What are Diuretics?
The term diuretic refers to any substance that helps to rid the body of excess body fluids and salts through urination. These can take the form of prescription or over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic and herbal remedies or certain foods with diuretic qualities that promote urine formation.
Whatever the source, diuretics help to prevent or treat a number of conditions including fluid retention (edema), high blood pressure and glaucoma.
How do Diuretics Work?
Diuretics work by making your kidneys excrete more sodium in the urine. The body then tries to balance out this increased amount of sodium concentration, by adding more water to the urine from the blood stream during the process of urine formation.
By expelling the excess water in the urine there is now a decreased amount of fluid flowing through the blood vessels and pressure on the walls of the arteries is reduced.
What are the Benefits of Diuretics?
Diuretics are commonly used to treat hypertension and heart problems related to high blood pressure. In addition, certain diuretics can be used to prevent, treat or relieve symptoms of a variety of medical conditions.
Ailments for Which Diuretics May Be Effective
What Kinds of Diuretics are Available?
Diuretics can be found in a variety of food sources, prescription medications and natural remedies.
There are different types of over-the counter and prescription diuretics that work by affecting different parts of your kidneys and hence have different side-effects and precautions. When taking synthetic diuretics it is important to do so under medical supervision so that you take one specific to your condition and current health status. Examples include Hydrochlorothiazide, Furosemide (Lasix), and Spironolactone (Aldactone). We recommend that you thoroughly research any prescription medication and its side-effects before beginning drug therapy.
Food Sources of Diuretics
For those who only require minimal fluid reduction, and who don’t have major health conditions, certain foods are natural diuretics and may be a better alternative to drug-based diuretics. Examples of natural diuretics are cranberries, celery, parsley, asparagus, artichoke, melon, watercress, apple cider vinegar, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. It also helps to reduce salt and carbohydrate intake and to drink plenty of water when on a diuretic diet.
Natural Remedies and Diuretics
Natural herbal remedies are often used as a preferred alternative to synthetic diuretics and can provide the same benefits without the negative side effects. Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion) and Buchu are two well-known herbs which are natural diuretics and have been shown to provide great relief from high blood pressure and water retention. While natural diuretics are far healthier than prescription and over-the-counter alternatives, they too should be used in a moderate and sensible manner as they are highly effective and extra precaution should be taken if used in combination with allopathic diuretics. Natural remedies such as Aqua Rite can help support routine water balance in body cells and organs of the body and support healthy energy levels and feelings of well-being. Aqua Rite may also aid in the recovery from Hypertension by toning the heart and cardiovascular system, and helping promote adequate pressure on vein & artery walls.
More Information on Diuretics
Taking Caution With Diuretics
Because urine formation is boosted, increased urination is an expected side effect of using any diuretics, other side effects may include dizziness, impotence, dehydration and, depending on the type of diuretic, an imbalance in potassium levels or a drastic decrease in sodium levels. There are a number of types and sources of diuretics so it is important to be clued up on the various side effects and precautions, especially when taking synthetic diuretics. In addition, diuretics should not be taken during pregnancy.
Use of Diuretics for Babies & Children
When a baby is born prematurely, they are usually stricken with health complications. One of these complications includes respiratory problems. While some infants grow out of these issues, sometimes diuretics will be prescribed to reduce the buildup of fluid in the lungs. This buildup of fluid in the lungs is what leads to the respiratory issues in premature infants. A diuretic will improve lung function in a preterm baby by increasing urine output and aid in shedding excessive salt and water on the lungs.
Just like adults, the ailments for a child in need of a diuretic are commonly the same. Children who suffer from heart, kidney, or liver problems are given a diuretic to help rid their body of the excess salt and fluid through urination. Children with these conditions have been known to benefit greatly from diuretics. Alternatively, a child born prematurely when entering their prepubescent years may still be in need of a diuretic to help balance fluid levels in the body due to the underdevelopment of the organs.