Tag Archives: magnesium

Magnesium Deficiency Test

Mg glassHow many of you have gone to the doctor and been told you should have a Magnesium (Mg) deficiency test?  Not many I bet.

So out of those of you that’s had a test, how many were given the Total Serum Mg Test?  All of you I suspect.

And of those of you who had the serum test, how many of you were found to be Mg deficient?  One, two, none?

So, you’re not Mg deficient, the test says so.  What else could it be.  Perhaps you are..uhm..calcium deficient.  There’s a couple of clinical tests for that and if you are unfortunate enough to be one of those that reacts to these tests, your doctor could come to the conclusion that you are in fact calcium deficient.

A clinical test

So lets look at the common Mg testing procedures in the UK and the US.    There are a number of tests that can be used for Mg deficiency and 2 common clinical tests that can be done in the doctor’s surgery.  The problem with these clinical tests is they indicate either a Ca or Mg deficiency.  Because the tests cannot distinguish between which mineral is deficient and Mg deficiency is deemed to be rareCa:Mg ratio, if the test is positive, it is Ca deficiency that will be presumed and a suitable supplement or diet plan prescribed.  As a result, a Mg deficiency, which is more likely to be the case, is overlooked, exacerbated and depleted even lower, causing more problems and symptoms.

For those interested, the two clinical tests are
  1. Chvostek’s sign which is a twitching of facial muscles as a response to tapping a facial nerve in front of the ear.
  2. Trousseau’s sign which causes spasm in hand muscles after applying a blood pressure cuff to the forearm below the elbow for 3 minutes, at a level above systolic pressure.
The totally useless total serum Mg test

This is the most commonly used Mg test in the UK and the US.  Unfortunately, it is next to useless and invariably gives a false positive result.

serum testIt’s no wonder that most doctors think it is very rare to be Mg deficient.  They get this duff information from the results of serum tests.  The tests comes back normal and patients’ records are updated to reflect this result.

This is what happens when dogma and an inability to change, encumbers the medical profession, making a profound difference to a patient’s diagnosis!  This mis-diagnosis could cause incalculable distress and misery for a patient that may have a simple Mg deficiency.  So patients are told that Mg levels are normal and they dismiss the fact that a Mg deficiency could be the cause of their condition.

So why is this?

Less than 1% of our body’s total Mg can be measured in blood serum.  Most of our Mg is found in bones – around 60% and inside muscle and other cells – around 40%.  If magnesium drops in the extracellular fluids, there’s a danger of a heart event.  Thus, the body makes sure that the amount of Mg in blood fluids is stable at all times, even when bodywide levels are low.  This means, even if you are deficient in this mineral, your body will keep your blood serum magnesium level normal.  So the antiquated blood serum test has no value in showing your real Mg levels. In fact, it is positively dangerous because it gives false information and consequently the wrong diagnosis can result, with the wrong treatment and possible improper use of prescription drugs.

red blood cellsThe RBC (red blood cell) test

Every cell in our body contains Mg and that includes red blood cells.  About 40% of Mg is found in our cells so using red blood cells is deemed to be a more accurate measuring procedure. Even so, it’s still not testing the whole of the body’s Mg levels.  Despite this not being an ideal method, it is marginally better than the serum test.  Why the rbc test is not done in favour of the serum test, is a mystery.  By the way, you can request a test from  RequestATest.com if you want to get yourself tested, but don’t rely too much on the result!

Educate your doctor?

Your doctor could arrange a rbc test for you if you can convince him of the folly of a serum test.  This could be a tricky conversation as many doctors seem to get tetchy if questioned or informed of something they don’t know already.  Many patients are nervous about questioning their doctor but this is your health and you have a right to query your treatment and any aspect of your diagnosis.  Some doctors though, are grateful for the facts and are genuinly pleased when patients take an interest in their own health.

The EXATest

The third test I want to talk about is the EXATest.  This is a test devised by IntraCellular Diagnostics and is used to identify certain minerals within a cell.  The test is very expensive so check your insurance or Medicare and see if they cover it.

