What Are Water Pills and How Do They Function?
Water pills, also known as diuretics, are medications used to treat water retention. Sometimes, due to certain medical conditions the body is not able to excrete excess water from the body, this causes excessive fluid buildup resulting in a variety of complications. This is where Water Pills or Diuretics come in. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Water Pills work by boosting the output of urine by the kidneys and eliminate any excess water and salt from the body. The most common cause of fluid retention is hypertension or high blood pressure for which Water Pills are extremely effective. 
These pills are also prescribed for people with edema, heart failure, and kidney problems. In these people, fluid buildup in the body worsens their condition and can cause potentially serious complications. 
Water Pills prevents reabsorption of salt and water in the renal tubules. Water pills come in different forms with different mechanisms of action, but they all increase urine output. These include thiazide diuretics, loop diuretics, potassium sparing diuretics, and osmotic diuretics. It should be noted here that Water Pills are given to decrease fluid buildup and it does not treat the underlying medical condition. [3,4, 5,6]
How Long Does It Take For a Water Pill to Kick In?
The time taken by a Water Pill to kick-in is variable and depends on various factors like the dose, the underlying medical condition, the dosage, overall health status of the patient, and the past medical history. Most Water Pills start to show their effect within a couple of hours after administration. The peak effect of Water Pills begins after about 4 to 6 hours of taking the medication. 
The overall effect of Water Pills may last for about 12 hours. Having said that each person is different and thus the efficacy and time taken for Water Pills to kick in is different for different people it is extremely crucial for a person to take Water Pills only as recommended by the treating physician and not to self-medicate and end up taking excessive pills. 
What Happens With Excessive Use of Water Pills?
Ingestion of excessive Water Pills can cause a variety of side effects and other health problems like dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney damage. It is important to use them only as prescribed by a healthcare provider.
- Dehydration: As water pills work by eliminating fluid from the body taking it excessively may lead to dehydration due to excessive loss of salt and other vital electrolytes. [2, 3, 6, 8]
- Electrolyte Imbalance: Due to excessive loss of electrolytes from the body, excessive use of Water Pills may cause electrolyte imbalance such a loss of sodium, magnesium, and potassium leading to muscle weakness, muscle cramps, and heart rhythm disorders. [2, 3, 6, 8]
- Kidney Damage: Another problem with taking excessive Water Pills is that it puts enormous strain on the kidneys and with time can be detrimental to the overall health of the kidneys and the organ can get damaged causing potentially serious complications. [2, 3, 6, 8]
The severity of these side effects differs from individual to individual and the type of Water Pills used. Thus it is recommended to never experiment with Water Pills and always take this medication under the supervision of the healthcare professional.
Diuretics and Weight Loss
Water pills can lead to short-term weight loss due to the elimination of water weight. However this weight loss is loss of water weight and not loss of actual fat. Therefore, Water Pills are not advised as a means to lose weight. Many people use Water Pills to lose weight little realizing the fact that it may adversely affect their body and overall health. [4, 5, 6, 7]
The best way to lose weight is not through medications but by eating and living healthy. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly is an effective way to lose weight. People who are overweight or obese need to consult a professional dietician for best ways to cut down their body fat rather than relying on medications like Water Pills. [4, 5, 6, 7]
The dietician will formulate a detailed diet chart to which the person can adhere to for best outcomes. Diet experts believe that a reduction of around 250 calories every day is the first step towards a healthy weight loss even before embarking on a diet plan formulated by the dieticians. It is also important to take gender, age, and overall health status into consideration before embarking on a journey towards healthy weight loss as each body is different and requires an individualized approach towards weight loss. [4, 5, 6, 7]
In conclusion, Water Pills are drugs that eliminate excess water from the body. They are extremely beneficial when used for treatment of hypertension, renal issues, or cardiac condition. However, Water Pills should only be taken under the supervision of the treating provider. Excessively using Water Pills can lead to potential side effects which may impact negatively on the overall health condition of the patient. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
Many people use Water Pills as a means to lose weight. This is something which is not advisable as it may lead to various complications like electrolyte imbalance and even kidney damage in some people. For weight loss it is best to follow a healthy lifestyle and eat a balanced diet. It is recommended to consult with a professional dietician to get a customized diet plan designed based on the height, weight, and overall health status of the person to achieve the goal of long term weight loss. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]