View random article

What Is a Diuretic?

A diuretic is any substance that increases the frequency of urination, or the excretion of water from the body. The term diuretic can be used to refer to medication, such as pills, food, or even beverages that contain substances that elevates the rate at which you urinate. There are many kinds of diuretics, and the classifications are determined based on how the diuretics act.

Diuretics have various purposes in the medical field. The most obvious use for diuretics is for people who have problems with fluid retention. Edema is one such condition, wherein a high volume of fluids is retained by the body. Other health problems that include diuretics in treatment are heart failure, liver cirrhosis, hypertension, and even some kidney diseases. Diuretics have the positive side effect of lowering blood pressure - hence their use in treating hypertension.

Many people today have heard of the use of diuretics to aid weight loss. While it is being used for this purpose, it is also important to note that weight loss is not the primary reason for the use of diuretics. Indeed, it can be so easy to abuse diuretics in the attempt to lose weight without much effort. Crash weight loss programs often involve diuretics because these substances remove substantial amounts of water from the body, resulting in significant weight loss. However, the amount of body fat remains the same, and eventually, the lost weight will come back. More so, the use of diuretics for quick weight loss can result in other health problems such as severe potassium deficiency, which can be dangerous.

Featured in Health