EXATestHow it works

This test uses cells scraped from the inside of your mouth.  Not in the usual place like for DNA testing ie. the inside of the cheek, but rather from under the tongue close to the bottom teeth.  It is called a ‘buccal cell smear test’.  Sampling kits are sent to your doctor’s surgery and he then takes a smear using a wooden spatula.  It takes no longer than a minute.  The scraping is carefully placed onto a microscope slide, left to dry and sent back to the EXATest company.  The problem with the EXATest is not many doctor’s even know about it, let alone offer it.

The serum versus the EXATest

Quite by accident, I came across a site about AF (atrial fibrillation).  It is run by Travis who suffers from AF.  He already knows about the benefits of Mg and that most AFibbers are deficient and asked his doctor for a test, done in early 2013. The test result was normal.  He then returned to be tested again in early 2015.  The test came back normal, again.

doctorHe had heard of the EXATest in 2014 and decided to get it done.  After much searching, he found a naturopath that offered the test.  The total fee, was a little over $700 but I understand that the cost has come down markedly since then.  The result of his test, done just two months after the 2nd serum test, showed him to be Mg deficient, well below the normal range, despite the serum test showing twice that he was in the middle of the normal range.

Other tests?

There are a couple more tests that can be done ie. The Challenge Test and the Blood Ionized Mg Test but the challenge test is inconvenient and needs constant monitoring and the ionizing test is limited to the inventors, the Alturas’ laboratory and for research purposes, at the present time.

So what’s the answer?

Are these false positive results of the serum test the reason why the medical profession think this deficiency is rare?  Could it be that physicians are so used to the same old, same old that they are missing something vital to the health of us all?  Is this lack of knowledge actually compromising accurate diagnoses and treatments?

grass tetanyIn my mind, it would be better not to test at all and just give the patient some good quality Mg.  Why is the medical profession not listening to the research that has proven that a large majority of the population is Mg deficient.  After all it is not a drug, it is a natural mineral that we all need; us, all other animals and all plant life.  Even our farm animals are treated better than us with respect to Mg.  Ever heard of ‘grass tetany’?

Why are we not informed?

If the whole population was informed about the indispensable need for Mg it could alleviate a plethora of symptoms, illnesses and cardiovascular problems!  It could also save tax payers lives, tax payers money and tax payers misery!

How would you feel without it?

Here are just a few symptoms of Mg deficiency.  Remember, everyone is different and each of us will suffer different symptoms in varying degrees of severity.  All the conditions listed below have been endured and tolerated by countless sufferers in varying degrees over decades.  Mg is vital for recovery from any illness and condition and guards against further disease.  The majority of the conditions listed below are not induced by genetics.

Mg testsADHD, anxiety, arrhythmia, asthma, atherosclerosis, atrial fibrillation, brain fog, chronic fatigue syndrome, confusion, constipation, cystitis, depression, diabetes, fibrositis, fibromyalgia, headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperactivity, hypoglycemia, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease, memory loss, migraines, mitral valve prolapse, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, nerve problems, numb hands and feet, osteoporosis, polycystic ovarian disease, preeclampsia, raynaud’s syndrome, restless legs syndrome, shortness of breath, seizures, stroke, syndrome X, tooth decay, tremor, twitches and tics, vertigo.
Perhaps it’s because…

Well, there’s one big drawback with using Mg.  It won’t help Big Pharma’s coffers!!  Businesses are not interested in a product that doesn’t make money and Mg is a cheap mineral that can’t be patented.  Profits will be in jeopardy if patients start getting well and recovering from diseases.  If you think Big Pharma’s prime concern is the welfare of its paying customers, think again.  Money comes first!  Therefore, Mg will not be in widespread use anytime soon from those medics controlled by the pharmaceutical industry.

Ches PowerTake control

There’s only one answer.  Take control.  Do your own research.  A good start would be replete your body with Mg.

What is Magnesium Chloride?

MgCl2Many people ask me which is the best magnesium (Mg) supplement to take and I always answer Mg Chloride (MgCl2). Then there’s the inevitable second question. What is Mg Chloride? Before I can answer there is often a 3rd question.  Why do you recommend Mg Chloride rather than any other Mg supplement?

So this article is to fully explain what MgCl2 is and why I think it is the best Mg supplement to take.  Have a look at this article about the benefits of this supplement.

Mg Chloride is the name for the chemical compound with the formula MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2(H2O)x. These salts are highly soluble in water.  The hydrated Mg Chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water.

