In Fact They Might Make You Gain Weight
Yep, you read that right. If you take any type of diuretic over a long period of time, your kidneys will eventually compensate for their use and you’ll end up holding on to more water weight than you did before you started taking them.
It’s called diuretic-induced edema, which happens when your kidneys start retaining more sodium and water than they need and your body starts to swell, says Anegawakind of the opposite of what a water pill is supposed to do.
Here Is The Truth About Water Weight Loss Pills
Article Last Updated: May 2022
You can lose weight with water pills, but the weight loss only lasts until your next drink.
When it comes to losing weight, its best to keep track of what works. Of course, the ideal is a low-calorie diet and regular exercise.
But water weight loss pills are generally healthy and safe to use so can have a place in your weight loss regime.
If you are thinking of taking water pills, also known as diuretics, to lose a few pounds, you must read on.
Ill go through everything you need to know before you buy and use water weight loss pills.
The Truth About Water Pills For Weight Loss
Water pills are usually prescribed for diseases such as heart failure and hypertension. However, they are also commonly used off-label by people wanting to quickly lose a few pounds.
At first glance, water pills might seem like the answer to your weight-loss woes, but they dont lead to sustained weight loss and can be dangerous. Read on to find out all you need to know about water pills and weight loss.
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Taking Blood Pressure Medication May Spark Weight Loss Or Gain
With one exception, blood pressure medications themselves usually don’t cause weight loss. And certain ones can actually cause weight gain.
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According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute , roughly two-thirds of Americans older than 65 have high blood pressure , and a whopping 90 percent of people who do not have high blood pressure at age 55 will eventually develop the condition at some point in their lives.
Common Questions About Furosemide
Furosemide is a type of medicine called a loop diuretic.
A diuretic makes your body get rid of extra fluid through your kidneys. A loop diuretic works on a specific part of the kidney called the loop of Henle to increase the salt and water you pee out.
This means you have less fluid in your tissues which helps get rid of swelling . You will also have less fluid in your blood, which helps reduce blood pressure.
Furosemide starts to work within 1 hour but it may take a few weeks to fully take effect.
If you’re taking furosemide for high blood pressure, you may not have any symptoms. In this case, you may not feel any different when you take furosemide. This does not mean that the medicine is not working. It’s important to keep taking it.
A dose of furosemide works for about 6 hours.
Furosemide is safe to take for a long time, but you will have to see your doctor or nurse regularly for blood and urine tests. These make sure the chemicals in your blood are properly balanced.
How often you need to see your doctor or nurse for these tests will depend on the reason you’re taking furosemide, if your dose has changed recently, or if you have any other health problems.
There are other diuretics that work in a similar way to furosemide.
There are 3 different types of diuretic, and each type of diuretic works on a different part of the kidney:
If you need medicines to lower your blood pressure, youll probably need them for the rest of your life.
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Why Is It Important To Lose Water Weight
It is important to lose water weight for the following reasons.
- Water weight can cause serious medical problems such as heart, kidney, or liver disease. Losing water weight lowers the likelihood of contracting such illnesses.
- People who lose water weight experience less bloating and a reduction in bodily swelling. Besides relieving discomfort, reduced water retention provides a healthier external appearance.
- A 2014 study in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine states that water weight contributes to an individual’s overall weight. Losing it can help achieve average weight-loss objectives over time.
Increase Water Intake To Lose Water Weight
If a person is constantly dehydrated, his or her body tries to retain more water so that water levels do not drop too low. Different trustworthy sources recommend different levels. For example,
- The World Health Organization recommends that an average adult should consume 1.5 to 3 liters of water per day, with 1.8 liters being ideal.
- A study entitled Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate conducted at the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a daily intake of approximately 3.7 liters of water a day for men and 2.7 liters for women.
Considering the variations in these and many other sources, a reasonable range for water intake in a day is 2-3 liters, depending on gender. Exercise, being in a hot climate, and other factors increase water requirements. In the video below, Hank Green of SciShow articulates how much water should be consumed daily, and the importance of proper intake.
The proper functioning of the kidneys and liver requires proper hydration. Research by D J Liska reveals that water consumption aids the removal of extra salt and water from the body, resulting in a reduction in water weight in the long run.
Note that too much water consumption may result in increased water weight. This is why one should listen to their own body and drink when thirsty and stop when no longer thirsty.
