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The Advantages of Taking a Water Pill

by
author image Naomi Parks
Naomi Parks has been a freelancing professional since 2004. She is a biochemist and professional medical writer with areas of interest in pulmonology, pharmaceuticals, communicable diseases, green living and animals. She received her Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology from San Francisco University and her Master of Science in biochemistry from Pace University.
The Advantages of Taking a Water Pill
A water pill is a pharmaceutical diuretic. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

A water pill is a colloquial term for a medicinal diuretic. It causes the kidneys to filter salt from the urine. In turn, the kidneys respond to the reduced salt concentration in the blood and filter water as well to maintain serum homeostasis. This causes increased urination. Although diuretic abuse can result in dehydration and hyponatremia as well as nutrient depletion, the proper use of diuretics can treat various health complications.

Reduce Hypertension

There are various ways that a diuretic can reduce hypertension. Primarily, it reduces the sodium content of the bloodstream; excess sodium is the primary cause of hypertension, according to MedlinePlus. Given that diuretics cause both water and sodium secretion, they reduce the overall volume of fluids in the circulatory system, reducing pressure on arterial and vessel walls. This directly reduces hypertension, as the Mayo Clinic as well as "Advantages of Diuretics," a study that appeared in The American Journal of Medicine, agree.

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Compensate for Poor Renal Function

A type of diuretics known as loop diuretics are effective enough to effectively compensate poor renal function, avers Michael Neal in "Pharmacology at a Glance." However, they do not lower hypertension and deplete other mineral, including calcium, magnesium and potassium, states Alan L. Rubin, M.D. in "High Blood Pressure for Dummies." Compounded with the fact that increased urination naturally results in nutrient depletion, this can be dangerous. Alternately, loop diuretics can also treat pulmonary oedema, which is excess fluid in the lungs. Therefore, loop diuretics can have advantages when used with care.

Reduce Bloating

Bloating is a discomforting sensation resulting from water retention. Although it can also result from excess sodium or electrolyte intake, it most often occurs as a result of premenstrual syndrome. In the book "A Woman's Guide to Sexual Health," Mary Jane Minkin and Carol Wright recommend ingesting water pills in the two weeks preceding menstruation to prevent bloating when other preventative measures prove ineffective.

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References

  • "Advantages of Diuretics"; Edward D. Freis, M.D.; American Journal of Medicine; October 1984
  • Mayo Clinic: Diuretics
  • "Medical Pharmacology at a Glance"; Michael J. Neal; 2009
  • MedlinePlus: Hypertension
  • "High Blood Pressure for Dummies: Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition"; Alan L. Rubin, M.D.; 2009
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