Love it, like it, hate it: Diuretics

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After weeks of Carnival celebrations, many of us may be looking to shed a few extra pounds. And diuretics – or “water pills” – are often touted as a quick way to blast that bloat. Today we’re Getting the Skinny with Molly on popular pills and natural supplements on shelves. 


  • Diuretics won’t burn fat; any shift on the scale will be due to shedding excess fluid.
  • Over-the-counter diuretics can have the potential to lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance, headache, muscle cramping, among other complications.
  • Even natural diuretic supplements can have negative side effects, and can interact with other supplements, medications or medical conditions. Always check with your physician or pharmacist before beginning any new supplement regime.


5 steps to blast the Mardi Gras bloat:

  1. Slash the sodium: Aim for less than 1,500 mg sodium daily.
  2. Curb the carbs.
  3. Ramp up your workouts.
  4. Rein in your alcohol consumption.
  5. Incorporate natural diuretics



Natural food/plant-based supplements

  • Apple cider vinegar: 2 tablespoons daily, diluted in 8 ounces water
  • Dandelion leaves/dandelion root
  • Herbs parsley & fennel; Lemon juice – try adding to water, tea, salad, veggies



  • “Natural” tea like Super Dieter’s Tea: touted to “help eliminate impurities” but is really just a laxative



OTC and Rx diuretics can be safe and effective, under physician’s guidance

  • OTC Diuretics like Diurex can contain caffeine (daily dosage can easily top 300-400 mg caffeine/day), and ingredients like Pamabrom (may interfere with other meds and/or medical conditions; not known if safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding).


  • Prescription Diuretics – only with a physician’s guidance; always let pharmacist know any other meds + medical conditions. And keep in mind that sharing “fluid pills” with friends may seem harmless, but can have unintended negative side effects.

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