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Diuretics are medicines that help get rid of the excess water from the body, and some types of food are also known to have this effect, e.g. oats, tomatoes, asparagus and others. Doctors will prescribe diuretics to help patients cope with health issues such as elevated high pressure, heart failure, liver cirrhosis, some kinds of kidney diseases and other conditions associated with the build up of the fluid in the tissue. This relieves the heart of the pressure to pump extra blood, but can lead to certain side effects as well. By enabling the removal of water, mineral and waste from bloodstream, kidneys have the purifying role in the human body. This process continues until waste products leave the body by way of urine, while most of the water and minerals go back to the blood. Sometimes the function of kidneys may be disrupted so large amounts of water and minerals are sent back to blood, thus putting the pressure on the heart, which has to work harder while other organs may get extra amounts of water that may cause problems. Diuretics help prevent this strain on the heart and other organs, and the types of diuretics which are mostly used are loop diuretics potassium sparing diuretics and thiazides. Their side effects will be discussed in the followingpassage.

Taken for the first time loop diuretics significantly increase urination. Dizziness is the most common side effect that appears, but changed levels of electrolytes including potassium and magnesium are also possible. While the levels of minerals drop, the amount of sugar and uric acid may increase. Less commonly the person may experience confusion, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, appetite loss, jaundice, sudden gout attacks or short-term loss of hearing. If the person is extremely thirsty, drowsy and lethargic, urinates less and has dry mouth, they might be suffering from hypokalemia, which is the condition of decreased levels ofpotassium. Potassium sparing diuretics do not cause the potassium to be passed out of the body, but the increased level of this mineral may cause the heartbeat to become irregular bring on breathing problems and cause the person to feel tired, numb, weak or confused. When the person first starts using thiazide diuretic they may experience headaches, itching, upset stomach, appetite loss, blurred vision and general weakness, though allergic reaction in the form of rash, itches, heavy breathing and dizziness are also possible. The doctor should be contacted in cases of muscle cramping, nausea or vomiting. Sideeffects of diuretics are usually experienced within the first several days of their use as the body adjusts to them, but in case they continue over a longer period of time this should be reported to the doctor.

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