What conditions do diuretics treat?

The most common conditions diuretics treat are high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. Less commonly, they’re prescribed for swelling of the lower legs and ankles. Obesity can lead to this type of significant swelling in the lower legs, which can cause pain and ulcerations, so some people who are obese are put on a mild dose of diuretic to get that fluid off. The real treatment for this kind of swelling is weight loss, but diuretics can help in those situations.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Water pills, known in the medical world as diuretics, are a mainstay of treatment for those with certain heart problems, lung disorders and some types of high blood pressure. In these conditions, the body has a problem regulating the amount of water in particular parts of the body. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the result is that fluid can back up, leading to a condition called edema. In these conditions, doctors use diuretics to encourage the body to discard some of the fluid it has built up over time.

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