Diuretics: The Benefits and Risks – By Dr harold Gunatillake

Diuretics: The Benefits and Risks – By Dr harold Gunatillake

Website: www.Doctorharold.com

Harold-GunethilakeTranscript: Diuretics are medicines that help reduce fluid buildup in the body. They are sometimes called water pills. Most diuretics help the kidneys remove salt and water from the urine. By salt, we mean potassium and sodium.

This lowers the amount of fluid flowing through the veins and arteries. As a result, blood pressure goes down, taking the burden off the heart.

There are many water and salt logging diseases, and diuretics are God-sent for relieving those who suffer from water logging.

Water logging is referred to as oedema. When it occurs in the legs, we call it pitting oedema; when it happens in the lungs- we call it pulmonary oedema. It can affect any part of the body. But it’s more likely to appear in the legs and feet, dependent areas.

Medicines and pregnancy can cause oedema. It also can be the result of a disease, such as congestive heart failure, kidney disease,

venous insufficiency in the lower limbs, or cirrhosis of the liver.

Chronic venous disease — A common cause of oedema in the lower legs is chronic venous disease, a condition in which the veins in the legs cannot pump enough blood back up to the heart because the valves in the veins are damaged.

There are four situations in which you get oedema, including peripheral oedema: This affects the feet, ankles, legs, hands, and arms. …

Pulmonary oedema: This occurs when excess fluid collects in the lungs, making breathing difficult. …

Cerebral oedema: This occurs in the brain. …

Macular oedema: This is a severe complication of diabetic retinopathy.

As I mentioned earlier, these diuretics are God-given to relieve such miserable situations and make you feel better within a day.

Treatment of oedema includes several components: treatment of the underlying cause (if possible), reducing the amount of salt (sodium) in your diet, and, in many cases, using a diuretic medication to eliminate excess fluid.

Diuretics, or water pills, help your kidneys put extra salt and water into your urine or pee. This is how diuretics clear excess fluid and bring down your blood pressure.

Diuretics also help when you have too much fluid collecting because of heart failure or other medical problems.

What is the mechanism of how diuretics work?

They act by diminishing sodium reabsorption at different sites in the nephron in the kidney tubules, thereby increasing urinary sodium and water losses.

Diuretics can be associated with a risk of acute kidney injury, especially in older adults, though they are beneficial to reduce water logging. This is likely because diuretics lower blood volume, which disrupts the filtration process. Kidney damage is more likely with higher doses of diuretics.

So be aware that diuretics taken in excess among older people can damage their kidneys.

Common diuretics act by eliminating both potassium and sodium from the body. Depleting the body with potassium can lead to dangerous situations.

Potassium has many vital functions: It allows the nerves to respond to stimulation and muscles to contract (tighten), including those in the heart. It reduces the effect of sodium (present in table salt) on blood pressure. It helps move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.

So, your doctor will prescribe medication to supplement the potassium loss through diuretics, or you will be advised to take high potassium-containing foods.

Your doctor will prescribe diuretics when you have high blood pressure. They lower blood pressure by helping the body eliminate sodium and water through the urine. However, some diuretics, such as furosemide, can also cause the body to pass more potassium in the urine. This can lead to low potassium levels in the blood, called (hypokalemia).

Now, how do you know that you suffer from low blood potassium when you are on diuretics?

Potassium deficiency is diagnosed with a blood test. Your doctor may order a test as part of a routine medical examination or because you have high blood pressure or kidney disease.

Fortunately, some diuretics save potassium and remove water and sodium only. Potassium-sparing diuretics are a type of diuretic that helps eliminate excess sodium and water from the body while retaining potassium at the same time. Examples of potassium-sparing diuretics include spironolactone, amiloride, and triamterene.

You could also consume certain high potassium-containing fruits and veggies that help to retain potassium.

Bananas may be potassium-rich, but you can also get potassium from avocados, sweet potatoes, spinach, coconut water, and other delicious foods and drinks.

Potassium is a vital mineral and electrolyte needed to maintain normal blood pressure, transport nutrients into your cells, and support healthy nerve and muscle function.

It’s considered an essential nutrient because your body can’t produce it. Therefore, you must get potassium from foods to meet your recommended daily needs, known as the Daily Value.

Potassium-sparing diuretics such as amiloride and triamterene can induce hyperkalemia- that is, too much serum potassium can lead to metabolic acidosis. In contrast, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors such as acetazolamide can cause hypokalemia and metabolic acidosis.

Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors are a medication used to manage and treat glaucoma, idiopathic intracranial hypertension, altitude sickness, congestive heart failure, and epilepsy, among other diseases. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors

are considered part of the diuretic class of medications.

So, remember that when you are on diuretics for any chronic disease, you need to check your blood for electrolytes once every six months to be safe and then feel sorry.

So far, we have discussed the beneficial aspects of diuretics for the chronic diseases mentioned earlier. However, you should be aware of the side effects of diuretics when you take them long-term. Common side effects of diuretics are:

Fatigue, muscle cramps, or weakness from low potassium levels. Dizziness or lightheadedness. Numbness or tingling.

Heart palpitations, or a “fluttery” heartbeat. Gout. Depression.

So, I hope this video article helped you to know how diuretics work, what conditions your doctor will prescribe and also the side affects you should be aware of.

So, stay safe, always maintain good health, and goodbye until we meet again.

Be careful when drinking alcohol while taking diuretics. Alcohol and diuretics together may make your blood pressure fall too low.

If you’re taking a diuretic such as furosemide, it’s essential not to have too much salt in your food because this can stop it from working.



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