So many variables

The problem with Mg is, there are so many variations with some Mg salts being more bio available than others.   But who do you trust to tell you the truth?  The pharmaceutical companies?  The food manufacturers?   Your doctor?  It’s no wonder the public is confused as to which is the most efficient and bio available.  This is apart from the fact that few in the medical industry seem to even know about Mg and that includes allopathic doctors!

Not sure?

If you’re not sure what to do, research for yourself and your family.  If you haven’t got time to do your own research, look for a source that has no axe to grind and gives out information freely.  A source that has no ties with big pharma, big agra or food manufacturers.

A list of different Mg salts

Listed below in alphabetical order, is a rundown of the different magnesium salts available. You have probably realised that you can’t take magnesium in its elemental form ie. as a metal so it has to be processed to make it available to the body as a supplement.

  • Magnesium Aspartate – SCV 2.43 –  Avoid – breaks down to aspartic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Bicarbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Carbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Chloride (6H2O) – SCV zero – 120mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Citrate – SCV 2.8 – 150mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Gluconate – SCV 0.70 – 50mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Glutamate – Avoid – breaks down to glutamic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Glycinate – SCV 3.45 – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Lysinate – used as a food additive
  • Magnesium Malate – SCV 1.55 – 150mg of elemental Mg per l gram of salt
  • Magnesium Orotate – 60mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Oxide –  Only 4% bio available – 600mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Phosphate – laxatives and antacids
  • Magnesium Sulfate – Epsom Salts – Laxative – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Taurate – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
It’s all about the bond

You may have noticed there is an SCV number next to some of them.  This is the Stability Constant Value of the Mg salts. This tells you if the strength of the bond between the two components is strong or weak.  The higher the number, the stronger the bond and the less bio availability.

Mg oxide’s laxative effect

Mg Oxide, for instance, has a very strong bond between the Mg and the oxygen which means it will not dissociate easily so the Mg cannot be used to any great extent biologically.  Instead, most of the compound will go straight through you giving a laxative Mg oxideeffect.  OK if you want a clear out!  I cannot find the official SCV of Mg oxide or some of the other salts, but I know the SCV of Mg oxide is high and is therefore strongly bonded to oxygen.  Unfortunately, Mg oxide is commonly added as the dietary source of magnesium to foods and supplements, because it’s cheap.  This likely produces dietary deficiencies resulting in poor health and a reduced life span. Mg oxide is at most only 4% bio available.

MgCl2 stability constant of zero

As you can see, Mg Chloride (MgCl2) has an SCV of zero.  This means the bond between the Mg and the chlorine to produce Mg Chloride is very weak.  This is good, because the two quickly disassociate from each other leaving the Mg in its ionic state to do its work immediately within the body.

What about Mg Citrate?

Mg Citrate also has quite a low SCV of just 2.8 and has good bio availability.  This molecule will give you a gentle laxative effect if you suffer from constipation which is a symptom for some people who have a Mg deficiency.  It is also very good for children, who often suffer with constipation, mainly because of all the junk food that’s available to them.  This is a very distressing condition for a child as well as the parents and also means that child has a Mg deficiency which can cause all kinds of serious conditions such as ADHD, ADD and asthma to name but a few and if not addressed, heralds health problems for the child’s future.  See this article which covers child constipation.

Food manufacturers at fault


You can blame the food manufacturers for putting temptation in a youngsters way with all  the relentless advertising of all the sweets and processed foods such as cereals, biscuits and fizzy drinks.   Parents will generally relent when being nagged constantly by their child to buy certain items of sweets, junk food or carbonated drinks.

Mg Citrate can be bought in a tasteless powder form which you can put into soups, porridges etc..  The kids won’t even know it’s there.  With Mg Chloride such as ReMag, the taste can be salty and bitter, especially if not taken with enough water.  Kids will often baulk at taking it unless it is well disguised (please, not with aspartame laced fizzy drinks).

Mg Gluconate in hospital drips

The other low SCV supplement is Mg Gluconate at SCV 0.70.  Have you ever visited a hospital, particularly to see an older friend or relative.   The patient is often attached to a clear fluid drip for re-hydration.  If you look at the contents of the drip bag (without touching it of course) you will likely see Mg Gluconate as one of the salts.

