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Non-supplement solutions for edema/water retentition?

by (18701)
Updated about 17 hours ago
Created February 19, 2011 at 2:37 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.

98148e265e1a9b27ce1c206190c1b8a4
5136 · April 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM

very interesting. I was looking up something different, but with some similarities- lipomas. I have 1 lipoma I've had for years that has never changed size and possibly some other, "flat" lipomas which could also be localized edema. (the actual lipoma was examined by doc). Anyways, in my internet wanderings I've noticed a lot of bodybuilders complain of sudden lipoma development, and many of them were on soy(?) based whey and other hormone altering goodies. Me? I think my problem was I drank too much alcohol (white wine is my fave) and of course, alcohol lowers progesterone. really interesting

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34
3703 · February 22, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Salivary hormone testing is the way to go... BUT, most conventional docs will say 'huh' when you ask. Pregnancy is the best way to deplete progesterone... some ancient cultures have the new mother consume the after-birth (placenta) which enriches her progesterone stores. FYI Progesterone treats postpartum depression (of course pre-SSRI/prozac days). --http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/salivakits.html --http://www.biodia.com/labassess_hormones.html (they offer melatonin and adrenal assessments too) studies: http://www.biodia.com/TechnicalCharts/SALIVARY_REFERENCES.pdf

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I will keep my eyes open for this, thanks DAC.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I had asparagus last night too! I don't think it had much of an affect on me that way though.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 5:25 AM

I know when I was pregnant I had low progesterone, they had to supplement me to make sure she stuck. :) All of my blood tests are good though, so I don't think I am deficient in anything. I just bought some celery tonight, but I've never had celery juice.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 5:21 AM

I think it was the pregnancy + obesity that caused the high blood pressure. Then my body became dependent on the drugs even though I lost weight. Over the years we had tried to wean me off them before. Now that I am at a healthy weight, I think lowering the carbs may have been the last piece of the puzzle. At least I hope so!

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 20, 2011 at 4:48 AM

That's so wonderful, sherpamelissa, and I'm so happy for you! :) Do you think it could have been the carbs, all by themselves, that were causing you to retain water and/or giving you high blood pressure?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 3:56 AM

That's why I have been determined to get off them! I am only 39 and I didn't want to be taking them for the rest of my life. My body had seemed to become dependent on them. Since eating Paleo and lowering my carbs, my body seems to have adjusted on it's own! Amazing!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 3:54 AM

I tried a 1/2 pill for awhile and it just seemed to confuse my body more. I really have tried to be smart about this. I wouldn't have done it, but my body just didn't seem to need them anymore. I never thought it would happen!

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 20, 2011 at 3:49 AM

That kind of "fixing"...by your doctors, not you...is like putting a piece of masking tape over the engine light on a car.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 2:26 AM

I've been through at least 4 doctors over the last 9 years. At this point my body doesn't remember what to do with the fluid WITHOUT the drugs telling it. BUT what I found exciting is that I was becoming dehydrated while taking them with never happened before. I think my body was letting me know they weren't necessary anymore. I am on day 2 without my diuretic and my weight has only gone up/down 2lbs! I think I may have finally conquered this!

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 2:23 AM

I have been working with doctors on this for 9 years. They don't care WHY it's happening, they just keep giving me pills to fix it. I have blood tests 2 or 3 times a year, I have no kidney problems. I've had an EKG and have no heart problems. They don't know why I got high blood pressure at 30 years old while pregnant. They don't know why I have edema. What I was looking for here was not medical advice but ways to reduce water retention without medication through natural methods, which I consider a Paleo approach.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838
531 · February 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

There is a product called DandyBlend. It has dandelion and chicory, and it's gluten free. It actually tastes good! Store locater: http://www.dandyblend.com/StoresLocation.asp?page=25 It seems expensive but lasts a long time.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 19, 2011 at 8:10 PM

I hope that you find a solution to your problem, sherpamelissa.

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436 · February 19, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Agreed Elizabeth, but this question isn't that. See my answer below for details.

0bcefaa82dc94f93ce705f86e235f335
1591 · February 19, 2011 at 6:56 PM

@aek, because one emphasis of Paleo is the influence of nutrition on disease.

F1cd291cf9ba1ebd9a9db21d3dd09735
436 · February 19, 2011 at 6:39 PM

How is this question relevant to Paleo?

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18701 · February 19, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Well, trust me, I wonder the same thing! Genetically, it affects a lot of women in my family, but mine is worse than everyone else. When I had my daughter 9 years ago, I ended up with high blood pressure. It didn't go away when she was born. It didn't go away when I lost 100+lbs. They treated it with a high blood pressure pill and diuretics. I just recently dropped the high blood pressure pill and have kept my bp stable. The edema was still a problem, but I'm hoping I can finally kick it now.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 19, 2011 at 3:28 PM

I can't help wondering *why* you have water retention problems and edema. But dandelion root might be able to help...the old name for dandelions is "piss-in-beds", LOL

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 19, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I am sitting in my compression socks right now! Totally forgot to mention them. I try to sleep with them on because I won't wear them during the day. Propping my feet up is so annoying, but you are right, it works. Thanks for the reminder!

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2
7063 · February 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Chicory-Root-Roasted-Granulated-Bulk/dp/B0000DCWW5 you may have to put this through a coffee filter. It has a wonderful caramel taste......

