Technische Universität München

The Entrepreneurial University

The adverse effects of diuretics on the musculoskeletal system are often secondary effects. Thus, effects like muscle cramps and pain are related to alterations of the resting electrical potentials in nerves and muscle membranes and their subsequent effects on the conduction of neuromuscular impulses. They are mostly based on the hypokalemia caused by the diuretics. Another potential risk of diuretic abuse by athletes is a deteriorated thermoregulation, based on the potentiated hypohydration effect of diuretics and sweat loss during exercise. The increase in the body heat storage during exercise, due to a reduced sweating and skin blood flow coupled with electrolyte imbalances, especially potassium, can lead to serious health problems.