Water Pills & Weight Loss: The Truth

woman stomach pain

Water pills, also known as diuretics, are promoted everywhere as a great over-the-counter way to lose water weight quickly, promising 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.

Risks  

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, a 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.”

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