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Experts Share What Causes And Tips For Preventing Water Weight
Amanda Gardner is a freelance health reporter whose stories have appeared in cnn.com, health.com, cnn.com, WebMD, HealthDay, Self Magazine, the New York Daily News, Teachers & Writers Magazine, the Foreign Service Journal, AmeriQuests and others. In 2009, she served as writer-in-residence at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is also a community artist and recipient or partner in five National Endowment for the Arts grants.
You’ve probably heard that when you lose weight fast, it’s usually water weight. Or maybe you point fingers at water weight after stepping on the scale when feeling really bloated. Yet, water weight is normal and your body’s way of protecting itself against dehydrationand yes, it can go away on its own.
“Water weight is where the body retains fluid that normally would go to the kidneys,” explained Lynn Mack, MD, an endocrinologist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
Too much water weight may make you feel swollen and uncomfortable, depending on your situation. Here’s what you need to know about water weight, where it comes from, and how to get rid of it when needed.
Can You Lose Weight Taking Water Pills
You can lose weight with water pills, but the weight loss only lasts until your next drink. Plus, these types of pills may not be good for your health. When it comes to weight loss, you’re better off sticking with what works — a reduced-calorie diet and planned exercise. If you’re thinking about taking water pills — also known as diuretics — to drop a few pounds, check with your doctor first to discuss their safety and explore other alternatives to help you reach your goals.
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Sneaky Medications That Cause Weight Gainand What To Do About It
Unfortunately, weight gain can result due to a slew of different factors. Poor eating decisions, lack of movement, Mother Nature taking her course, or, perhaps more surprisingly, your medication. It turns out, there are some sneaky troublemaking pills out there that secretly cause you to gain weight. Here, some of the biggest culprits according to the professionals.
Hormone-DisruptorsAccording to nutritionist Ilana Muhlstein, birth control, IVF medications and other meds that affect a womans estrogen or hormone levels can absolutely cause weight gain. Estrogen in high doses can increase appetite and fluid retention. If you feel like this may be the case for you, you can speak with a doctor about a different form of birth control, explains Muhlstein.
The medications that prepare a woman for IVF may increase food cravings, slow metabolism and cause water retention as well. In both of these cases, the weight gain is typically minimal and temporary.
Sleeping pillsLike anti-depressants, sleeping pills work on the GABA receptors in the brain, which help to control your level of alertness or relaxation, and also can make you constantly hungry without you realizing it. Plus, sleeping pills like Ambien, have also been found to cause sleep eating or unconscious eating.
How to Beat itIf you are taking any of these medications and notice a change in body weight, have a conversation about your options with your primary care physician before discontinuing use.
Sleep More To Lose Water Weight
When people sleep, their bodies feed various metabolic processes that keep them alive and healthy. While sleeping, activities of sweating and breathing make use of the body’s water. This is why people weigh less in the morning than they do later in the day.
Studies at the University of Chicago in the USA and Warwick Medical School in the UK reveal that sleep is as crucial for health as exercise and food. It was found that people who sleep five hours or less each night have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and death. Evening cortisol concentrations and sympathetic nervous system activity increases in such people.
Another study conducted jointly by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and Veterans Administration Medical Center in the USA highlights that sleep may impact the kidneys’ sympathetic renal nerves that play a vital role in regulating kidney function.
For maintaining a healthy salt and water balance, getting adequate sleep of 7-9 hours every night is critical as it allows the body to regulate hydration levels and reduce water weight. A few helpful ways to achieve a good night’s sleep include practicing relaxation methods, reducing the room’s temperature, not using electronic devices before bedtime, turning off the lights, or utilizing sleep aids such as melatonin. This chart displays the suggested hours of sleep per age group, as outlined by the National Sleep Foundation.
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Diuretics For Weight Loss
Although diuretics can cause you to lose a lot of weight rapidly, they are limited in their ability to function as an agent for long-term weight loss. Diuretics do not cause you to burn extra calories or lose fat instead, the weight loss they cause is entirely water. When you stop taking the diuretics, your body will regain this lost water by replenishing its water reserves. For sustainable weight loss, follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
Common Risks And Side Effects
When it comes to water pills, there are common side effects and then there are more serious ones, especially when they’re not being taken under the care of a doctor. Nasty side effects include but aren’t limited to “excessive urination, dehydration, constipation, dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle cramping, and elevated heart rate, in addition to potential interactions with other medications. Which is why, Bakshi says, you should really only take these types of pills while monitored by your physician.
