The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Diuretic and How It Works with Blood Pressure
Yes, diuretics can cause constipation if you don't drink enough fluids. Diuretics can help you manage your high blood pressure and other conditions, but you need to take them the right way.
Medications such as diuretics can be key for people with high blood pressure. By causing you to urinate more often, the drugs can help remove excess water and salt from your body. In turn, diuretics can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of complications such as heart attacks or strokes.
Types of diuretics include:Thiazide diuretics, such as hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide® or Oretic®) or chlorthalidone (Hygroton® or Thalitone®). What they do: They make your kidneys pull salt and extra water into your pee. Selected side effects:
- Loss of appetite.
- Hair loss.
- Upset stomach.
- Peeing often.
How do diuretics work?Diuretics make your kidneys take away your body’s extra salt and water by putting them into your urine (pee).
Who needs diuretics?People who have high blood pressure or have too much fluid collecting in their bodies need diuretics.
Why do providers prescribe diuretics?Diuretics bring down blood pressure because they help your blood vessels get wider. Also, there’s a smaller amount of fluid in your blood to pump. Diuretics also help your body clear out extra fluids.
What do diuretics treat?Diuretic medications can help with:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart failure.
- Pulmonary edema.
- Renal failure.
- Nephrotic syndrome.
- Diabetes insipidus.
- High intraocular pressure.
- High intracranial pressure.
How common are diuretics?Diuretics are very common. A list of America’s most frequently prescribed drugs includes two diuretic drugs in the top 15.
What are the advantages of diuretics?Diuretics give many people ― even older adults ― good results, especially for treating high blood pressure. Also, people generally don’t have bad side effects with diuretics.
What are the risks or complications of diuretics?Usual side effects of diuretics include:
- Peeing more than usual.
- Difficulty getting an erection.
- Low potassium (unless you’re taking a potassium-sparing type of diuretic).
- Muscle cramps.
- Heart palpitations.
- Higher blood sugar in people with diabetes.
- Unbalanced electrolytes.
How quickly do diuretics work?Diuretics usually start working an hour or two after you take them.
When should I see my healthcare provider?Contact your provider when you:
- Aren’t following the instructions for taking diuretics.
- Have diuretic side effects that bother you.