Diuretic Abuse for Weight Loss

Sometimes those with eating disorders will use diuretics in an attempt to control their weight. Though this may produce lower numbers on the scale it does not reflect a loss of body fat but a loss of water. This is a dangerous practice as water is essential to health. Dehydration can cause damage to your body and ultimately result in death.

Water does many things for us including:
  • aiding digestion
  • maintaining body temperature
  • removing toxins
  • transportation of nutrients

The body must be properly hydrated in order to function properly. The adult body consists of 60-70% water. The human brain consists of approximately 85% water. Blood is approximately 90% water. When you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. When this happens your body pulls water from it's organs and tissues.

Dehydration can acerbate conditions such as:
  • asthma
  • allergies
  • migraines
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • angina
  • constipation
  • colitis
  • body aches and pains
  • eczema/dry skin
  • etc
Complications of Dehydration include:
  • Kidney Damage
  • Cardiac Arrhythmias
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Salt Imbalance
  • Electrolyte Imbalance
  • Fluid Retention
  • Potassium Deficiency
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Eyes
  • Constipation
  • Hypotension
  • Death
More information on what dehydration can cause can be found here.

Every day you lose water naturally simply by breathing, urinating, sweating, and bowel movements. It is important that you replenish your body with the water it needs in order to keep you healthy. The most commonly recommended amount is 8 - 8 oz glasses of water a day but the formula changes depending on climate, age, activity, illness or health conditions, pregnancy or breastfeeding, and so on.

The following are approximate water needs for an average, healthy adult living in temperate climate according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Replacement approach. The average urine output for adults is about 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) a day. You lose close to an additional liter of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Food usually accounts for 20 percent of your total fluid intake, so if you consume 2 liters of water or other beverages a day (a little more than 8 cups) along with your normal diet, you will typically replace the lost fluids.
  • Eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Another approach to water intake is the "8 x 8 rule" — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (about 1.9 liters). The rule could also be stated, "drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," as all fluids count toward the daily total. Though the approach isn't supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
  • Dietary recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that men consume roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.

"Even apart from the above approaches, if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate."

If you are suffering with an eating disorder please reach out, seek help.
Eating Disorder Help: Hotlines, Organizations and Websites

sources: http://www.diseasesdatabase.com/result.asp?glngUserChoice=3520&bytRel=2&blnBW=False&strBB=LR&blnClassSort=True
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