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"Just work them into your diet slowly until your body adjusts to the compounds ... skip meals, or use laxatives or water pills to help you de-bloat or lose weight. Find out how water pills work and why people use them to lose weight. Plus, learn how to take them the safe way. Have you been considering adding water pills to your dieting and exercising for added weight loss? Do they really work? Are they safe? These pills increase stamina, help you lose weight and let you shed any excess water weight. Herbal water pill supplements typically contain natural ingredients,  ...

You've probably come across commercials that promote water pills as a quick slim-down solution while channel surfing. Whether you want to de-bloat before a big night out, ditch the annoying PMS puffiness, or fit into your skinny jeans once and for all, word is they'll help you shed pounds in no time flat—but do they really work? And more importantly, are they safe?

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Water pills contain substances that pressure your kidneys into flushing out excess water and salt through your pee. Medical pros call them diuretics, and they're one of the most commonly prescribed medications. Doctors usually give these to people whose bodies suck at regulating fluid intake and who become swollen and bloated as a result. Patients with health issues like hypertension, heart failure, and idiopathic edema  (unexplained swelling) take prescription diuretics frequently to reduce their blood pressure, prevent fluid buildup, and reduce swelling respectively, says Linda Anegawa, M.D., founder and medical director of OSR Weight Management in Hawaii. However, these meds are never prescribed to people looking to drop pounds and keep them off because they have no effect on body fat, she says.

Since over-the-counter water pills aren't regulated by the FDA, I actively discourage my patients from taking the diuretics you find at the drugstore," says Anegawa. That's because there's no way of knowing if the ingredients listed on the box are really what's in the pills or how much of each ingredient they contain, she says. They could even be toxic and interact badly with a med you're taking, she says. Many manufacturers of herbal water pills claim that their products have health benefits, but those promises typically aren't studied in research trials, she says.