Using Diuretics As A High Blood Pressure Medication
High blood pressure medications fall into various categories. And, each category is designed to tackle a specific symptom of hypertension.
One of the more popular categories of hypertension medications is diuretics. Some people refer to diuretics as water pills. This is because when you take them, they help the body to rid itself of the excess water, along with salt, in the body. It is the getting rid of the salt that helps to lower the blood pressure.
There are various types of diuretics. One of the problems of diuretics is that, although they are very successful in eliminating excess salt from the body, many will also eliminate potassium. And, potassium is very successful in helping the body to manage the blood pressure. When you lose potassium, your blood pressure levels generally go up. Fortunately, there are some diuretics that will not force the body to excrete potassium. If you have a choice, it’s often better to use this type.
Even though they can be effective, diuretics are not for everyone. In some patients, they will trigger dizziness or disorientation. A more serious side effect can be arrhythmia. So, if this is the first time you are taking a diuretic, you need to monitor your symptoms carefully and notify your doctor of any troubling reactions.
Another common symptom is muscle cramps. This is primarily due to the loss of potassium through frequent urination. Normally, this can be resolved by either switching to a medication that does not drain potassium from your body, or by simply increasing the number of high potassium foods in your diet.
A percentage of people are actually allergic to most diuretics. This is because many of them are sulfa based and a large percentage of the population has sulfa allergies.
The trickiest thing about diuretic based hypertension drugs is getting the dose right. Your doctor will probably start you on a lower dosage and adjust it based on feedback from blood pressure tests. In addition, except in mild hypertension cases, diuretics will often be combined with other types of medications.
Since this type of medication relies on removing salt from the body, you can often hasten its effectiveness by simply limiting the salt in your diet.
Medications used to control high blood pressure are highly individualized. And, not all medications work for all patients. Because of this, you should never stop taking your medication or change it on your own. Always talk any changes over with your doctor first.