Over the counter diuretic

Have you ever experienced swollen ankles or feet? If so, you know the discomfort associated with excess fluids in your body. Good news is that there are effective ways to defeat water retention and the use of diuretics is one of them. Diuretics are drugs intended to intensify the excretion of water and salt from the human body in the form of urine. That is why they are often referred to as “water pills”. Why should the disposing of water and salt be supported by diuretic medications? Well, there are several conditions that excess water can only worsen. Most prevalent constitutes high blood pressure. By lowering the quantity of fluids in the blood vessels, diuretics contribute to reducing pressure. A condition such as oedema that results from an abnormal accumulation of fluids in a human body arising from different cardiovascular diseases can be eased by using diuretics too. Besides, urine washes harmful substances, such as toxins, out of the body, therefore, diuretic medicines not only facilitate the process of removing excessive fluids, but also influence the detoxification of your body.

Types of diuretics

Depending on your needs, the overall health status as well as, most importantly, the condition that requires medical attention, you can choose from three types of diuretics available: loop, thiazide, and potassium-sparing diuretics. In each case, the medicines trigger the process of removing water from the body, however, this is achieved in different ways. Loop diuretics, for example, such as Bumetanide (Bumex) or Furosemide (Lasix), hinder the ability of kidneys to take up sodium. As a result, the loss of sodium and water, accordingly, is elevated. Loop diuretics are considered to be most powerful medications capable of easing most serious conditions. Thiazide diuretics (Chlorthalidone, Indapamide, or Metolazone), in turn, increase the loss of both sodium and chloride and are chosen most universally among the drugs available. The medicines are considered sufficient enough when it comes to relieving many illnesses in which diuresis, an elevated production of urine, is desirable. Finally, potassium-sparing diuretics, including Amiloride or Eplerenone (Inspra), as suggested by the name, operate based on the principle of impeding the excretion of potassium and, in turn, increasing the loss of sodium. Their relatively weak diuretic characteristics are particularly useful in conditions when the powerful drugs could be more harmful, for example, in the case of treating ascites. In some conditions and to mitigate potential side effects of diuretics used, a combination therapy, using a mixture of the types of drugs mentioned above, may be recommended. For example, taking a potassium-sparing diuretic can be complemented with a thiazide in order to prevent hypokalaemia during thiazide therapy.

OTC diuretic

Over the counter diuretic remedies include some of the abovementioned medications, as well as homeopathic preparations and different foods or beverages that increase the production of urine. The medicines are considered safe when used in accordance with medical recommendations. Otherwise, the use of diuretics in higher and incorrectly selected dosages results in different side effects. Loop diuretics, most importantly, can result in losing some necessary minerals from the body. Hypokalemia, which stands for a low level of potassium, affects cardiovascular as well as nervous systems. Hypocalcemia (calcium deficiency), on the other hand, causes bone issues. Therefore, when there is a need for using loop diuretics over a long period of time, essential minerals need to be supplemented. Loop diuretics may also cause dizziness, dehydration, or temporary hearing impairments. Thiazide diuretics, above all, negatively impact glucose management and, consequently, are not recommended for use in patients with diabetes. In addition, these medicines contribute to the build-up of uric acid in the body, which, in turn, deteriorates gout. What is more, thiazide diuretics should not be used during pregnancy and breastfeeding. When used improperly, potassium-sparing diuretics may lead to hyperkalemia (an increased concentration of potassium), breathing difficulties, apathy, or mental confusion. As described above, each type of diuretics can be characterized by very different adverse effects. Nevertheless, some are experienced when taking all types of diuretics, such as electrolyte imbalance, thirst, headaches, muscle cramps, or nausea. What is important, over the counter diuretic medications should not be taken during pregnancy and by small children. It is also essential to check their possible interactions with other drugs used.

Alternative diuretics

The are some herbs, spices, and beverages that may constitute an alternative for over the counter diuretics. Hibiscus, for example, helps producing the urine and, at the same time, limits the excretion of potassium that is an essential mineral for regulating the water-salt balance in the body. It is commonly consumed in the form of tea. Parsley is another home cure for the symptoms of oedema and is frequently used in the preparation of various dishes as a flavour enhancer. Black cumin increases the production of urine and is particularly helpful in lowering high blood pressure. The use of ginger, due to its diuretic properties, is also beneficial considering the body detoxification. Some of commonly used stimulants are also characterized by diuretic properties. Alcohol, for example, represents a well-known substance of diuretic effect. In spite of this, alcohol cause also many negative effects for human health and, therefore, when consumed, requires moderation. It should be used as an accompaniment to a meal rather than a separate treat in order to lessen its harmful impact. Finally, caffeine also displays diuretic features. Caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks have a stimulating effect on the function of kidneys.

An increased retention of body fluids may indicate some serious health problems, such as kidney or heart disorders. In such cases, it is essential to help the body eliminate the excess fluids. This can be done by using over the counter diuretic medications that are widely available. These have to be, however, used after consulting a physician as, when being used improperly, diuretics may cause adverse effects and do more harm than good. As an alternative for over the counter diuretics, certain foods, herbs, or stimulants can provide diuretic effects. However, they should be used in moderation and never as a substitute for treatment.

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