Water pills or diuretics are used by many people for losing weight. But these medications are known to reduce weight for a limited period of time. Know more about diuretics and how they can reduce weight, through this HealthHearty article.
Water pills or diuretics are medications that are primarily used for expelling excess fluid from the body. These medications basically increase urine output to remove extra fluid from the body.
These medications are basically used for the treatment of diseases like water or fluid retention, high blood pressure, heart failure, some kidney diseases, and liver cirrhosis. However, they are quite popular among a section of the population for their ability to reduce weight. It is true that water pills can help lose a few kilos rapidly, but the result is usually temporary.
Water Pills for Losing Weight
Diuretics can stimulate the kidneys to eliminate sodium from the body, which in turn promotes the expulsion of excess water from the body. By removing excess water and sodium from the body, diuretics help reduce the swelling caused by edema or water retention. When the amount of water excreted through the urine increases, it reduces the volume of blood, which in turn, lowers blood pressure. This is the reason why, diuretics are mainly used for treating water retention and high blood pressure.
Diuretics can be of three types – loop diuretics, potassium-sparing diuretics, and thiazides. Loop diuretics can prevent the reabsorption of sodium, and thus increase urine output. Potassium-sparing diuretics can expel sodium and excess water from the body, while helping the body to retain potassium. Thiazides on the other hand, can increase water retention in urine.
All these three types of diuretics can help reduce weight by removing excess water from the body, as water can account for up to 60% of our body weight. But these medications can do nothing to accelerate the fat burning process. So, the weight loss-effect of these drugs lasts for a brief period of time. Once their use is discontinued, one is likely to regain the lost weight. So, water pills can produce quick, but temporary results.
An injudicious use of prescription and over-the-counter diuretics can cause some serious side effects. Along with water, diuretics can remove some really important nutrients from the body. An overdose of diuretics can, therefore, cause electrolyte imbalance. If taken in high dosage, these medications can also cause a significant drop in blood pressure. A sudden drop in blood pressure can cause dizziness and fainting.
Women taking water pills in high dosage can experience irregularities in their menstrual cycles. Apart from these, frequent urination, muscle cramps, nausea and vomiting, headaches, restlessness, dehydration, blurred vision, weakness, confusion, and abnormal heart rhythm are some other common side effects that one can experience while taking these medications.
To sum up, diuretics are not a healthy option for losing weight. The prolonged use of these medications can cause a number of side effects. To avoid these side effects, diuretics should be taken with caution, and only under the supervision of a health care provider.