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Understanding the Effects of Diuretic on Blood Sugar Levels

What is diuretic?
Diuretic is a type of drug that increases the amount of water and salt that gets expelled in the urine. Commonly called water pills, they are often used to treat high blood pressure in people. As excess water and salt are removed from body, the heart starts pumping lesser blood, and eventually leads to more blood flow into the body’s tissues. Both of these effects can help lower blood pressure. Diuretics help regulate congestive heart failures, and high blood pressure levels.

How does it affect blood sugar levels?
The aim in any diabetes control regimen is to keep blood sugar levels in the near-normal range. To achieve this there are certain steps to be followed like a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and taking insulin or medications if necessary. However, in some cases diabetics sometimes need the help of other drugs and these can interfere with effective blood glucose level control. Some of the medicines that are used to treat high blood pressure and heart related issues have been found to interfere with diabetes sugar level.

Diuretics can also cause some metabolic alterations which can prove harmful. Basically, diuretics can affect the glucose level in blood because it impairs the glucose metabolism. When the body cannot break down glucose as it should, the glucose level in blood rises.

Types of diuretics
There are mainly three types of diuretics, but 2 are the main ones having an effect on your sugar levels namely, loop and thiazide.

  • Loop works to keep the kidneys from reabsorbing sodium back into the blood. This type helps release water and sodium via the kidney.
  • Thiazide diuretics on the other hand act on the distal tubule portion of the kidney. They are often prescribed to treat moderate high blood pressure symptoms. If you take both thiazide diuretics and beta blockers which are used to treat heart conditions, it can further impair the glucose metabolism in your body.

Side effects
While diuretics might not majorly cause a fluctuation in the sugar levels, it is still better to be alert on how it may affect you. Diuretics have certain side effects such as confusion, abnormal heart rates and weakness.

Sometimes you also can experience some adverse symptoms like an upset stomach, dizziness and increased sensitivity to the suns rays.

It is advised to talk to your physician about making changes to your medications, if any of these persist.

Consult and use a glucometer

If you are taking diuretics, then you may have to conduct sugar test often to determine whether you have normal sugar level. You might also be advised to record the changes in blood glucose level to help determine how much your diuretic medication impacts the normal sugar level aspect. An easy way to do this is through a glucometer– a self blood glucose monitoring device. Preferably by a smartphone glucometer as it can help you share and sync readings on the go. You could buy glucometer online or talk to your pharmacist to know the best glucometer available.

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