Treating hypertension with diuretics is the second most common form of treatment. Find out how effective or risky they are in this article.
- Diuretics are prescribed to encourage kidney function and vascular health and regulate blood pressure.
- There are several forms of diuretics with possible side effects and interactions with other drugs and supplements.
- Doctors often prescribe them to complement medication or a combination for effective hypertension treatment.
Diuretics, or water pills, are medications that encourage the kidneys to excrete excess salt and fluids through urine.
In addition to blood pressure supplements and medication, they are prescribed to support hypertension treatment. According to experts, diuretics are “the second most commonly prescribed antihypertensive in the USA.”
Diuretic drugs can be broken down into thiazide, loop and potassium-sparing diuretics. For most hypertension patients, thiazide diuretics are the most common type to lower blood pressure.
This article will explore the types, uses and side effects of treating hypertension with diuretics as a supplement to other ways to lower blood pressure.
Treating Hypertension and More with Diuretics
Diuretics are the most common medication to manage high blood pressure.
This is because, as excess water is removed from the blood, vascular and blood pressure are lowered. Your heart will also pump more efficiently as a result of diuretics relaxing your blood vessel muscles.
But diuretics are also used to treat medical issues like edemas and congestive heart failure.
Types of Diuretics
Different parts of your kidneys are targeted with specific diuretics. Some treatments combine diuretics or use them to support other blood pressure pills.
Depending on the disease you are treating and your underlying health status, your doctor will suggest which diuretic suits you.
The thiazide class of diuretics is frequently prescribed for hypertension alongside other drugs. These medications not only reduce fluids but also dilate your vascular system.
A few examples of generic and brand names you may be prescribed include:
Treatment for heart failure involves loop diuretics. They are the most potent diuretics that lower blood pressure, cardiac output and waste fluid.
Some forms include:
Potassium-sparing diuretics reduce fluid levels without depleting the nutrient potassium. Potassium loss causes fatigue, cramping in the legs and drowsiness.
Moreover, other diuretics can further cause potassium loss, arrhythmias and other side effects. Therefore, people at risk for these conditions are administered potassium-sparing diuretics.
However, they are not as effective at lowering blood pressure. Thus, your doctor may suggest other blood pressure remedies to support your regimen.
A few common brand names are:
There are various herbs, food and natural remedies commonly used to treat hypertension. So it comes as no surprise that the diuretic properties of some of these can be beneficial for you.
Initial research suggests that these alternatives help lower blood pressure. For example, dandelions have been found to increase kidney function and urination.
Similarly, hawthorn berries, juniper, parsley, horsetail and hibiscus have diuretic features. They encourage filtration, urinary volume and detoxification without harmful side effects.
Furthermore, adding diuretic fruits and vegetables like grapes, berries, celery, bell peppers, and garlic may also help. However, it is vital to note these alternatives do not replace prescription diuretics.
Possible Side Effects
Common reactions to diuretics might consist of the following:
- Upset Stomach
- Elevated blood sugar in diabetic people
- Erectile dysfunction
- Imbalanced electrolytes
If prescribed diuretics, your doctor will likely check kidney function, blood sugar and potassium levels. Alert your doctor if you are over 65, pregnant, breastfeeding or have kidney and liver issues.
Talk to your doctor about any potential side effects before stopping a medication.
Drug Interactions with Diuretics
In rare cases, diuretics can counteract other treatments, making them unsuitable for everyone. To avoid potential problems, indicate to your pharmacist and medical provider about the intake of the following:
- OTC medication
- Blood pressure medication
For instance, conditions like low potassium, Addison’s disease, and urinary tract problems might require thorough observation of diuretics.
Consult a Doctor for Prescription Diuretic
Prescription diuretics are effective in treating everything from severe illnesses like heart failure to chronic conditions like hypertension.
Speak to your doctor about the efficacy, possible interferences and salt intake limitations before taking a diuretic. A transparent conversation will help you mitigate the risks while controlling hypertensive symptoms.
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