If you have read some of my other posts, you may have discovered that I do not recommend diuretics (water pills) for most people with water retention. Some examples of water tablets are moduretic and lasix.
There are some cases where water pills are necessary, but only in cases of quite serious disease, which your doctor will be able to identify. Most people with water retention do not have a disease, they have a metabolic imbalance caused by eating the wrong foods or not eating enough of the right foods. In these cases water pills are absolutely the worst possible treatment and can serioiusly aggravate your water retention.
How does that happen?
Water pills don’t cure water retention, they just force your kidneys to extract more water from your blood. However you only have too much water in your blood when you have a serious disease. If you have a metabolic imbalance, the water retention is not in your blood but in your tissues. Water pills cannot extract water from your tissues. Your tissues will give up a little bit of water if your blood gets dehydrated due to the water pills, but they will take it back again the minute the dehydration stops.
Dehydration is harmful
Can you have water retention and dehydration at the same time? Yes. The moment you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. Women need to drink at least two litres of water a day to avoid dehydration and men need even more. These are official figures published by governments.
Harmful effects of water pills
All water pills, even natural ones, can cause dehydration. They also cause potassium deficiency. Potassium is the mineral in your body which helps to balance sodium or salt. If you lose potassium it is harder for your body to control sodium, which encourages water retention. Potassium is also needed to make energy in your body, so if you don’t have enough you can start to feel tired and even your heart, nerves and muscles can be weakened. Other effects of a potassium deficiency include bloating, dizziness, drowsiness, intense thirst, and ‘pins and needles’ sensations.
Taking laxatives or ‘colon cleanse’ products can also make your body lose large amounts of potassium.
Instead of taking water pills, find out what’s causing your water retention
Eating too much salty or sugary food and not enough fresh fruit and vegetables is one likely cause of water retention. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a good source of potassium.
But if you are already eating a good diet you might need to do a test on yourself to find out whether anything you are eating or not eating is causing your water retention. The procedure for this test is described in my book the Waterfall Diet. It is also very informative in general about water retention, and has helped many people overcome this problem permanently.
When coming off water pills (diuretics) do so very slowly, cutting the dose by a little bit every day to help your body get used to the changes.