Diuretics aid the body to get rid of excess water by increasing the urine flow. This article provides some information about them and also discusses the ones that are believed to be effective.
Diuretics are a group of therapeutic drugs that help in increasing the urine output and/or frequency of urination. With reference to their working mechanism, they are also known as water pills. These drugs work by allowing the kidneys to increase the amount of sodium in the urine. As the concentration of sodium increases, more water is absorbed from the bloodstream, thus reducing the amount of pressure on the walls of the blood vessels.
The mechanism of action that takes place in the body after administration of these drugs is that it helps in relaxation of the blood vessels. Further, they are used for the treatment of various health conditions such as high blood pressure (hypertension), body water retention (edema), liver cirrhosis, kidney diseases, and glaucoma. Here are some of these drugs that work effectively.
The types that work effectively are many, in which the most commonly used products are loop diuretics, thiazides, osmotic diuretics, and potassium sparing diuretics. Their formulations and/or ingredients vary with respect to one another. Based on the concentration of the contents, different water pills act in varied mechanisms. In precise terms, their potentiality, side effects, and precautions vary from one type to another.
Loop Diuretics: It works on the loop of Henle of the kidney, thereby reducing the absorption of sodium and chloride. This disturbs the absorption of other ions like calcium and magnesium, resulting in a dilute and increased urine production. Thus, they decrease the fluid content in the bloodstream and at the same time, promote renal blood circulation.
Thiazides: These are considered as moderately potent diuretics. Majority of the physicians prescribe certain dosage of thiazides for combating the first symptoms of high blood pressure, heart problems, and pulmonary edema (water retention in the lungs). They act on the distal convoluted tubule of the kidney in order to enhance the urine production.
Osmotic Diuretics: These are formulated in such a way that the blood sugar level is increased temporarily. In such a case, the blood sugar concentration is higher than the level that the kidney can absorb. This overall process promotes the absorption of water by the kidney, resulting in an increased urination.
Potassium Sparing Diuretics: These increase the amount of urine production, thereby reducing the concentration of potassium, lost in the urine. Potassium is one of the important electrolytes that is essential for regulating the blood pressure and maintaining the heart health. The level of potassium in the body is balanced by increasing the sodium concentration excreted in the urine.
What are Natural Diuretics?
Besides these medications, there are also natural ones that serve the same purpose of increasing fluid excretion. However, it is a common query among people as to what these are. In simpler terms, they encompass the foods, drinks, and diuretic herbs that promote the removal of body fluids. Some of the effective natural diuretic foods are watermelons, cucumber, asparagus, artichokes, cabbage, carrots, herbal tea, tomatoes, cranberry juice, fennel, and apple cider vinegar.
Water pills have no serious side effects that have been reported as yet. On a general note, these are safe drugs, if taken in proper dosage under medical supervision. Also, the noticeable effects may vary from one type to another. For example, frequent urination is mostly observed with loop diuretics, while potassium sparing type may cause increased amount of potassium (hyperkalemia) or low amount of potassium (hypokalemia) in the blood. In order to prevent potential side effects, it is always advisable to consult a qualified physician prior to taking these drugs.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.