Chlorthalidone & Diabetes

Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common problem in most people. To stabilize their flow of blood, doctors prescribe useful drugs which effectively treats this condition. As issues like high blood pressure cannot be eliminated completely from the body, medicines are the last resort. People, suffering from such disorders have no way out than consuming tablets on a daily basis.

Chlorthalidone is a diuretic pill that aids in lowering high blood pressure. This in turn enables sufferers to prevent chances of sudden strokes and heart attack. Kidney problems are also kept at a distance.

In addition to these, Chlorthalidone treats other disorders like the left ventricular hypertrophy, kidney stones, Ménière’s disease, bone fractures, and Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus.

After taking few dosages of Chlorthalidone, people release higher quantity of urine. Their blood vessels also relax and allow blood to flow easily.

Dosages are best recommended by doctors and vary according to severity of high blood pressure. Therefore, it is always advisable to consult a physician before starting to take the diuretic medicine.

Although it is largely preferred for curing an array of health disorders, yet it is not free from potential side effects like:

  1. Hypotension/ Lower Blood Pressure – If patients continue taking the pills without re-checking their blood pressure; it may lower the blood pressure beyond permissible limits. This will result in Hypotension and may also lead to Cardio-vascular problems. Patients may experience vasculitis or dizziness on standing straight.
  2. Dermatological Problems – This includes everything from developing sensitivity to skin irritation (both due to sunlight). Rashes, hives, spots and blood vessel inflammation are likely to follow.
  3. Gastro-Intestinal Problems – Abnormal conditions like vomiting, nausea, drowsy, lesser appetite, constipation, diarrhea, gastric irritation, and jaundice are normal.
  4. Metabolic Issues – Endocrine-related abnormalities namely higher blood sugar or hyperglycaemia, electrolyte concerns, presence of surplus uric acid in blood and excess sugar content in urine may be reported.
  5. Muscular-Skeletal Concerns – In this case, victims feel weak while their body undergoes involuntary muscle movement or spasticity.
  6. Some other common side-effects are developing impotence, being psychiatrically restless, numbness and spinning sensation, experiencing dizziness, or vertigo. Besides these, blurred vision and deficiency in color vision may also show up.

However, this does not mean that Chlorthalidone is a dangerous medication that should be prevented at all cost. Only that, people must periodically check their blood pressure and visit their doctor, instead of continuing it for indefinite period.

Chlorthalidone shares an interesting relationship with Diabetes. Before getting into the details, let’s see what exactly diabetes is.

Diabetes is a condition in which the ability of human body to produce or respond to insulin gets impaired. As a result, it affects proper metabolism of carbohydrates by enhancing the glucose level in blood. This is why people suffering from diabetes are asked to refrain from carbohydrates, sweets and allied foods.

Interestingly and unfortunately, Chlorthalidone is a thiazide diuretic that forms higher blood sugar in one’s body. In other words, hyperglycaemia starts showing in those already suffering from diabetes. In such condition, medications and treatments taken for diabetes become unproductive and instead harm the body severely.

Moreover, continuous intake of thiazide diuretic pill results in loss of Potassium through urine. As body loses Potassium, it starts experiencing muscular weakness, inconsistent heartbeats and similar problems.

The above diabetes falls into the category of Mellitus. There’s another type of diabetes known as Insipidus. Here, Chlorthalidone comes as a savior.

Nephrogenic diabetes insipidus is an abnormal condition which occurs due to inability of the kidney to produce concentrated urine. It happens when the kidney generates insufficient response to removal of free water from the renal tubular filtrate. This removal is further dependent on Vasopressin.

In the course of treatment, Chlorthalidone first blocks the re-absorption of sodium ion within the distal convoluted tubule. It then induces increased flow of the sodium ion into urine. This procedure is known as Natriuresis.

Presence of Chlorthalidone in larger amount along with limited dietary sodium intake results in lower intravascular volume (mild hypovolemia). This further encourages the isotonic re-adsorption of solute right from proximal renal tubule. All these substantially reduce solute delivery into the renal medullar collecting duct and the renal collecting tubule. Lower delivery of solute accounts for higher re-absorption of water besides highly concentrated urine. The final result is that Nephrogenic Diabetes Insipidus gets reversed by Vasopressin-independent procedure.

Thus, on one hand where Chlorthalidone brings more woes for diabetic patients; on the other, it is a major component in treating the other form of diabetes.

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