Drugs! Are you on Diuretics?

One side effect: can cause irreversible hearing loss

This class of drugs is often the first medication you will be prescribed if you are deemed to have high blood pressure.  I will explain why diuretics should not be prescribed to the majority of the population and especially not to the elderly.  There are certain extenuating circumstances when diuretics may be of value but these will be rare.  Other examples of when this drug will be prescribed is for kidney failure, liver disease, congestive heart failure and all types of oedema.  See Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 of this article.

At what cost?

These drugs increase your output of urine but at what cost?  When the kidney is working without drugs it does its job with a sophisticated filtration system through a special cluster of high pressure capillaries known as a glomerulus.

kidneysHow your kidneys function

The function of kidney filtration starts with blood passing through the glomerulus.  The high pressure forces water and other dissolved substances out of these special capillaries and into a capsule which surrounds the glomerulus.  This is known as Bowman’s capsule.  This capsule now contains all water, salt and dissolved substances, but the water and dissolved substances are then ‘reclaimed’ or reabsorbed by passing through a second filtration system known as the renal tubule system.  This insures that vital nutrients are not lost during the filtration process.


This whole filtering system is known as a nephron, hence the name nephrology, the branch of medicine to do with the physiology and diseases of the kidneys.  Each kidney has around a million of these nephrons.

The reclaimed nutrients include much of the salt and water, glucose, amino acids, lactate, magnesium, phosphate, calcium bicarbonate and uric acid.

urine formationThe result of filtration = urine

After the process of filtration and reabsorption, the resulting urine is expelled from the body.  It contains around 95% water, urea and other substances including chloride, sodium, potassium, creatinine and metabolic waste and toxins all in varying degrees, depending on diet and health.


Now what diuretics do is to ambush the second reclamation filtering system so that much more of the initial filtrate from the glomerulus goes to the bladder.  Thus this filtrate still has vital nutrients within it.   This means more water and more minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and sodium, are sent to the bladder instead of being reclaimed.  Reclamation is a vital process which avoids depletion of necessary nutrients.

Different types of Diuretics

There are different kinds of diuretics which work in slightly different ways.  They each interfer in different areas of the kidney filtration system.  Loop diuretics for instance, undermine reabsorption at the ascending loop (see the diagrams) while thiazide diuretics undermine the system at the distal convoluted tubule.

Thiazide diureticsamiloride

  • chlorothiazide (Diuril)
  • chlorthalidone (Hygroton)
  • hydrochlorothiazide (Hydrodiuril)
  • indapamide (Lozol)
  • methyclothiazide (Enduron)
  • metolazone (Zaroxolyn, Diulo, Mykrox)

Loop diuretics

  • bumetanide (Bumex)
  • ethacrynate (Edecrin)
  • furosemide [(Lasix)
  • torsemide [(Demadex)aldactone

Potassium sparing diuretics

  • amiloride hydrochloride
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • triamterene (Dyrenium)
Now you know, you can decide

Yes, I know it’s a bit heavy going but if you understand a little of what’s going on, it will give you the reasons why these drugs are not good for you and allow you to make an informed decision as to whether you want to take them or not.

acid-baseKidneys and hormones

Remember that kidney function is extremely delicate and complex.  It is fine tuned to do a delicate balancing act.  As well as producing its own hormones, the kidneys are influenced by other hormones produced by glands such as the adrenals and the pituitary.   Your kidneys have the important and complicated task of controlling your pH system to maintain correct acid-base balance.

Diuretics do not improve your kidneys

Those who are prescribed diuretics probably think they are improving kidney function.  Nothing is further from the truth.  Your kidneys will be undermined by these drugs. They interfer with their proper function and do nothing to help the original condition.

Now you have 2 problemseinstein quote

In fact now you have two problems.  One is the condition you started with and now you have another abnormality to the one you already have because of pharmacological interference.  All a diuretic does is feign improvement.  It does not cure anything.  It won’t fix your problem but it will camouflage the original condition to the extent that when your condition worsens, the drug will not be blamed.  Your body will be blamed for not responding well to the medication.  So you now have two diseases, the naturally occuring one you started with and a second which is drug induced.

A medical manoeuvre

Yes, your swelling may go down, but any improvement that may appear to come from taking this drug is false.  It does not mean you’re getting better.  You, as well as your doctor are being tricked by a dishonest medical manoeuvre.  Nothing will be resolved by taking a diuretic but something will increase…and that’s the profits of the pharmaceutical industries that produce this drug.

side effectsCavalier tinkering

Taking a diuretic will just exacerbate the original problem.  Cavalierly tinkering with this delicate, finely tuned and amazingly complex filtration system will only make matters worse and complicate your condition by further compromising the already upset biological system. What it will do is put you on the road to being a permanent visitor to the doctor’s office or worse to the hospital.


There have been a number of studies done about diuretics.  I will quote a passage from a study from the JAMA (Journal of American Medical Assn) titled: Diuretics, Mortality and Nonrecovery of Renal Function in Acute Renal Failure

Conclusions  The use of diuretics in critically ill patients with acute renal failure was associated with an increased risk of death and nonrecovery of renal function. Although observational data prohibit causal inference, it is unlikely that diuretics afford any material benefit in this clinical setting.  In the absence of compelling contradictory data from a randomized, blinded clinical trial, the widespread use of diuretics in critically ill patients with acute renal failure should be discouraged”.

Renal failure from drugs?Diuretics side effects

I really would like to know how many patients actually get to a stage of renal failure.  Could it be anything to do with pharmaceutical drugs taken over a period of time.  Could these drugs compromise kidney function to the extent that kidney failure is possible, if not inevitable, as the patient ages?

