Diuretics 101

Woman taking pills and medicationDiuretic is a drug or substance that increases urine secretion.

Prescription drugs, natural and herbal medicines, and certain foods can be a variety of diuretics.

Diuretics are very essential in the treatment of certain medical conditions like edema, hypertension, and glaucoma (an eye disorder that damages optic nerves).

Mechanism of Diuretics

Diuretics work on the kidneys. Kidneys have two tubes that produce urine by filtration of blood. The first stage of the process filters water, salt and waste products from the blood. Nutrients are separated from the blood during this stage. The second process involves re-absorption of the essential nutrients back to the blood. Waste products and salt is mixed with water forming urine. Diuretics function by reducing the water, salt, and waste products absorbed by the kidneys producing more urine and less water from the blood. The decreased volume of blood result to minimal heart function making the blood pressure normal.  The essential mechanism of diuretics is used to treat hypertension and heart problems.

Diuretics are essential for treatment of some medical conditions like edema, hypertension, water retention, weight loss, heart failure, diabetes, kidney and liver disease, osteoporosis, glaucoma, and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).

The Different Types of Diuretics

  • Thiazide diuretic. This diuretic is most recommended for treatment of hypertension or high blood pressure to people over 60 years old. A higher dose of Thiazide is proposed for heart problems and edema.
  • Loop diuretic. This diuretic is a very potent drug used to treat excessive water in lungs and heart failure. Re-absorption of water and salt in kidneys is reduced. Less water in blood causes minimal pump of the heart relieving heart failure symptoms.
  • Potassium-sparing diuretic. This type of diuretic balances salt in the kidneys. This function by increased sodium and reduction of potassium secreted with urine.  Potassium-sparing diuretics is usually combined with Thiazide and Loop diuretics to take its full effect.
  • Food diuretics. Another alternative for drug diuretics are from food sources. It is 100% natural and free from harmful side effects. Food diuretics include celery, cranberries, parsley, coffee, asparagus, and artichoke.
  • Natural diuretics. Herbs like Dandelion and Buchu are effective for treatment of increased blood pressure and edema.
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Anticipated side effect of using diuretics is excessive urination. Other side effects include dehydration, dizziness, and impotence. Remember that diuretics are not for pregnant women. As much as possible, consult your doctor first before taking any medication.

A premature baby usually experiences respiratory problems. Diuretics are sometimes prescribed to premature babies to diminish fluid in the infant’s lungs. Maintenance of diuretics is still needed as they grow to balance the level of fluids in their underdeveloped body organs. Children with liver, heart, and kidney failure are also recommended to take diuretics to secrete excessive salt during urination.

The most important key to prevention is by keeping a healthy lifestyle to prevent diseases.

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