Water pills, also known as ‘diuretics’ refer to the pills that help you get rid of all the unwanted, excess water and salt reserves in your body and the said excess water and salt is excreted through the urine. The mechanism behind the pills is that these natural or manufactured pills push the kidney into excreting sodium and increasing the amount of urine produced.
Types of Diuretics
There are only four major varieties of diuretics, which vary depending upon the effectiveness of the pill and the mechanisms behind them. The types are:
- Potassium sparing diuretics
- Carbonic Anhydrate Diuretics
Loop and thiazide both work by restricting the amount of sodium reabsorbed by the kidneys. Water from the blood is then flushed by natural mechanisms to get rid of the excess sodium. The only difference between the two types of diuretics is that loop works by acting on the thick ascending limb of Henle in kidney. This limb is responsible for about 25% of re-absorption of sodium. The thaizide on the contrary, works by acting on the distal tubule which controls only 5% of the re-absorption. The thiazides are hence less effective in producing increased amount of urine as against Loop.
Both loop and thiazide end up eliminating the potassium along with sodium and water from the body. This can lead to dangerous overall effects. The potassium sparing diuretics on the other hand work on blocking sodium channels and increasing urine output but not at the cost of potassium elimination.
The last type of diuretic i.e. carbonic anhydrase interferes with the movement of bicarbonate in the body and as a result prevents re-absorption of sodium by the kidneys. The excess sodium is gain flushed out of the body with an increased production of urine.
Benefits of Water Pills
Diuretics are prescribed by medical professional as a treatment to many conditions. Some of the benefits/ uses of diuretics are as below:
- Once the body is rid of the excess water and salt, it leads to a reduction in the blood pressure levels and hence makes it easier for the heart to pump.
- The pills are stated to be effective as a treatment of some heart condition like- risk of heart failure and blood pressure issues.
- They are also found to be effective in curbing glaucoma, and kidney and liver issues.
- Since the diuretics affect the kidneys, that is, the most important filtration organ in our bodies, physicians may prescribe diuretics as a way to induce toxin release in their patient’s bodies.
- Physicians also prescribe diuretics to those patients who have water retention issues or are troubled by edema.
Diuretics and Weight Loss
One of the most controversial components of any discussion centering on diuretic consumption is the effect of diuretics on weight loss.
Factually water is essential for our bodies but it is also heavy and can lead to puffiness and make you appear overweight. In this sense then, getting rid of the excess water from the body can be a solution to weight loss troubles. But the use of diuretics is not a foolproof and most effective way of loosing weight.