Mg SulphateMg Sulphate & Pregnancy

Mg Sulphate is a treatment for preeclampsia, a condition of pregnancy.  This dangerous problem can be avoided if the mother is well supplemented with Mg before and during her pregnancy.  The lack of this vital mineral can kill. That does sound a little dramatic but this is a condition that can be a danger to both mother and child and has also been linked to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Naming salts

The name of a salt has two parts. The first part is the name of the metal and second is the salt that is formed.  The second part of the name comes from the acid used to make it. The names of salts made from hydrochloric acid end in -chloride, while the names of salts made from sulfuric acid end in -sulfate.

Formation of salts
Metal Acid Salt
aluminium reacts with hydrochloricacid to make aluminium chloride
copper reacts with hydrochloricacid to make copper chloride
calcium reacts with sulfuric acid to make calcium sulfate
zinc reacts with sulfuric acid to make zinc sulfate

Mg forms Mg salts when it reacts with acids. Therefore, Mg reacts with hydrochloric acid to make Mg chloride

So why is Mg Chloride so bio available
  1. Mg is dissociated from the weak chloride bond, leaving a Mg ion that is so small it will readily permeate through cell walls.  Because of this permeability, the Mg does not cause the laxative effect because much of it does not get into the gut before it has been absorbed into the body.
  2. The compound MgCl2 is a very small molecule, consequently it can even be absorbed through the skin, that’s why many people use it topically.  (Another topical application is Mg sulphate (epsom salts), which people often put in their bathwater for a relaxing soak.)  Great for getting more Mg into your body whilst pregnant
ReMagMgClsupplements on the market

There are a few MgClsupplements on the market, perhaps the most famous is Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag, a very popular and high quality supplement.  Dr Dean advertises her product concentrating on the tiny size of the molecule, calling it ‘picometer’ size.  This well explains how very small this compound is.  It could be misconstrued that the picometer size is only applicable to this particular brand of  MgCl2 but this is not the case.  Whichever brand you use, all the supplements will be this very small ‘picometer’ size and this is the beauty of MgCl2

Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag

ReMag is easily available in the US where it is competitively priced, not so in the UK, where it is very expensive.  This makes it difficult for those with limited funding to afford.  That being the case, if you really want to use MgCl2 you can make it up yourself.

You must, however obtain the best quality MgCl2 salt to make into your solution.  Always use food quality, don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper lower quality stuff.  Once you have obtained your MgCl2 from a reputable supplier, you can make up a 250ml bottle of the solution as follows:

Pyrex JugHow to make up MgClsolution

Put 125 grams into a small marked pyrex jug.  Add just a little mineral water, enough to dissolve the salts and stir.   Add more water to make your solution up to the 250ml mark, stir again and then pour it into a suitable glass bottle.  It will be very cloudy at first but that is not sediment, it is air bubbles, which will start to clear in a few minutes.

100 doses from 250ml

This will give you 100 doses of 2.5ml (½ teaspoon).  Put one dose into a glass of water and drink over the course of the day.  If you don’t like the taste, lace it with a little cordial (NOT low sugar, we don’t want aspartame in it).  The taste doesn’t bother me but some find it a little bitter (hubby uses Rose’s lime cordial).  Up your doses gradually until you feel the difference.  Always spread your doses throughout the day.  Everyone needs a different dose and it’s a case of finding your own level.  I take around 2 teaspoons in a litre of water and drink it slowly throughout the day.  This gives me the equivalent of 600mg of elemental Mg. I used to suffer from insomnia, so to stop it recurring, I drink at least a quarter of my daily dose in the evening.  If I’m stressed or have a heavy day ahead, I will up my dose from 2 teaspoons to 2½.

Making up your own MgCl2 solution is much cheaper than buying it ready made.  It is a little inconvenient but well worth the trouble.  I have never bought MgCl2 in solution, I am quite happy Ches Powermaking it up myself.  Mind you, it is quite useful having hubby around as he has qualifications in peptide chemistry and has worked in a laboratory environment as a senior technical officer.
If someone who is au fait with chemistry takes this supplement every day, it may give you a clue as to how important it is for your overall health.

