The Effects of Diuretics

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Dehydration is the depletion of bodily fluids.  Symptoms of this depletion include migraines, decreased blood pressure, fatigue, GERD, and possibly death.  However, death only occurs in the most extreme cases of dehydration.  In the event of alcohol-induced dehydration, death is unlikely.  Commonly referred to as a hangover, the body suffers a period of dehydration, accompanied by nausea, after excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. It may seem counter-intuitive that a liquid can induce dehydration, but like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic.  Diuretics create an imbalance in the amount of urine produced and the amount of water consumed.

Alcohol inhibits the release of an antidiuretic hormone (ADH).  This hormone is responsible for regulating the body’s water retention. While this hormone is blocked the kidneys excrete water instead of conserving it as they normally would.  This causes the body to expel more water than it takes in. Fortunately, remedying this cause of dehydration is simple and preventing it is even easier.  Consuming common diuretics, such as coffee or alcohol, in moderation is the most reliable means of prevention.  If the effects of over-indulging are already a factor, the best course of action is to take water-soluble B vitamins to combat fatigue while rehydrating.