Diuretics are substances which increase excretion of urine from the body. They can be natural diuretics or a synthetic version. When used at right time, diuretics are proved to be of potential value. The need of diuretics arises when the body begins to retain water more than its normal requirement.
Fluid retention occurs when the kidney is unable to filter and flush out excess of water from the system. It occurs due to two reasons. One is when the blood flow to the kidney is reduced due to certain diseases. The other reason is when the filtering apparatus, the kidney itself is malfunctioning.
Water retention has wide range of causes, and it may be due to hormonal issues associated with menstruation, extreme hot climate, increased intake of salty food etc. Water retention is also a symptom of serious ailments such as hypertension, congestive cardiac failure and liver and kidney problems.
The most common symptom of water retention is swelling in ankles and feet. Rapid increase of weight in few days, pitting edema, stiffness of joints, swollen face in morning, etc are other symptoms which indicate water retention in body.
Diuretics To Reduce Water Retention
It is true that diuretics can help to flush fluid from the system and can reduce swelling in the ankles or the dependent part. The immediate relief may be promising, but overuse or long term use of diuretics can lead to depletion of potassium and imbalance of other electrolytes. This may affect vital functioning of heart, liver or kidney. Knowing the pros and cons, diuretic pills should always be taken only on recommendation of a physician. Person should not take them on their own.
Many people use diuretics for weight loss and cellulite cure or to reduce breast pain and swelling during menses. However, the result is temporary and the weight is easily regained. Besides diuretic pills can lead to many unwanted problems.
Natural Remedies For Water Retention
Certain natural measures and herbs are beneficial in reducing fluid retention in the body.
- Since salt increases water retention in people who already suffer from edema, reduction of salt in diet is first step to deal with water retention. Avoid topping foods with salt. Avoid eating processed foods as they have increased amount of salt.
- Vitamin B6 is useful in reduction of water retention. Eat foods that are loaded with this vitamin such as brown rice, red meat etc.
- Drink plenty of water to reduce retention. This may help to flush out toxins which are causing water retention. Also due to well hydration, the body does not tend to retain water. However, in case of renal failure drink the amount of water as recommended by your physician.
- Cranberry juice has mild diuretic effect. It is useful in women who complain of edema, breast tenderness during menses.
- Whenever you lie down, raise your legs higher than your head. Put one or two pillows under the leg.
- Wearing support stockings also helps to reduce water retention in tissue space.
- Beverages such as coffee and colas also have mild diuretic effect.
Herbal Diuretics For Water Retention
Many people opt for natural herbs and foods known to have diuretic properties. Natural herbs and foods help to eliminate excess of fluid from the body; however a word of caution is necessary. Take them in moderation; also consult your physician before taking these herbs.
- Green tea has natural diuretic properties. It helps to increase urine output.
- Hawthorn berry and its leaves are natural diuretics used since centuries by herbalists. Hawthorn tea is beneficial in increasing production of urine. Thus drinking tea prepared from this herb helps to reduce fluid retention.
- Horsetail stimulates urine flow without disturbing the electrolyte balance. Horsetail can be consumed as tea, or in tincture diluted in water.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural diuretic which also prevents potassium depletion.
- Watermelon, watercress, eggplant, celery all are known to posses diuretic properties.