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Thank you! I am going to a few health food stores today and I'll look for some dandelion. It's not hard to talk me into a little honey. :) I think I saw chicory on Amazon, I'll have to check it out again.

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33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2
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7063 · February 19, 2011 at 2:51 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.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838
531 · February 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

There is a product called DandyBlend. It has dandelion and chicory, and it's gluten free. It actually tastes good! Store locater: http://www.dandyblend.com/StoresLocation.asp?page=25 It seems expensive but lasts a long time.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2
7063 · February 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Chicory-Root-Roasted-Granulated-Bulk/dp/B0000DCWW5 you may have to put this through a coffee filter. It has a wonderful caramel taste......

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 19, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Thank you! I am going to a few health food stores today and I'll look for some dandelion. It's not hard to talk me into a little honey. :) I think I saw chicory on Amazon, I'll have to check it out again.

F1cd291cf9ba1ebd9a9db21d3dd09735
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436 · February 19, 2011 at 6:35 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.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 5:21 AM

I think it was the pregnancy + obesity that caused the high blood pressure. Then my body became dependent on the drugs even though I lost weight. Over the years we had tried to wean me off them before. Now that I am at a healthy weight, I think lowering the carbs may have been the last piece of the puzzle. At least I hope so!

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 20, 2011 at 4:48 AM

That's so wonderful, sherpamelissa, and I'm so happy for you! :) Do you think it could have been the carbs, all by themselves, that were causing you to retain water and/or giving you high blood pressure?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 3:56 AM

That's why I have been determined to get off them! I am only 39 and I didn't want to be taking them for the rest of my life. My body had seemed to become dependent on them. Since eating Paleo and lowering my carbs, my body seems to have adjusted on it's own! Amazing!

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
2099 · February 20, 2011 at 3:49 AM

That kind of "fixing"...by your doctors, not you...is like putting a piece of masking tape over the engine light on a car.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 2:23 AM

I have been working with doctors on this for 9 years. They don't care WHY it's happening, they just keep giving me pills to fix it. I have blood tests 2 or 3 times a year, I have no kidney problems. I've had an EKG and have no heart problems. They don't know why I got high blood pressure at 30 years old while pregnant. They don't know why I have edema. What I was looking for here was not medical advice but ways to reduce water retention without medication through natural methods, which I consider a Paleo approach.

6a4fd73b4ae4761eefec8e0d38e6f224
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1008 · February 21, 2011 at 4:56 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.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I will keep my eyes open for this, thanks DAC.

1acc4ee9381d9a8d998b59915b3f997e
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2099 · February 21, 2011 at 4:02 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?

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 21, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I had asparagus last night too! I don't think it had much of an affect on me that way though.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34
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3703 · February 20, 2011 at 4:40 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

98148e265e1a9b27ce1c206190c1b8a4
5136 · April 17, 2011 at 4:59 PM

very interesting. I was looking up something different, but with some similarities- lipomas. I have 1 lipoma I've had for years that has never changed size and possibly some other, "flat" lipomas which could also be localized edema. (the actual lipoma was examined by doc). Anyways, in my internet wanderings I've noticed a lot of bodybuilders complain of sudden lipoma development, and many of them were on soy(?) based whey and other hormone altering goodies. Me? I think my problem was I drank too much alcohol (white wine is my fave) and of course, alcohol lowers progesterone. really interesting

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34
3703 · February 22, 2011 at 7:26 AM

Salivary hormone testing is the way to go... BUT, most conventional docs will say 'huh' when you ask. Pregnancy is the best way to deplete progesterone... some ancient cultures have the new mother consume the after-birth (placenta) which enriches her progesterone stores. FYI Progesterone treats postpartum depression (of course pre-SSRI/prozac days). --http://www.virginiahopkinstestkits.com/salivakits.html --http://www.biodia.com/labassess_hormones.html (they offer melatonin and adrenal assessments too) studies: http://www.biodia.com/TechnicalCharts/SALIVARY_REFERENCES.pdf

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 5:25 AM

I know when I was pregnant I had low progesterone, they had to supplement me to make sure she stuck. :) All of my blood tests are good though, so I don't think I am deficient in anything. I just bought some celery tonight, but I've never had celery juice.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3
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20787 · February 20, 2011 at 3:16 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.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 3:54 AM

I tried a 1/2 pill for awhile and it just seemed to confuse my body more. I really have tried to be smart about this. I wouldn't have done it, but my body just didn't seem to need them anymore. I never thought it would happen!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f
1
11581 · February 19, 2011 at 9:49 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 3:08 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.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 19, 2011 at 3:21 PM

I am sitting in my compression socks right now! Totally forgot to mention them. I try to sleep with them on because I won't wear them during the day. Propping my feet up is so annoying, but you are right, it works. Thanks for the reminder!

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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.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705
18701 · February 20, 2011 at 2:26 AM

I've been through at least 4 doctors over the last 9 years. At this point my body doesn't remember what to do with the fluid WITHOUT the drugs telling it. BUT what I found exciting is that I was becoming dehydrated while taking them with never happened before. I think my body was letting me know they weren't necessary anymore. I am on day 2 without my diuretic and my weight has only gone up/down 2lbs! I think I may have finally conquered this!

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78417 · February 19, 2011 at 9:46 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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