Diuretics which lead to frequent urination are used to treat high blood pressure. Diuretics for hypertension often come with side effects. Read on to know how natural diuretic foods are more beneficial for controlling high blood pressure levels.
The number of people suffering from high blood pressure is increasing day-by-day. Not only the elderly but even young adults, children and pregnant women are being diagnosed with hypertension. Excessive medication can affect the overall health of an individual and hence use of natural diuretics is recommended for controlling high blood pressure levels.
Role of Diuretics in Hypertension Treatment
Kidney dysfunction is one of the major causes of high blood pressure. Kidneys filter the blood and remove excess water and waste material from the blood. If kidneys are not functioning well, the excess water and waste material (toxins) remains in the blood, leading to an increased volume of the blood. This, in turn, results in increased pressure on heart. When the blood is forced into the blood vessels with excessive pressure, the condition is referred to as high blood pressure or hypertension. When the excess water from the body gets accumulated in the tissues, swelling can be noticed. As diuretics help get rid of accumulated water in the body, they are also referred to as water pills. Frequent urination helps remove excess salts, too. The process helps reduce the blood volume as well.
Various types of water pills are available in market as removal of excess fluid is essential in various heart related health conditions. To lower the high blood pressure, doctors usually prescribe thiazide medicines like Esidrix or Zaroxolyn. These drugs prevent re-absorption of sodium and chloride in the kidneys. They promote excretion of sodium (salt) and excess water through urine. They also promote dilation of arteries. Thus, they help relieve the pressure on heart.
Side Effects of Diuretics
Diuretics are after all drugs and drugs do have certain side effects. Apart from frequent urination, they can lead to dizziness and lightheadedness. Excessive urination can cause electrolyte imbalance. It can lead to loss of potassium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals through urine; leading to scarcity of these minerals and related health problems. This can affect blood glucose levels as well. Overuse of water pills can lead to abnormal heart rate, elevated levels of LDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol in the body. Increased photosensitivity of the skin and systemic lupus erythematosus like symptoms can also be noticed in some patients of hypertension. People on these drugs can experience weakness and extreme tiredness. Dehydration and weakness can lead to muscle cramps. Diuretics being sulfa drugs, some people can have allergy to these drugs. People may suffer from loss of appetite, fever, cough, sore throat, profuse sweating, headache, confusion, vision problems, restlessness, skin rash, ringing in ears and weight loss after consumption of these drugs. Moreover, they can reduce the effects of other drugs, resulting in health complications.
Natural Diuretics for Hypertension
Now that you know the purpose of water pills and how they work, it is easy to understand why natural diuretics should be used to control high blood pressure. If the symptoms of high blood pressure are not very severe, then the condition can be managed with the help of proper diet and use of natural diuretics. A balanced diet providing correct amounts of vitamins and minerals is essential to maintain the heart health. Avoiding salt in food is essential to have normal blood pressure levels. Those who are overweight should try to maintain the weight within the normal range. Excessive stress leads to hormonal imbalance and high blood pressure. Leading a stress free lifestyle, regular exercises, meditation, yoga and such activities can help maintain hormonal balance and normal blood pressure levels. The diet should consist of all types of foods like lean meat, olive oil, canola oil (healthy fat), whole grain products, fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy products, etc. Processed food, canned food is usually high in salt, so should be avoided.
While following a healthy diet, you can include natural diuretics like parsley, watermelon, garlic, lemon juice, gooseberry, brown rice, dandelion and its leaf, celery seed, green tea, cucumber, grapes, cantaloupe, asparagus, fennel, apple cider vinegar, cranberry juice, tomatoes and lettuce in your regular diet. These foods act as diuretics and they do not exhibit side effects like drugs. Foods which exhibit diuretic properties like lemon juice, contain antioxidant vitamin C which helps improve the overall health of the person by strengthening the immune system. These diuretics also work as ‘herbal detox’. They help throw away impurities from the body and make the liver and kidneys free of toxins.
I hope the article has provided sufficient information on how using natural diuretics for hypertension is beneficial for all. Natural diuretic foods do not interfere with other drugs. But while following a healthy diet, it is necessary to avoid smoking and alcohol abuse. Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the diet and diuretics. Various study reports show that wrong diet and hectic lifestyle are responsible for high blood pressure levels in men, women and children. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure, then you should consult your physician regarding the use of natural diuretics along with prescription drugs to lower blood pressure levels.