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boots4me 09-13-2007 10:46 AM

HCTZ and edema question
Anybody had hctz cause or aggravate edema?? Those of you that read my former post know I quit benicar in June and I've have been taking hawthorn since. Last Friday I ran out of my other bp drugs and could not get them because of car problem. Got them Sunday and didn't take them because edema in right foot and ankle had completely gone away for the first time since April, my breathing seemed more relaxed (no shortness of breath at all) and bp was fine, and bladder control back to normal. Monday bp was up a little so I took 1/2 my dose of hctz (which is 12.5 mg after cut in half). Within an hour I was dizzy and light headed. Two years of taking it that never happened. Light headed feeling left but an hour later my ankle started swelling and then my bp started rising ( 145/85). Then started running to the bathroom. Since about April, because of this stuff I've had a hard time controlling my bladder and urine in colorless and just continued to get worse but never felt dizzy, etc. I thought it might be related to the diabetes, but bs is down like it should be. In spite of this kidney function was fine when last checked so my dr acts as if lack of bladder control is in my head and I need hctz to take down edema anyway.

Tuesday morning I skipped that one and took my nifedipine. Have slight edema and bp is a little lower yesterday (wednesday). Running 130's/75-80. Now, the breathing is not like it was. At times I feel as if my asthma is kicking up a little. On the bright side, nutrients I'd ordered arrived while I was gone yesterday. I took 3 fish oils, l-arginine, folic acid, magnesium and an hour later pressure had dropped 15 points - 116/65.

I have another question and some of you might know. I came across an old article regarding magnesium. It said calcium and magnesium don't work together and to take them at different times. (Never heard that) My last blood test shows calcium just under high normal and mag just over low normal. I've been taking extra magnesium since last winter, and this is the lowest mag has ever been. I've been taking it altogether, until last night. I was taking high dose of metformin as that caused diahrea, and I'm thinking between that and hctz a lot of my nutrients were going in the sewer. OR, maybe I should take calcium without magnesium. Would welcome any thoughts or experiences anybody has had on any of this. Thanks.

flowergirl2day 09-13-2007 04:21 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hi Boots, :)

I've been having edema issues for some time now. I am on both of the meds you are on, the Hctz and Felodipine (5 BP meds in all, plus a few others). My edema affects the feet and ankles, whole legs, or the whole lower half from the chest down. It gets very nasty.
Did you know that calcium channel blockers-the entire group- are big offenders when it comes to causing edema? Other meds that might cause edema are the NSAIDs and steroids. Are you on corticosteroids for your asthma? It's not clear what causes mine. No one is really trying to find out. It could be caused by medication, the kidneys or the heart. As far as I know, I don't have liver disease, which can also cause it.
In an edema, either too much fluid gets from blood vessels into the tissues, or not enough of it moves from tissues back into the blood vessels. Either way, the resulting edema can elevate pulse and blood pressure because of the volume overload. Do not worry too much about your increases in blood pressure. I get them, too. I also get changes in heart rate. It's always good to know what exactly causes your edema. Some doctors pass it off as no big deal. Mine says edemas are really not that bad. He'd change his mind if he ever got one of mine. I hope to discuss this issue with my BP doctor tomorrow. It could be a sign of a very serious condition. Try to have your doctor look into it.

Your Hctz is most likely NOT responsible for the swellings. It is not known to cause edema. Quite the opposite, Hctz is used to [U]treat it[/U].
Your electrolytes will be out of balance with excessive urination AND diarrhea. Again, ask the doc. My urine is always crystal clear. I thought that was good. Not too sure, though. I drink a lot of water.

As far as I know, both the calcium and magnesium should be taken together as you need one to help with the other's absorption. That's why you find so many cal-mag products on the shelves. They are mostly sold as a combo of the two. My husband is on metformin (and other drugs) and does not have the problem you describe. He's been on it for years. Have you just started this drug? Was your diabetes caused by the BP meds?
Sorry I wasn't more helpful, just know that you are not alone with your problems. Hopefully, others will have some ideas. One more question: what causes your shortness of breath? Is it associated with either of your medical issues? I am still looking for a cause of mine. Can a hiatal hernia and GERD cause the SOB? I just learned I have both today.


bethsheba 09-13-2007 04:27 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
[QUOTE=boots4me;3206798]Anybody had hctz cause or aggravate edema??[/QUOTE]

I am not aware of hctz causing swelling of the feet and ankles. However, I am aware that swelling of the feet and ankles can be a very serious side effect of blood pressure medications and can occur when hctz is combo'd with other bp medications (the meds may stay in your body for days/weeks even if you haven't taken them for awhile). So yes, hct can aggravate edema.

