Water pills aka diuretics are a great over the counter way to lose water weight quickly. These little pills are promoted everywhere, and promise to give you a flat tummy in just a few hours. As women we have several reasons to want to deflate our bellies. Whether you are trying to get rid of your PMS “puff”, you want to fit into that little sexy number you’ve been waiting all month to wear, or you just feel that you need a few inches shed from your waistline, you may consider this option. Just make sure you do your research as the effects are only temporarily, and if not used correctly it can pose as a health risk.
How Do They Work?
Water pills help rid the body of salt and water, by making your kidneys extract more of it into your urine. This in turn helps with bloating, swelling, feelings of fullness, and other signs of water weight gain. The ones prescribed by your doctor are more concentrated and typically are given to people who naturally struggle with fluid regulation. According to Dr. Linda Anegaw, “Patients with health issues like hypertension, heart failure, and idiopathic edema take prescription diuretics frequently to reduce their blood pressure, prevent fluid buildup, and reduce swelling.”
One thing to know is that the pills that you can buy over the counter aren’t FDA regulated, and many of these drugs aren’t recommended by physicians because of this.
There are some misconceptions that water pills are addictive, but according to Dr. Anegaw they are not habit forming. The true risk is in the dosage taken. People who want to see immediate results sometimes overdo it, and take more than they should. Too many water pills can lead to serious health issues including lack of electrolytes and dehydration. According to Dr. David Williams, natural healing professional and biochemist consistent improper use can “raise blood cholesterol levels, disrupt carbohydrate metabolism, lead to diabetes mellitus, cause inflammation of the pancreas and gallbladder, deafness, and loss of bladder control.”
The reality is that these pills are truly only meant for people who NEED them for health reasons such as high blood pressure control. They aren’t meant to be taken leisurely, and if done so it should be taken under the premise of it will only give temporary results. These are not meant to help lose weight, and the most definitely don’t replace actual weight loss mechanisms such as working out and healthy dieting. “Water pills don’t affect excess body fat”, says Dr. Anegaw. And therefore this is exactly why any inches you lose from taking water pills are only temporary because you aren’t actually losing any real weight, just water. In fact studies suggest that extended usage of diuretics can cause a disorder called diuretic induced edema. This essentially means that your Kidneys will be comprised and begin storing more water and sodium than they can handle, causing the body to swell.
Essentially if you want to get rid of an occasional bloat, go ahead and take a pill, but please be mindful of the dosage, and take note of how often you make this an occasional habit.
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