Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Why I Don’t Recommend Diuretics
Diuretics reduce edema (fluid retention) and lower blood pressure by reducing sodium and water retention. The three types of diuretics (thiazides, potassium-sparing diuretics, and high-loop diuretics) all work differently, but the goal is to lower blood pressure and/or heart fluid (CHF). These medications include Oretic, Euduron, Reneses, Hygroton, Bumex, Lasix, Anhydron, Diuril, Edecrin, Demadex, Dyrenium, Aldactone, Midamor, Zaroxolyn, and Lozol.
Diuretics may be needed, at least short term for reducing high blood pressure, but long term they are only covering up the symptom-not correcting the cause(s) of the problem.
Never discontinue your diuretic without working with a health care professional. And diuretics are a necessity for individuals with congestive heart disease who are experiencing fluid retention. DON’T STOP TAKING YOUR MEDICINE WITHOUT CONSULTING A KNOWLEDGIBLE HEALH EXPERT.
Lasix depletes vitamin B1 (thiamine), which is a crucial nutrient for heart muscle. A B1 deficiency can cause any of the following, fatigue, mental confusion, depression, anxiety, upset stomach, and tingling in the hands and feet. It is estimated that 50% of elderly adults in the US are deficient in vitamin B1.
Now add Lasix and you create another senile dementia case or someone who now needs an antidepressant medication. This scenario of chasing a side effect with another medication is all too common. Researchers found that when patients taking Lasix added 100 mg of vitamin B1 a day, their heart function improved. Imagine that.16
Diuretics may cause the following side effects; Excessive uric acid in the blood (gout), magnesium deficiency, potassium deficiency, electrolyte imbalance, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, lowered HDL, excessive sugar in the blood (diabetes), fever, rash, irregular menstrual cycles (Aldosterone), impotence (same), and excessive urination and thirst.17 The use of thiazide diuretics and potassium-sparing diuretics has demonstrated a modest increased risk of breast carcinoma, and the use of certain diuretics may increase the risk of breast carcinoma among older women.18
Diuretics have been shown to cause an eleven-fold increase in diabetes.19 Let me repeat this. Diuretics, yes those little water pills, make you 11 times more likely to develop life-threatening diabetes! Obviously, my patients who tell me, “Doc, I’m just taking a little old’ water pill,” don’t know they may be setting themselves up for some serious health problems.
Aldactone is associated with several severe side effects, especially for individuals with kidney disease. It can cause kidney failure, muscle paralysis, and mental confusion in older adults.20
Dyrenium is a diuretic medication that has been linked to kidney stones, kidney failure, and bone marrow suppression.21
Excess salt and sugar can make you retain water. The DASH diet, see my Heart Disease book, or do a Google search, is a great way to prevent swelling from excess salt intake.
Many foods can act as a diuretic and will aid in the production of urine. This will help you remove fluids from your body. Remember to always use moderation and caution when using a diuretic.
Apple cider vinegar -- is a natural diuretic and helps maintain potassium levels.
Artichoke -- natural diuretic
Asparagus -- contains asparagines, a chemical alkaloid which helps flush the kidneys.
Beets -- attacks floating body fat and fatty deposits.
Brussels sprouts -- cleanse the cell and stimulate thought kidneys and pancreas.
Cabbage -- breaks up fatty deposits.
Carrots -- speeds up metabolic rate and helps remove fat and waste from the body.
Cranberry juice -- aids in the removal of excess fluid from the body.
Cucumber -- stimulate the kidney and aid in the removal of uric acid.
Dandelion And Dandelion Leaf -- natural diuretic, and leaf key aides in the detoxification of the urinary tract.
Green tea -- natural diuretic and has been used for centuries in China.
Fennel -- has a calmative and diuretic property.
Horseradish -- speeds up the metabolism and helps eliminate fluid.
Lettuce -- aids in metabolism and flushing of toxins from the system.
Nettle -- has natural diuretic properties.
Oats -- contains silica in natural diuretic.
Tomatoes -- are rich in vitamin C that aids metabolism in the release of water from the kidneys.
Watermelon -- natural diuretic helps increased urination.
My favorite natural diuretic is standardized hawthorne root and dandelion root. Normally I find that patients who lose any extra weight eliminate problems with water retention and swelling. In my practice I use my Jump Start Weight Loss Program, liberal intake of lemon water (at least 64 ounces a day), and if needed the herbals mentioned above.
You can learn more about my weight loss program here –