I have seen many prescription versions and over the counter versions of water pills. But what are they and why would it be a good idea to take another pill?
What is a Water Pill?
Water pills are a diuretic used to excrete salt (sodium) and excess water from the body. Although some people use them to aid in weight loss, this is not recommended and can lead to dehydration.
What Are the Different Types of Water Pills?
There are three types of water pills: loops, thiazides, and potassium-sparing. Loop diuretics work by blocking the body’s ability to absorb sodium. This way, more water appears in your urine. Thiazides work in a similar way to loops and potassium-sparing diuretics work by keeping potassium in the body while excreting excess sodium and water. Many pills combine one or more of the above types with potassium-sparing pills being the most common. They are the most common because they keep the body’s potassium at a healthy level.
Who Uses Water Pills?
Water pills are often prescribed to patients with high blood pressure. To help reduce their blood pressure, the water pills trigger the kidneys to release extra water, thus reducing overall blood volume and possibly reducing overall blood pressure. People who suffer from conditions like edema, where water retention is a problem due to blocked circulation in the lymphatic system, may also benefit from the use of water pills.
Although water is the most common and widely available, there are other items that can be used as diuretics. These items include coffee, parsley, juniper, goldenrod, and bearberry.
In the end, the use of water pills is a decision you should make after you have gathered all information and have weighed the risks versus the benefits. Also make sure that you have also considered whether drinking more water, tea, and foods with high water content could be beneficial instead of a pill.
Please note that the information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used as a basis for diagnosis or medical decisions. If you believe that this is a supplement that you should use, please discuss this with your doctor or other appropriately licensed medical professional. For more information, please consult the sources below.
Wisegeek.com: What Are Water Pills?
WebMD.com: Hypertension and Diuretics (Water Pills)
Medicinenet.com: Water Pills and Hypertension