It is incredulous to me that this class of drugs known as diuretics, has escaped much of the criticism that some of our prescription drugs rightly receive.  If you can understand what it actually does to the body, you will wonder why it is so readily prescribed, especially when there are other ways of removing excess water, other ways that are safe and have no side effects.

Why not ask why?

Getting rid of excess water by using a drug is not a good idea and will likely compromise your kidney function and put undue stress on your kidneys.  All we know is that if we take a diuretic, we will want to use the loo more because the drugs are getting rid of the excess water in our bodies, but at what cost?

Ches PowerNobody seems to ask the question: Why do I get puffy ankles and feet.  Why is it I am bloated and can’t get into my clothes.  Answer this question and you’re half way to understanding what you need to do to alleviate the condition, without drugs.

In Part 2 of this post I will try and answer some of these questions.

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Drugs! Are you on Diuretics?
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10 thoughts on “Drugs! Are you on Diuretics?

  1. I totally agree that taking medication long term is a bad idea…

    Our bodies were only designed to consume food and liquids in their natural state.  The more processed any food or medication is, the more the body has to redress the balance and try to work at sub-optimal levels. 

    The only good thing about medication is that if it doesn’t work or makes you feel worse, you can search for a healthy alternative!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes Stella, we weren’t born with these pharmaceutical chemicals in our bodies. What we were born with are nutrients gained from healthy, unprocessed and nutritious foods. Our modern rubbish food, full of chemicals such as glyphosates and additives, has a lot to do with our ill health. Then we give the body more to deal with by ingesting any amount of pharmaceutical drugs, some of which are positively harmful. As time goes by, more of the population are starting to realise that some of these drugs are doing them more harm than good. Many are now looking into the background of these drugs, the side effects and the sometimes bogus research that enables the drugs to go on the market. 

  2. I agree that pharmaceuticals can be the cause of much destruction. The proof is in the pudding as I’ve personally seen people’s lives become destructed. What’s worse, the people who actually need the drugs after surgery for example sometimes are under-prescribed. That patients are getting renal failure is really disturbing. I agree that I think people are waking up to these hard truths and it will be interesting what the future holds. Great post!

    1. Hi Pentrental and thanks for your comment. Yes, I also have seen lives slowly decline with more and more drugs. One of my relatives takes over 20 different drugs every day, It just can’t be good for him and his health is declining, not improving. He would be better off taking essential supplements rather than all the chemicals that his body has to cope with. As for the pharmaceuticals, they have no regard for patients. What’s important to them is the bottom line!

  3. Hi Ches,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this topic. It seems to me that the more time goes by the more likely it is to find the right NATURAL cure for most health problems through websites built by “normal” people like you and me.
    Imagine, in the last 3 years every time I went to a doctor I got a bunch of prescription drugs which made me more sick than before! Enough of it!!
    Now, I only follow tips found online on websites like this one of yours, and my health has improved dramatically in a few months!
    I’m looking forward to reading part 2 of this precious post.
    Thanks again, and keep writing these excellent blogs!

    1. Hi Alma and thanks for the positive comments and you are surely right about independent websites by the ordinary caring public is where to go for advice and tips.  This is especially true when, like you and I, we have proved that natural remedies are the only way to good health because we have done it for ourselves and our families.  

      Part 2 will be out next Monday evening GMT.  I know it’s sad but I truly think that the best way to keep fit is be your own doctor and keep away from allopathic medicine as much as you can.  If you need to consult with a doctor choose a naturopathic practioner who will look at the root cause of your complaint before prescribing a natural solution in preference to a pharmaceutical drug.

  4. Hi Ches,
    This is a great article and I am so glad you are putting the truth out there.Nothing annoys me more than watching drug company commercials telling of a cure for everything and then listening to the myriad of side effects that these so-called cures bring about. Our bodies are natural wonders in dealing with every ailment if we have a healthy diet, exercise, get enough sleep and are in control of our thoughts. Drug companies are simply legal drug dealers because of the revenue generated and are out of control.
    Great work mate on educating the ignorant
    Bless you Paul

    1. Thanks for your positive comments Paul and you certainly have hit the nail of the head when it comes to the motives of the pharmaceutical industry.  I think many people are waking up to what these companies are doing to our health and how they are betraying those that trusted them.  Soon the balance will be tipped in favour of the public and the pharmaceuticals will have to be accountable.    

  5. Your article has highlighted some very important points on the overuse and side effects of conventional medicine. Personally, I try to go as natural as possible and wanted to know what you would suggest a person taking diuretics should take instead? Would you suggest a herb or a supplement or maybe a change in diet?

    1. Hi Teresa, I am in the process of writing Part 2 of this article giving my take on how best to deal with oedema naturally.  As you so rightly suggest, diet is key.  Another sure fire way to treat oedema is ‘intermittent fasting’ which myself and hubbie are doing.  I’ve lost weight without trying.  Although I don’t have a problem with oedema myself, I’ve noticed my ankles don’t swell at all, not one bit, not on long journeys, when I’m hot or during a long haul flight.  Don’t eat junk, diet coke or other aspartame laced food or drink, no junk fats, only good fats such as avocado oil, organic coconut oil and grass fed butter.  Forget about cholesterol it’s a myth. Pharmaceutical’s most profitable drugs statins actually have serious side effects, interfering with a most important enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase).  Of course, Mg is vital as is potassium (K).  Part 2 will be out next Monday 30th Oct.

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