You may have heard of taking diuretics to remove excess fluid from the body. However, diuretics shouldn't be taken casually. There is a correct and incorrect way to use these products and a variety of options to suit your needs.
What Is a Diuretic?
Diuretics, also referred to as "water pills," are taken to flush the body of excess water and sodium through the urinary system. Diuretics work with the kidneys to add more sodium to the urine to be expelled. In doing this, more water is pulled from the blood, causing an increase in urination.
The first reason many people take diuretics is to reduce bloating, which can be caused by the consumption of certain foods (namely those high in sodium) and during a woman's menstrual cycle (PMS). The second most common use of diuretics is by bodybuilders, who usually take them to remove excess water before a competition for greater muscle definition. Some people also take them for weight management.
The most researched medical use for diuretics is related to heart health and specifically blood pressure. When the diuretics pull more water from the blood, this reduces the amount of pressure on the walls of the arteries, which helps lower the blood pressure down to a more healthy ratio. A diet too high in sodium will also increase blood pressure. Diuretics are also sometimes prescribed for those with congestive heart failure, osteoporosis, edema (swelling) and kidney stones.
How to Use a Diuretic
Now that you know what diuretics do, it's important to know how to use them properly and, most importantly, safely. Diuretics aren't typically recommended for daily use unless for the management of a medical condition, as mentioned above. If used for too long and in too great an amount, diuretics can have the following negative side effects:
Arrhythmia/abnormal heart rate
Remember, the body does need some sodium as well as fluids to function properly. Using these products in an extreme fashion is never recommended. Here are some tips for using diuretics properly:
Speak with your doctor before taking a diuretic, especially if you've been diagnosed with heart disease, high blood pressure or another medical condition, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Only take diuretics according to your doctor's and the manufacturer's instructions.
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and to help flush out excess sodium.
Eat a balanced diet low in sodium to prevent future bloating and high blood pressure.
Try taking the product in the morning to avoid being woken up to use the restroom at night.
Pay attention to how you feel while using diuretic products. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, discontinue use of the product immediately and speak with your doctor.
There are multiple forms and strengths of diuretics. Some are only available through a doctor. As far as natural supplements go, herbs are the most common ingredients. Herbs that are commonly used to promote more frequent urination are parsley, juniper berry, uva ursi and dandelion root. These herbs are available on their own and in blends. You can take them in pill form or also as a tea. Herbal diuretic supplements also usually contain vitamin B6 and potassium which keep the body's fluid and sodium levels in balance.
You can find a range of diuretic supplements at eVitamins to suit your needs. Shop today and let us know what works for you!