The diuretics are substances useful, serve to remove the excessive accumulation of liquids of the body, as they have the ability to increase the secretion and excretion of urine, ie, that help reduce water volume to the increase the production of urine by the kidneys, to then move it out of the body.

These substances can be found in the same way in various foods with diuretic properties, which help the body to increase diuresis. Among them are vegetables, fruits, vegetables and some plants that improve the action of the kidneys so that they produce more urine.

In which cases are diuretics indicated?

Diuretics are used to treat:

  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic heart failure where your treatment includes vasodilators.
  • Edema or fluid retention.
  • Liver or kidney disease conditions.
  • In prevention of the appearance of stones in the kidneys.
  • When the kidneys are not sensitive to vasopressin, an antidiuretic hormone.
  • Particularly a type of nephrogenic diabetes, known as water diabetes.

How do diuretics help control blood pressure?

These molecules, as we have already said, can significantly increase urine secretion through different mechanisms, therefore, all possible liquid can be eliminated from the body.

It is used most often to treat high blood pressure, when low salt intake fails to control blood pressure on its own, and it is also used very often when it is required to control heart failure.

When high blood pressure is persistent, there are a large number of hormonal alterations in the blood that end up producing fluid retention, it is there where this treatment works with a favorable effectiveness.

The filtration of urine in the kidneys is carried out through long tubules shared in three sections. In each of its levels the sodium and potassium electrolytes are exchanged, however, these substances cannot be exchanged by themselves, they must be accompanied by water.

Therefore, the initial urine will only pass through the tubules according to the need of each person, in that case sodium can be eliminated or recovered and water could also be reabsorbed or excreted.

These drugs are able to inhibit sodium reabsorption, this will help increase the excretion of water. By decreasing the fluid, the volume of the blood is reduced and since the arteries have the same capacity, by lowering the amount of fluid in your system of fixed tubes, the pressure will immediately drop.

When there is the case of having swollen ankles, it is necessary to ingest less liquid than you urinate, in this way the inflammation will be reduced.

If the treatment is chronic it can be consumed orally, but if it is a state of emergency it is more effective intravenously, in these circumstances it is recommended to take a supplement that contains potassium or some other diuretic that compensates it. It is also very important to constantly monitor the functioning of the kidneys.

Classification of diuretics

There are three types of this substance and although each one acts differently, all have the purpose of reducing the amount of fluids and salt in the body, to help lower blood pressure. They are between them:

Thiazide diuretics

  • They are highly effective in treating high blood pressure, this is due to their ability to reduce the excessive amount of fluids and sodium found in the body. They are the only ones that can widen or dilate blood vessels, this also helps lower blood pressure levels and improve mild heart failure.

Potassium-sparing diuretics

  • These are not as efficient as the ones mentioned above, but they are pretty safe. This is the only drug of this type that does not allow an adequate loss of potassium, due to this it has to be combined with the previous ones to complement its action.

Loop diuretics

  • These act directly on the kidneys to increase the fluidity of urine. This facilitates the reduction of fluids in the body, which helps lower blood pressure. They are indicated for the treatment of moderate to severe heart failure.

They are highly effective, however, when taken long-term, their mechanism of action allows potassium to be lost from the body, that means that you must take a supplement that contains it and at the same time perform tests to check that you have the correct levels .

The most popular natural diuretics

Medications to control fluid flow in the body are very efficient, but there is also a wide variety of foods that produce favorable actions to improve this condition. Some of them are:

Watermelon

It is a fruit that contains a large amount of water and amino acids that widen the veins to improve the fluidity of liquids, dragging those that are concentrated in the tissues. It is also a detoxifier, alkalizer, and mineralizer, which helps remove toxins from the body to keep the intestines healthy.

Tomato

It has several antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, lycopene and selenium and it is also composed of 90% water. This helps prevent free radical damage, which could affect blood vessel walls and in turn cause fluid leakage and inflammation.

The cucumber

It is one of the most efficient natural diuretics due to its high water content. It contains a good dose of silicon and sulfur, which help eliminate uric acid from the kidneys and reduce fluid retention. Its amount of potassium, prevents suffering from cramps in the extremities.

The Cranberries

They have great potential to improve urinary tract infections and also do not eliminate potassium during the process of eliminating fluids. Thanks to its antibiotic power, it favors the bladder allowing it to remain healthy.

The carrot

Its contribution in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, manages to detoxify the body, accelerate metabolism and improve lubrication problems in sight.

The eggplant

It has a high content of flavonoids and water, which allows the elimination of liquids retained in the body and at the same time improves circulation.

Beet

Helps improve proper liver and kidney function. Its contribution in iron serves to clean the fat deposits found in the body.

Is it dangerous to take diuretics to lose weight?

This type of medicine has the property of increasing the amount of urine, but not immediately. This requires the action of the nephrons of the kidneys, which are responsible for the production of urine.

Many times they are consumed with the idea of ​​losing a few kilos, because this medicine eliminates retained fluids in the body, which suggests that they can help you lose weight. It is important to know that these drugs do not reduce fat, you could only lose the volume in an aggressive way, then the body will begin to eliminate the essential nutrients that are necessary for the body together with the liquid.

Side effects of diuretics

On some occasions, the use of a drug can cause adverse effects such as those that we will mention below, which must be treated immediately by the treating physician

Common side effects of diuretics.

  • Diarrhea.
  • Muscular weakness.
  • Rash.
  • Gases.
  • Twists and turns.
  • Threw up.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Joint pain
  • Sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling of constant thirst.
  • Dehydration

Serious diuretic side effects

  • Impotence or apathy of sexual desire.
  • Arterial hypotension
  • Cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • Metabolic alkalosis.
  • Complications in kidney function.
  • Increased uric acid levels.

Contraindications of diuretics

Despite its effectiveness in treating fluid retention, there could be contraindications that determine certain conditions so that its consumption is not recommended. Here are some of them:

  • It should not be consumed if the levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium or sodium are low.
  • It is advisable to avoid alcohol consumption while under this treatment, since an excessive amount of fluids would be eliminated from the body.
  • In case of hypotension with symptoms of dehydration or decompensation, you must avoid taking this medicine.
  • If you are breastfeeding, it should be avoided as it reduces the production of breast milk.
  • It should not be administered in cases of cirrhosis and signs of hepatic encephalopathy or if you have acute renal and urinary failure.

Conclusion of the use of diuretics

To conclude, we will end by saying that these substances can increase diuresis in the body to prevent, reduce or avoid excessive fluid deposits in the tissues.

In the same way, they serve to treat various conditions that are related to the appearance of edema, heart failure, various conditions in the liver, chronic kidney disease, the prevention of kidney stones, diabetes insipidus and high blood pressure.

Once again, thank you for visiting us. See you in a next edition!

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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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