Uses for Diuretics
Diuretics are used for a variety of conditions including:
- congestive heart failure
- polycystic ovarian syndrome
- certain kidney disorders
- diabetes insipidus
- female hirsutism
- high blood pressure
- lymphatic swelling
Diuretics are also called water pills and they rid the body of excess sodium and water. They work by making the kidneys excrete more sodium in urine and the sodium, in turn, takes water with it from your blood. This decreases the amount of fluid flowing through your blood vessels, reducing pressure on the walls of the arteries. There are three different types of diuretics – thiazide, loop, and potassium-sparing. Each works by affecting a different part of your kidneys and each may have different uses, side effects and precautions. Which one is best for you depends on your health and the condition that they are being used for.
If you are in a position where you are able to use natural diuretics rather than diuretic medication (check with your doctor), these may be a good option. Natural diuretics are natural foods or herbs that allow increased flow of urine and thus aid the removal of fluids from the body.
Foods that contain lots of salt and sugar cause the body to retain significant amounts of fluids and this can lead to bloating and water retention. Inadequate amounts of protein can also lead to water retention, as can inadequate amounts of amino acids and B vitamins.
Green tea is a natural diuretic that has been used for centuries in China. Cranberry juice can help with removing excess fluid retention. Apple cider vinegar has natural diuretic properties and helps maintain potassium levels in the blood. Dandelion is used as a natural diuretic, as is nettle and fennel.
Diuretic foods include foods with high water content such as watermelon and cucumber as these help increase urination and thus help with the removal of toxins. Cucumbers are also rich in sulfur and silicon which stimulate the kidneys into helping to remove uric acid. Asparagus contains asparigine, an alkaloid that boosts kidney performance, helping with waste removal from the body. Brussels sprouts stimulate the kidney and pancreas. Beets attack floating body fats and fatty deposits. Oats contain silica which is a natural diuretic. Lettuce helps with the metabolism and flushing of toxins. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which helps the metabolism and releases water from the kidneys to flush out waste.