Are water pills good or bad? Water pills or diuretics are both good AND bad! They are good if you use them in the manner they are intended to be used. Water pills are bad if you use them to lose weight because they are never intended to be a diet pill you can pop to your mouth and magically transform you into a svelte Nicole Kidman.
So when is the use of water pills or diuretics advisable? You have to consult your doctor regarding this matter but, in general, they are used to treat high blood pressure, glaucoma, edema, congestive heart failure (CHF), and some kinds of kidney and liver disease.
They are not advisable as a magic pill for weight loss for the following reasons:
- They can cause an electrolyte imbalance in your body
- You can loss important nutrients
- Any weight loss is temporary because you are only losing “water weight” not the unhealthy fat which is what you should get rid of
You don’t believe us because we are just an internet health site? Well, here are what medical practitioners are saying about the matter:
Dr. Travis Stork of The Doctors TV Show (via healthsideeffects.org): Water pills, just say “No, no, no”. Water pills are known as diuretics in medicine. Water follows electrolytes, you can create major life-threatening electrolyte imbalances with these pills because, number one, I guarantee you most people don’t know what’s in it.
And there’s also stimulants in most of these so they call themselves water pills but the reality is there’s tons of stimulants in them as well. These can be very dangerous. And losing water weight, all of these is a quick temporary fix anyway while it throws other things in your body out of whack so let’s do it the right way.
Dr. Oz (via doctoroz.com): About two thirds of the human body is water by weight. That means that losing significant amounts of water can rapidly drop your body weight.
Realizing this, some individuals saw an opportunity to use diuretics as a short-term weight loss product.
Unfortunately, the weight loss isn’t real. Losing weight by dropping water weight leads to dehydration. As soon as you succumb to the thirst you’ll start to feel as your body loses water, you’ll gain all of that weight back.
It’s important to recognize that the main reason you should lose weight is for the health benefits it brings. Losing fat weight is associated with a lower risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other illnesses. Losing water weight can lead to dangerous dehydration that can be fatal in severe cases.
And from far back as 1987 Dr. Allan Bruckheim, who writes a medical column for the Chicago Tribune, had this to say when asked about a model who often takes diuretics before a photo session to loss weight:
Diuretics are safe when prescribed by a doctor for a specific condition, but they are sometimes abused by people like your friend who use them for weight control. Misuse of water pills can be dangerous. Since diuretics reduce the amount of water in the body, there is sometimes a reduction in the volume of blood.
Diuretics can also cause an excessive loss of potassium in the urine. Over time, a significant lowering of the potassium levels in the tissues and blood can cause weakness, irregular heart action and disturbed sexual function.
Clearly, diuretics should not be used by people who don`t have a medical reason for using them. They can be very valuable, however, for people with conditions in which the body retains water or sodium. People with hypertension (high blood pressure) or heart and kidney disorders can use diuretics safely with a doctor`s guidance.
We hope this post helps clarify some of your questions about the propriety of using water pills for weight loss. TLDR? Don’t! It’s bad for your health.