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Non-supplement solutions for edema/water retentition?

by 18619 · February 21, 2011 at 02:52 PM

I have finally decided to try and give up my prescribed diuretic pills. In the past, when I have not taken them I've gained up to 10-12lbs in just a day or so. Lately, I've been feeling symptoms of dehyrdration and decided that was my body possibly telling me I don't need these pills anymore!

My plan is to keep my carbs low, around 50 grams, to help with the possible water retention. I also will try to keep my water intake higher than it was been to keep things moving. I like green tea, so I will make a cup or two of that each day.

I don't want to take supplements, because I don't want to replace the pills with another pill.

Any other suggestions as to how to keep my body moving fluid out properly?

Update: Day 4 and I am only up by 3lbs which is awesome compared to other times I have not taken the pills. I will continue to work on reducing my water retention through natural methods and monitor my blood pressure and weight.

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6832 · February 19, 2011 at 02:51 PM

If you can find ground chicory 'coffee' this is great for water retention and tastes just as good as coffee without the caffeine. I think in the U.S. it is pretty hard to find though.....

I just looked in Mrs. Grieve's Modern Herbal and I read that dandelion can help. The easiest thing to do is to make an infusion by boiling water over the leaves (fresh or dried) and drinking (prob best to add a little honey) or eat the raw leaves in salads.

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431 · February 19, 2011 at 06:35 PM

You are asking a question about treating a medical condition(s). This is not an appropriate venue for this question, and here's why:

Edema is an indicator that one or more organs, systems or processes is not in balance (homeostasis). Common and significant reasons include, but are not limited to:

heart failure - the inability of either or both sides of the heart to pump enough blood to the body or pump it effectively. Therefore, blood and fluid gets backed up. (Edit to add: your statement that you gain 10-12 pounds in a day is a hallmark of this. a 3 pound 24 hr weight gain is the cutoff for notifying your physician that treatment needs immediate assessment/adjustment.)

electrolyte imbalance - failure of the body to regulate the amount of electrolytes (salts, such as potassium and sodium) in the system

kidney failure - the inability of the kidney to effectively filter fluids and electrolytes

You don't state that you have any idea why you have persistent edema. That is question #1 to ask your physician.

Question number two is to ask about what things you can do to modify your risks for edema, high blood pressure and other factors you and your physician identify as contributory.

Make sure your physician knows what supplements you are taking and what diet you are following. To go in fully armed with info, keep a detailed food diary on Nutrition Data, FitDay or other tool which shows vitamin and mineral analyses. It can really help your physician to see what your electrolyte and nutrient intake really is rather than a guestimate.

Regarding your comment about wearing compression hosiery: ur doin' it wrong (grin). The point of compression garments is to supplement venous return when body parts are in a dependent position (e.g. dangling, effected by gravity). Wearing them during sleep does nothing and the latest literature is leaning toward recommending against them as they don't show any efficacy, and they may actually reduce circulation and contribute to thromboses and embolisms. My best advice is that if you're going to wear them at all, put them on before you get out of bed and take them off before you lie down.

Moving around is the best self care strategy for edema. It doesn't allow fluid to pool. It helps venous return by using muscles to boost the valves in the veins, and it helps build and maintain cardiac strength, which in turn, will boost cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped by the heart).

Stay lower sodium in your diet (below 2 gm), and stay on the lower end of protein intake - at least until your physician confirms that kidney function isn't an issue.

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1010 · February 21, 2011 at 04:56 AM

Traditional Medicinals dandelion root tea does the trick. I buy it at Whole Foods, and have seen it in other grocery stores and drugstore.com. It's pretty tasty, too.

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1979 · February 21, 2011 at 04:02 AM

I had asparagus for supper tonight and was reminded how it has a diuretic effect on me...maybe it would do the same for you?

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3652 · February 20, 2011 at 04:40 AM

SherpaMelissa,

A common reason for edema I've noticed for females is either progesterone deficiency (highly linked to PCOS and infertility) and/or estrogen dominance (low or normal progesterone + normal or high estrogen, including xenoestrogens).

Check out these links: http://www.johnleemd.com/store/estrogen_dom.html http://www.drrind.com/therapies/estrogen-dominance http://www.drhoffman.com/downloads/Menopause.pdf

Vegetables and fruits have natural aromatase inhibitors which prevent build up of E1 E2 (inflammatory estrogens v. E3 anti-inflammatory estrogen). Zinc is also an aromatase inhibitor. 50% of the US get insufficient dietary sources. Silent inflammation further depletes precious internal stores. Diuretics DEPLETE MANY VITAL MINERALS incl Zinc and Magnesium. These are good to supplement until normalized. Both zinc and magnesium maintain muscles, neurotransmitters and hormone production. you can get from non-supplement sources but if one has drug-related depletion, it's easier to get normalized faster with a supplement that is either whole-food based (New Chapter) or chelated to amino acids (glycinate or chelated 'forms').

Leeks, onions and celery are FANTASTIC diuretics. Celery juice lowers BP and peripheral edema/swelling.

Xenoestrogen info: http://drbganimalpharm.blogspot.com/2010/04/perils-of-neolithic-plastics-moobies.html

Hope the edema improves!

Would love to hear your progress and what works later.... G

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20469 · February 20, 2011 at 03:16 AM

Well, looks like you already kicked them, but I would say you might consider a slow weening off of those things instead of doing it all at once. The body may have come to rely on them to some extent and it might be easier on the body to give it time to make adjustments at a slower pace.

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11555 · February 19, 2011 at 09:49 PM

Parsley is a good diuretic. If you like it you could make parsley salad (basically tabbouleh minus the wheat). Some people also like it as a green soup or in tea.

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190 · February 19, 2011 at 03:08 PM

I had a massive blood clot a few years ago and have to battle pitted edema all the time. I have to wear a compression sock most of the time. I do prop regularly (while internetting) and I must stay active. Sitting to long will cause more swelling. Running on a regular basis with the compression sock is my saving grace.

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30 · February 19, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Helen's comment above is very good. Why is your body doing the retention?

RX diuretics are powerful drugs, and if you stop abruptly you shouldn't be surprised that you have a rapid reaction. Those drugs have been stimulating or inhibiting some pathway(s) in your body for a long time, and the sudden removal of that stimulus will be quite a shock.

Getting medical advice from an online forum is a bit risky.

That's not to say you should blindly do whatever your MD says, but you should probably find an MD who is interested in helping you fix the underlying issues and getting rid of the drugs. Jimmy Moore (just google him) has a list of "low carb" docs who usually specialize in non-drug treatment of diabetes, hypertension, etc.

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77340 · February 19, 2011 at 09:46 PM

to a certain degree this (swelling) is a problem for me as well, though i have never consulted medical professional with re to this issue (probably i should)


as with almost every 'condition'. swelling/edema is rather a symptom than an underlining origin, so, i guess, any 'cure' should address the root cause: a certain organ or a metabolic process failing to function properly


in my case, swelling can be triggered by a variety of issues: too much carbs (specifically, fructose - no more those damned raisins), too little carbs for too long time (goes away with a short 'vegan' stint (my inner paleo-me was completely out of luck hunting) / low sodium), too much stress (including overexercising), lack of sleep (though it, in its turn, can be caused by any of the aforementioned issues)


as for 'cures', a hot bath (esp. if followed by a fast) or occasional high dose of caffeine can sometimes solve (mask?) the problem

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