Tag Archives: oedema

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!

Drugs! Are you on a diuretic? – Questions

Furosemide Precautions

LasixTo finish off this 4 part article Drugs! are you on a diuretic, I will show you some questions written by worried patients prescribed diuretics.  If you’re on this class of drugs, you may find a question here relating to you and problems you are encountering. As Furosemide is a diuretic that is one of the most prescribed drugs in the world, questions about this particular drug will be covered here.  Click for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. Continue reading Drugs! Are you on a diuretic? – Questions