your heart rhythm. This can be a potentially life threatening situation. It is recommended, therefore, that if you opt to use over-the-counter herbal diuretics that you supplement your diet with a fresh banana each day. Bananas are a good source of potassium. Orange juice will also help because it is loaded with potassium as well. People who have kidney disease should not use diuretics unless they have been prescribed by their physician.

How to safely use diuretics for weight loss?

diuretics-weight-lossIf you are considering using diuretics to help with weight loss, you need to remember that this will be a short-term solution only. So, if you need to quickly shed ten or twelve plans so you can fit in a bridesmaid dress for your best friend’s weekend wedding, this might be a good option for you. These medications whether prescribed or purchased over-the-counter have many benefits but many potentially harmful side effects as well. Careful consideration should be taken before using them.

Before using any diuretic product you should first consult with your physician. He or she will be able to advise you if you can safely use a product like this.
Next take an accurate weight measurement so you will be able to adequately judge the type of effect the diuretics are having on your body. Once you begin using them, you should weigh yourself each day at roughly the same time. Record your weight in a notebook for future reference.

You can begin by using some natural remedy diuretics in your diet on a short-term basis only to start. Sprinkle your food with some fresh herbs. Other foods such as melons, tea and work as natural diuretics.

Even though you are attempting to shed water weight be sure to keep yourself well-hydrated throughout the day by drinking about 8-8 ounce glasses of water per day. When you are using diuretics, they not only flush out water weight, they also flush out important minerals. If you are properly hydrated, you will avoid the risk of developing a dangerous electrolyte imbalance.

Avoid eating foods with salt in them such as salty snacks like potato chips and/or pretzels. These will inhibit the effects that your diuretic will have on your body.

Above all, if you’re going to use diuretics as part of your weight loss plan you should only do this as a short-term method. Long-term use of diuretic products can have profound effects on the kidneys and heart. Rather than put these two life sustaining organs at risk, it is safer to choose other, more traditional diet plans. You will ultimately be more successful with a more traditional weight loss plan. Losing weight slowly and safely is the best recognized way to keep your weight off over a prolonged period of time. And isn’t that what we all want when it comes right down to it?

Jillian Michaels on Water Pills:

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