Drugs! Are you on a diuretic? – Summary of alternative treatments

IFHow to treat oedema

In Part 3 of Drugs! Are you on a diuretic, I will summarize what you can do about your oedema instead of taking these drugs. It’s a win, win situation because what you read here will also help with other conditions such as diabetes and obesity. If you take these tips on board, you will be on your way to a healthier, happier and slimmer you.  Read on and enjoy your new way of living!  By the way, you can read Part 1 here and Part 2 and Part 4.

 1.   Intermittent Fasting

This method of eating is really effective, healthy and easy and can kick that oedema to the kerb in no time flat and help lose weight to boot.  If you have type 2 diabetes you will definitely notice a difference.  Some of you may think it sounds difficult, but we have tried this way of eating and we’re hooked, it’s really easy.  It’s called ‘intermittent fasting’.  All you do is make sure you only eat during a certain time of the day.  For example you can make sure you eat reasonably early in the evening and then don’t eat anything after a certain time, which will include all night and a part of the next morning.

Dr KendberryA new way of eating

Dr Ken Berry says “Intermittent Fasting is the Newest Diet, that is actually thousands of years old! It is easy, free and fool-proof. You already fast when you are asleep, all you have to do in slowly increase your Fasting Window, and decrease your Feeding Window, and you will start to see results. It is the Cheapest Diet Ever!”

There are many ways to do intermittent fasting and I will leave it up to you to research for yourself what suits you best.  But for me and hubbie, we simply stop eating at 8pm.  Then we don’t eat again until late lunchtime, that’s it!  So our window of eating is between 1:30pm – 8pm, just 6.5 hours.  This means we have a period of around 17.5 hours when we don’t eat.  We drink plenty of water (with Mg Chloride in), tea and the odd coffee.  It sounds hard, but we found it really easy and it has been proven to reduce oedema and help control conditions such as diabetes as there is no insulin spiking during the fasting hours.  Although we were not overweight to start with, we have both lost weight without trying and I never get any bloating or oedema in the ankles and feet when travelling, like I used to.

fasting drinksStart Slow

You can start slowly, say stop eating at 9pm and don’t start again until say 10am, that’s a fast of 13 hours, it’s not difficult honestly and you will reduce your oedema and you will lose weight.  Increase your fasting period week by week until you have a major part of the day without food.  You don’t have to restrict what you eat as long as it’s not junk food, bad fats, diet sodas etc., you know what’s good for you and what isn’t I’m sure.  If you get hungry have a cup of tea or coffee or drink some water.

What we do

Once you get into the swing of it, you can adjust the fasting to suit your lifestyle.  If you have a dinner date for instance, enjoy it and carry on with your fasting regime the next day.  We generally eat this way on a daily basis, but we won’t go without.  When we have a wedding to go to or a night out on the town, we forget the fast and enjoy ourselves.  But we always return to it the next day.  You will find that if you do have a ‘blowout’, fasting the next day is easy to do and quite often food is not top of your list!

digestionDigestion

You will find your digestion will improve and when you do have a night out and eat stuff you usually don’t, you may find your stomach will complain and old digestive problems may return temporarily, such as heartburn and bloating.  This is a good time to realize which foods do actually upset you, so you can learn from the experience.

This way of eating has actually naturally reduced my bread intake and if we go out to eat and I have a lot of bread, my stomach lets me know it doesn’t like it.  This has taught me to lay off the wheat a little and reduce it as much as possible. My digestion is perfect now and I had so many problems with it a few years back.  Mind you, I put a lot of that down to a Mg deficiency which I don’t have now.

nutsThis way of eating teaches you a lot about your own body and how different foods have different effects on you.  I have come to love good foods like brocolli, nuts and berries.  I now don’t want to eat bread and cakes but I do eat chocolate every evening, it is the last food I have at 8pm.  I try and eat the darker variety but occassionally have a few squares of milk chocolate.  I also indulge in a small glass of wine whilst I’m preparing dinner.

2.   Always eat the good stuff

When you do eat, make sure its the good stuff.  Don’t eat junk and don’t drink diet coke or other aspartame laced drinks.  Avoid aspartame, it is definitely bad for you and it WILL NOT help you lose weight, quite the opposite.  In fact, did you know that Coca Cola, Pepsi and, Dr Pepper are being sued.  The complainants say the word ‘diet’ on the cans and the advertising is misleading and has led to them putting on weight.  “Marketing these brands as “diet” is false, misleading and unlawful” the suits claim.

