Firstly, they are prescribed a lot; water pills include materials that demand your kidneys into flushing out excess water and salt through your pee. Medical professionals call them diuretics, and they are among the most frequently prescribed drugs. Doctors generally give these to individuals whose bodies suck at modulating fluid consumption and who become distended and bloated because of this. Patients with health issues like hypertension, heart failure, and idiopathic edema (unexplained swelling) take prescription diuretics frequently to reduce their blood pressure, prevent fluid buildup, and reduce swelling respectively, says Linda Anegawa, M.D. founder and medical director of OSR Weight Management in Hawaii. Nevertheless, these meds are never prescribed as a medicine to lose weight for individuals looking to drop pounds and keep them away. Because they don’t have any effect on body fat, she says.
OTC Water Pills Medicine to Lose Weight Isn’t What Doctors Prescribe
“Over-the-counter water pills aren’t regulated by the FDA. Because of it I actively discourage my patients from taking the diuretics you find at the drugstore”, says Anegawa. That is because there is no means of knowing if the ingredients listed on the carton are actually what is in the pills or how much of each ingredient they comprise, she says. They could even be hazardous and interact poorly with a med you are taking, she says. Many producers of herbal water pills promise that their products have health benefits and are a perfect medicine to lose weight. But those guarantees generally are not examined in research trials, she says.
They’re Not Addictive But Can Be Dangerous
Water pills are not habit forming, says Anegawa. With routine low doses of the drugs, side effects are unusual in someone who’s otherwise healthy. It is likely why many physicians recommend them to their patients.
But even if you’re an otherwise healthy person just popping OTC water pills to see the number on the scale change, you run the risk of taking too high of a dose if you down more than the directed amount—and since those drugstore aisle meds probably aren’t regulated, it’s hard to say if the recommended dose is even safe. Taking water pills in excess can lead to dehydration and loss of electrolytes. It means you might experience scary symptoms like heart palpitations, weakness, confusion, and severe dizziness. Gah.
They Do Not Really Help You Lose Weight
Sure, water pills assist you to shed extra water that is making you feel super bloaty – but just briefly. Once you quit taking them, your kidneys return to reabsorbing the standard quantity of water and salt for your body. So you will return to your typical body weight shortly after you quit taking them. “Water pills are not medicine for weight loss, they do not change excessive body fat”. says Anegawa.
They Can In Fact Make You Gain Weight
Yep, you read that right. If you take any type of diuretic over a long period of time (how long depends on the person), your kidneys will eventually compensate for their use. You’ll end up holding on to more water weight than you did before you started taking them. This illness is called diuretic-induced edema. It occurs when your kidneys begin retaining more sodium and water than they want and your body begins to swell, says Anegawa. This long-term swelling is quite challenging to treat. And it’s clearly is not the desirable effect of using a water pill as a medicine to lose excess weight.
They Could Be Helpful For Occasional Bloating
Though all of the above sound kind of terrifying, healthy women should be fine if they occasionally take water pills to help de-puff unexplained leg swelling or bloating caused by PMS, says Anegawa. Nevertheless, you should not head to your nearest drugstore for diuretics. Instead, touch base with your doctor for a prescription to take before your interval or whenever you have a tendency to feel super-inflated. Meanwhile, you may continue to roll your eyes at those annoying advertisements.