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Diuretics are medicinesthat help get rid of the excess water from the body, and some types of food arealso known to have this effect, e.g. oats, tomatoes, asparagus and others.Doctors will prescribe diuretics to help patients cope with health issues suchas elevated high pressure, heart failure, liver cirrhosis, some kinds of kidneydiseases and other conditions associated with the build up of the fluid in thetissue. This relieves the heart of the pressure to pump extra blood, but canlead to certain side effects as well. By enabling the removal of water, mineraland 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 thefunction of kidneys may be disrupted so large amounts of water and mineralsare sent back to blood, thus putting the pressure on the heart, which has towork harder while other organs may get extra amounts of water that may causeproblems. Diuretics help prevent this strain on the heart and other organs, andthe types of diuretics which are mostly used are loop diuretics potassium sparingdiuretics and thiazides. Their side effects will be discussed in the followingpassage.

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

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