Cook your own foods from scratch if you can.  Grow your own foods if you have the space, it is very rewarding eating your own produce.  With just a little space you can grow a few smaller foods such as garlic.  Herbs are always nice to have in your garden and they smell great too!

3.   Don’t worry about cholesterolavocado oil

It’s a myth that cholesterol will kill you.  But it will definitely kill you if don’t have enough! Just eat healthy fats such as avocado, organic coconut oil and grass fed butter.  Those people with low cholesterol levels are more likely to suffer with dementias, brain fog and other brain problems.  Around 25% of the body’s cholesterol is in the brain, it is vital for the body and the myelin sheaths which insulate the nerves.  Independent research reveals the ‘cholesterol myth’ and it’s worth looking at this research for yourself.

Forget your cholesterol, just make sure what you eat is good quality unprocessed foods and include those often vilified eggs, they’re great but make sure they are at least free range if not organic.  Eat raw nuts especially almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashews.  Don’t eat too much fruit but avocados, berries, apples and grapefruit are especially good for you.

brocolliThe super veggie is broccoli from the cruciferous family.  Cruciferous veggies are the best!  Eat grass fed meat if possible and definitely avoid meat from intensively farmed animals and farmed fish.  I know the best foods are the dearest but try and eat as much fresh organic food as you can afford and make an effort to do your own cooking.  That way you will know exactly what goes into your meals.

4.   A sign of aging

An imblance of Mg and Ca is a sign of aging and if you want to keep supple and avoid heart disease, depression, insomnia, arthritis, rheumatics and general aching and stiffness as you age, you best take notice of Mg.  This wonder mineral is absolutely vital for all animals and plants alike.  If you are continually depleted, you WILL slowly get sick.  A continual Mg deficiency will shorten your lifespan.

Ca:Mg ratioTo avoid an imbalance, make sure your intake of Mg’s sister mineral Ca is not excessive.  Don’t take Ca antacids such as ‘Tums’.  These antacids allow you to consume 3000mg of Ca each day.  No way will you be able to balance that with 3000mg of Mg, and that doesn’t include your normal daily consumption of Ca which is fortified in many foods by the food manufacturers.  Excess Ca is dangerous!

5.   100 years old!We all get old

Yes, we all get old, but better to be sound of mind and body and live our lives to the fullest into our 80s and 90s.  Perhaps you may even get to 100 like the lovely lady in this picture, she looks great!

6.   The Miracle of Magnesium

This site is all about Mg with occassional diversion to other natural health subjects which I’m passionate about.  I started this webpage because I found out about this amazing mineral and it cured me of all my ills and conditions within just a few weeks.  I am now a fit and healthy woman in her ‘golden’ years.  When I look around me and see people much younger than myself, struggling to walk and obviously in discomfort, I am saddened.

All you need

I just want everyone to learn about their own bodies and how vitamins, minerals and nutrients, gained from good food and a few supplements, are all that’s needed to keep our bodies in tiptop condition.  Some nutrients, however, are a little more important to your health than others and Mg is one of them. This added to regular exercise is all you need.

Drugs will only slowly degrade your body, deplete your Mg and other nutrients untilMg for bones you succumb.  It will be put down to genetics and/or old age. Your bones will suffer and Ca will be allowed to run riot in your soft tissue causing calcifications where it settles.  You will become stiff, achey, depressed and will slowly lose your quality of life.  Just have a think for a moment and wonder…  How many pharmaceutical drugs do you know that actually cure a condition?

Get off diuretics if you are able to and try the above natural alternatives.  Get your doctor on your side, but please make sure your medic is on board about natural alternatives.  Naturopathic doctors who are also MDs are more au fait and may be the way forward.

Ches PowerQuestions?

Because there are so many questions about diuretics, I will do a 4th post on diuretics, with actual questions from patients and their loved ones.  You may have a similar question about this class of drugs that could be answered in this last post.