Its important to note, however, that when taken as prescribed, diuretics can be safe.Side effects are still a possibility, but if taken under the care of a medical professional, these symptoms can be dealt with in a prompt and safe manner.
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Use Water Pills To Lose Water Weight
According to the Mayo Clinic, diuretics, or water pills, are medications that help your body to remove sodium and water by helping the kidneys to release more sodium into urine. The sodium helps to remove water in the blood, thus lowering the quantity of fluid in blood vessels. Diuretics are commonly provided to those having high blood pressure or lung problems but are very effective in lowering water weight.
In studies about diuretics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and St Vincent’s Medical Center in the USA, it was found that water pills can get rid of water weight because they stimulate the kidneys, which then expel extra salt and water through urine.
There are some plant and herb diuretics such as green tea, hawthorn, and parsley, among others. According to the Journal of the American College of Nutritions research on the effect of different types of beverages on dehydration, they are not considered the best alternatives to prescription diuretics because they are technically considered herbal infusions that are unlikely to provide diuretic effects to the body.
Water pills are generally safe to use, but a person should seek medical advice before using them due to risks associated with previous medical conditions and the possibility of side effects like increased urination, dehydration, dry mouth, or digestive problems.
Water Pills Are One Of The Most Commonly Prescribed Medications
Take note of that word: prescribed. Water pills are meant to help reduce blood pressure, prevent fluid buildup, and reduce swelling respectively, says Linda Anegawa, M.D., an internist at Pali Momi Medical Center in Hawaii.
They’re usually given to people with health issues like hypertension, heart failure, and idiopathic edema not people looking to cure mild bloating or lose weight. Most doctors recommend against using water pills for those purposes.
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The End Of Lose Fat Weight With Diet And Exercise
Water weight loss pills can be useful for generally healthy adults who want to lose a little bit of water weight.
However it cant necessarily help you with losing fat or muscle.
This means that you cant rely on it to help you lose large amounts of weight.
If you are serious about losing weight you will need to do the boring generic yet effective weight loss advice.
Which is to diet and exercise.
To lose fat, you need to change your calorie equation. Eat less calories, burn more, or ideally do both.
One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories and a daily deficit of 500 calories can result in a weekly weight loss of 1 pound.
While You’re Taking Diuretics
Let your doctor know what medications , supplements, and herbal remedies you use. Also, tell them about other medical problems you have.
They may want to regularly check your blood pressure as well as test your blood and urine for levels of specific minerals and to see how well your kidneys are working. They’ll probably tell you to follow a low-sodium diet and limit how much salt you eat.
Because some diuretics also pull potassium out of your body, you might need to eat more foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, spinach, and lentils, or take a potassium supplement. On the other hand, if you’re taking a potassium-sparing diuretic, such as amiloride , spironolactone , or triamterene , they may want you to avoid potassium-rich foods, salt substitutes, low-sodium milk, and other sources of potassium.
If you only need one dose a day, you might want to take your diuretic in the morning so you can sleep through the night instead of getting up to go to the bathroom.
Avoid alcohol and medicines to help you sleep. They may make side effects worse.
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The Dangers Of Taking Water Pills For Weight Loss
Diuretics are meant to be taken only under certain conditions to treat specific illnesses. There are four main classes of diuretics, with the common types listed below along with possible side effects:³
Taking diuretics for weight loss can lead to dehydration, fatigue, dizziness, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, and potentially serious electrolyte imbalances.
Prevent: Improve Your Sleep
Generally, quality sleep is important for your overall health. According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, you should sleep for seven to nine hours per night.
But it turns out that sleep may also help decrease water weight. For example, one study published in 2010 in the journal American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology found that the number of hours spent sleeping has some effect on your kidneys.
When you allow your body adequate time to rest, it can effectively manage the amount of water and sodium that it stores, decreasing excess water weight.
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Do Water Pills Cause Weight Loss
According to our nutritional expert, Condell, should not be a method for tackling weight loss. And again, she adds that they should be used under the care of a physician. . Bakshi, backs her up, explaining that historically, diuretics have been a medication that people use to try to lose weight, though it’s not an effective strategy, and if anything, they might cause you to gain weight.
Diuretics do not help in weight loss but can temporarily decrease someones weight on the scale as they are losing water. As a response to this, the body may try to retain more water, causing swelling and an increase in weight as measured on a scale. In turn, the person may think that they need to take even more diuretics, leading them down a dangerous path.