There are many methods of losing weight. Specific diets and exercise routines are constantly being advertised to us. Pills, powders and meal replacements are also popular items to use in our search for a smaller waistline. Among these supplements are a specific type called diuretics, more commonly known as water pills.
What is a Water Pill?
A water pill is a type of drug that causes your body to eliminate more water than you do normally. These pills contain things like caffeine, if you're looking at the over-the-counter versions, to furosemide, if you are taking it as a prescribed medication from a doctor.
Water pills differ. Some work on a certain part of the kidney, some use certain chemicals, others do their work while sparing other nutrients that may be flushed out with your urine.
Who Uses the Water Pill?
The water pill is used any time water needs to be eliminated. Women might use the water pill to alleviate the water retention associated with PMS, chemotherapy patients may be prescribed a diuretic to ensure the chemicals in their therapy are flushed out of their bodies. Other patients, like those with congestive heart failure, use the water pill to alleviate the high blood pressure related to water retention. Dieters also use the water pill to flush out water from their bodies.
Can you Lose Weight with a Water Pill?
It is possible to lose weight with a water pill, as it encourages the elimination of water, and therefore, some weight. A dieter can shed several pounds, depending on the amount of water stored in the body, and how much of the diuretic he or she takes.
However, it is important to note that the water pill only encourages the elimination of water, not fat. So although you may lose a few pounds of water, the amount of fat in your body remains the same. The effects of water weight loss are not as lasting as the effects of fat loss.
Can You Overdose on the Water Pill?
Water comprises most of our bodies and is needed for various things like effective digestion, body temperature maintenance and elimination of waste. Therefore it is necessary to have a certain amount of water in our bodies at all times.
Overuse of the water pill results in a variety of conditions from headaches to heart problems. Those who continuously use water pills may need to increase their potassium intake or switch to a potassium-sparing diuretic, as potassium is essential to the proper functioning of the heart. It is also one of the nutrients easily flushed away with the use of the water pill. In fact, anyone who plans to use water pills on a regular basis should check with their physician, as upsetting the balance of potassium in any direction can become fatal.
Other Issues Related to Water Pills
Some water pills will make you sensitive to sunlight or lower your tolerance to alcohol. Others might give you allergies or interact with the medicines you are already taking. It would be wise to consult your doctor before any prolonged use of diuretics.