Drugs! Are you on Diuretics? – Part 2

natrilixThis is Part 2 of Drugs! Are you on diuretics?  Part 1 is here  and here is Part 3 and Part 4. Following on from all the reasons why you should not take a diuretic, I want to add a caveat about the administration of diuretics with regard to a type of blood pressure known as malignant hypertension.

Malignant hypertension

Malignant hypertension is a life threatening condition where blood pressure spikes really high and very quickly and can be an extreme medical emergency.  Severe symptoms of intense headache, cognitive disruption, visual disturbances, walking problems and speech difficulties are some of the complication of this condition.  Emergency use of diuretics for the short term is not challenged here.  Note though, that this is a very rare type of hypertension.  Most sufferers of high blood pressure are not this severe and many don’t even know they even have high blood pressure.

Diseases prescribed diureticsCHF diuretics

So lets go through a few scenarios of when diuretics are given.  I list below a few of the most common conditions for which these drugs are prescribed.

  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • kidney disease/failure
  • Cirrhosis of the liver and ascites
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Venous insufficiency
  • General Oedema.
Hypertension or high blood pressure.

Most people don’t feel sick with BP so there’s not usually a general medical emergency associated with it.  As we age, BP is often raised a little by the body in response to stiffness and inflexibility and helps to keep the blood flow strong, sounds good to me!

bp table120/80 is just an average

If your BP is slightly over or below the norm, or you have exhibited a higher reading than you do normally at home, you may erroneously be prescribed a diuretic. Diuretics are the number one hypertensive drug to be prescribed.  It inevitably won’t work and so it leads nicely onto the patient being prescribed a 2nd drug for hypertension to go with the diuretic. Now you’re on 2 drugs.  This is a common scenario.

We’re not all the same

Anyway, who says everyone’s BP has to be 120/80.  A little give or take in a reading is normal, isn’t it? Our bodies are not all exactly the same. As for treatment of this common condition, there is nothing better than a good supplement of Magnesium (Mg).  As we age our Mg levels will deplete and at the same time our Calcium (Ca) levels will increase.  If Ca levels are much higher than Mg then the body is Mg deficient by default.  Excess Ca can lead to devastating problems including coronary calcium deposits.

Common side effects

A common side effect with BP drugs is fainting, dizziness or falling when the drug lowers the BP too much.  This is a real problem for the elderly who only need to fall once to break a hip.  Mg will not interfere to the extent of dropping your BP below optimum levels for your body.

Dehydration is another side effect that is more serious than most realize, depleting precious minerals such as Mg and Potassium (K) and upsetting your electrolytes.  This can be dangerous for the heart with arrhythmias being a common side effect. Taken optimally, Mg will hydrate the body and alleviate so many symptoms, you wouldn’t believe.  Many of which you are probably suffering from right now!

Kidney disease and kidney failure.

How can these drugs help when it is known that they can actually cause kidney disease?  As I said in Part 1 of this article, the kidneys are very delicate and their filtration processes very complex and balanced.  Any drug that changes that balance and upsets the process will compromise the kidneys.  Without healthy kidneys your life will be problematic and studies have shown that diuretics are not beneficial to kidney function and can in fact shorten the life of a sufferer. –  The use of diuretics in critically ill patients with acute renal failure was associated with an increased risk of death and nonrecovery of renal function.” (from part 1).

toxic to kidneysKidneys have to deal with all drugs

Remember, all drugs end up getting processed through the kidneys and these toxic concoctions should only be used as a last resort, when all else fails.  So what can we do to help our kidneys function properly without drugs?

Lifestyle changes have to be made to keep yourself fit and healthy.  This is difficult I know because when you’re already under the weather, it takes a strong mentality to pick yourself up and start making those changes that you know you need to do.

But if you don’t want to end up having a miserable unhealthy life, you have to change your paradigms.  Make sure you don’t end up with kidney disease.  If you already have it, then taking a diuretic will not help.  Let nature help you and give yourself the nutrients needed to mend your body.

Cirrhosis of the liver…

Again, diuretics will put a strain on the liver as well as the kidneys. Why would we want to exacerbate an already damaged organ? When the abdomen swells because of liver disease, there are many things you can do to help your liver recover naturally.  You MUST be aware of your lifestyle.  Your eating habits, your drinking habits, drugs, smoking, lack of exercise.  Get these under control and you will be on the way to reducing your symptoms.

and ascitesascites

“Ascites is the accumulation of protein-containing (ascitic) fluid within the abdomen. Many disorders can cause ascites, but the most common is high blood pressure in the veins that bring blood to the liver (portal hypertension), which is usually due to cirrhosis.”

