Water pills, also known as diuretics, are one of the most popular types of non-prescription diet pills. Dieters like them because they offer quick results because they force the body to decrease the amount of water it is retaining. Essentially, these pills make you urinate more frequently, helping to reduce bloat and water weight.
Seeing the lower number on the scale and a slimmer tummy is highly appealing, but water pills are not a long-term weight loss solution and they’re not always safe to take, either.
With that in mind, here are four facts about water pills that are important to know if your plan is to make them a part of your weight management strategy.
Fact 1 – The effects of water pills will not last. Some people believe that taking water pills is a good option for permanent weight loss, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. The reason is that losing water weight is not the same as losing fat-related weight. Dropping three pounds of water weight, which will show up on the scale, does not mean that you are experiencing healthy weight loss because you have not altered the amount of fat in your body. Furthermore, the water weight you do lose will eventually return. It’s not true weight loss.
Fact 2 – Water pills are not explicitly safe. It doesn’t matter if they are over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements or prescription medications, water pills can be dangerous, especially if they are not taken as recommended and/or without the guidance and supervision of your doctor. These pills can alter your body chemistry. The reason is that when you urinate, you’re not only expelling water form your body. This fluid also contains electrolytes like potassium and sodium. Depleting your system of these important electrolytes without knowing how to effectively replace them can add many complications to your body chemistry that can even be life threatening in some cases.
Fact 3 – Water pills you can purchase over the counter are not the same as those prescribed by a doctor. Prescription water pills are more potent than OTC supplements and should be used for only the conditions for which they have been prescribed. Prescription water pills are rarely prescribed for treating obesity and those products that are sold over the counter are unregulated herbal remedies and commonly contain caffeine.
Fact 4 – Water pills – even OTC water pills – can change the way other medications work in your body. Remember, OTC water pills contain unregulated herbs and they can alter your body’s chemistry. While this can affect many medications, it can be particularly dangerous for a person who is taking heart medicines due to it altering how this medicine works. Moreover, as diuretics cause you to urinate more, this means that the levels of any medicine you may be taking can decrease in the body due to some of it being eliminated through frequent urination.