A swollen belly is worrisome and distressing and you definitely want to reduce it.  Be positive and use it as a barometer of how your new lifestyle is improving your health.  This symptom is seldom painful and when you see your stomach slowly diminishing, you will be so proud of the changes you have made to your life and you won’t want to go back.

Congestive heart failure

If your heart is failing it will not be helped by taking a diuretic.  Improve heart function naturally.  When your legs puff up from right sided heart failure, taking a diuretic is not going to strengthen it.  However, with left sided heart failure, fluid  may accumulate in the lungs (pulmonary oedema).  Breathing can become difficult causing an emergency situation.  A diuretic in this case could not be contested, often an IV diuretic is administered, but it will only be a temporary fix.

YOU will change your health not drugsJunk Food

It is only YOU who can strengthen your heart with a good diet of whole foods and plenty of vegetables and some specific fruits. Avoid junk food like the plague along with junk fats and diet sodas.  Start an exercise regime, gently does it and work up slowly.  You’ll be surprised how much you will improve when you regularly exercise.

Magnesium magic

Magnesium is an essential key to a healthy heart.  It will help avoid heart attacks and lower blood pressure.  It will stop painful muscle cramps and relieve digestive problems.  It will ensure restful and beneficial sleep and alleviate insomnia and you are bound not to be getting enough of this amazing mineral.  Most importantly, it will keep Ca dissolved in the blood which will help disable calcification in the soft tissue.

Your heart has the highest requirement for magnesium than any other organ in theMg glass body with the left ventrical needing the most. “Magnesium shines brightest in cardiovascular health. It alone can fulfill the role of many common cardiac medications: magnesium inhibits blood clots (like aspirin), thins the blood (like Coumadin), blocks calcium uptake (like calcium channel-blocking drugs such as Procardia) and relaxes blood vessels (like ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec)” According to the Western A Price Foundation

Venous insufficiency

This is caused when the venous valves are inefficient at allowing blood back to the heart.  It causes swelling in the legs and ankles and can cause pain whilst walking.  The skin often is brown usually near the ankles.  There is a tendency for varicose veins and leg ulcers.

dog walkingDiuretics? Why not try walking!

Diuretics will likely be prescribed to take down the swelling.  A better and more natural way would be to do more walking.  Do you have a dog?   If not, how about giving a rescue dog a home and start your walking regime with him.  Many patients who have venous insufficiency are overweight and a healthy diet and exercise can do nothing but improve these symptoms.  A diuretic will just mask the condition but will not cure it.

You can do it!

Walk as much as possible.  Wear supportive tights or socks.  Raise the foot of the bed a little.  Put your feet up when resting but don’t stay there too long!  Get up regularly and walk about.  Set your alarm clock or buy one of those ‘fitbits’ to make sure you move every hour and keep a check on your movements.  Walk around the house or around the block.  Take the dog out, anything to keep you moving.

Diet, diet, diet!

Again, diet is paramount.  Plenty of veggies and for fruit eat berries such as blueberries and strawberries.  Avocado is a super fruit although many don’t like it including me.  Even so I only use avocado oil for cooking it has a very high smoke point so is not damaged by heat.  It also has a very delicate flavour that does not taint the food.

General oedemaoedema

We all get a little puffy sometimes, perhaps from sitting too long or being too hot or during a long flight.  There are healthier ways to deal with it than stressing your kidney function and depleting your nutrients and electrolytes with a diuretic.

Ches PowerIn Part 3

In Part 3 we will summarize the important bits we’ve covered and also go through how you can reduce any oedema with a particular way of eating which has a great side effect of weightloss!

Talking to a stranger – your doctor

How many of you actually know your doctor?  You may be acquainted with him or her, but they see hundreds of patients so they are not likely to know you very well nor you them. According to a recent report from the Health Foundation, the UK has the fewest doctors per 1,000 patients in the whole of the EU. Continue reading Talking to a stranger – your doctor