Given the seriousness of this side effect, I would certainly check with your pharmacist, and with your doctor [I]again.[/I] I would encourage a call to your pharmacist as your doctor doesn't seem to be on top of things (yes, bladder control issues occur when taking a diuretic and this is pretty common knowledge (check your your "women's beauty/housekeeping/relationship magazines) if you don't believe me.

I, too, had breathing problems on hctz, and other medications as well. I can specifically attribute the breathing problems to hctz because I would get coughing fits and everytime I did, I'd empty my bladder resulting in changing my clothes 4 times a day and numerous loads of wash (no wonder I never got anything done!). The bladder problems cleared up IMMEDIATELY after discontinuing hctz and I didn't experience them on other meds (except benicar/hct).

Dizzy and light headed may mean that your bp was too low but it may mean other things. [QUOTE] In spite of this kidney function was fine when last checked so my dr acts as if lack of bladder control is in my head and I need hctz to take down edema anyway. [/QUOTE] The bladder control problem I would be willing to bet is strictly the hctz. Sounds like you are diabetic? If that is the case, hctz may not be a good med for you to take as it can elevate bs (and mask it, too?). I would encourage you to talk with your pharmacist, again, because your doctor may have overlooked a few things here.

[QUOTE]... I came across an old article regarding magnesium. It said calcium and magnesium don't work together and to take them at different times....[/QUOTE] I thought this was true but after reading fg's post I had better check...but it seems to me my nurse friends told me to stagger my supplements because they tend to cancel out each other when taken together.

[QUOTE]... My last blood test shows calcium just under high normal and mag just over low normal. I've been taking extra magnesium since last winter, and this is the lowest mag has ever been. .... and I'm thinking between that and hctz a lot of my nutrients were going in the sewer....[/QUOTE]

Based on my personal experience, your symptoms, and the common med (hct) I would support that sewer theory. My opinion is to do away with the would be interesting to see if your bp stayed at a reasonable level without it.

Do read your package insert for hctz. Doctors have prescribed this med like crazy (it's old, it's cheap, and it's been around for years) but I found that aside from the suicidal thoughts and falls on my face I experienced with atenolol, I experienced the worst side effects on this med.


bethsheba 09-14-2007 05:22 AM

Re: HCTZ and edema question

Am still researching the magnesium/calcium absorption issue...but I did learn that low magnesium levels can elevate blood sugar levels, so that may be why people who are diabetic are warned about taking hct. Low magnesium levels also contribute to fatigue, cognitive, and breathing problems (which may explain the problems I experienced on hct).

Also, and I found this VERY a small study (I think it was 10 people) they found that people who increased their magnesium intake, found that their imsomina due to restless leg syndrome improved!!


Also came across info that said poorly controlled diabetes may cause low magnesium in other words magnesium and blood glucose levels are closely related....and hct can impact both levels.

boots4me 09-15-2007 02:38 AM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Thanks for responding. I should have answered last night but I'm clearing out my mother's house to sell it and it was late. I appreciate your input.

First, I blame the hctz for the edema and maybe the shortness of breath that came with it. As for my asthma, I don't take anything for it. I got that under control over 20 years ago with herbs. It was due to allergies and a dr that wouldn't recognize as such. I got chickenpox at age 32 and they started up. It started as sinus and ears plugged, everything got worse while he insisted on trying more and more powerful anti-biotics and finally got to where I had bull-blown asthma symptoms. I had blue cross and needed a referal to see a specialist and was sick 8-9 mos of the year. I went to an herbalist that helped a friend with asthma. She treated the problems & I'd recover quickly in 2 or 3 weeks. The third time I had it and went to her was the last time I had bronchitis (Until 3 yrs later) I learned how to use the herbs, did juice fasting three times for three weeks and eventually built myself up so everything went away. (and quit the dr) Three years later I got the flu and the bronchial thing came back, had good ins and went to an allergist. Was allergic to 40% of what I was tested for. I had allergic reaction to one of his drugs so I went to my herbs. Three weeks later I was over it and he said he was positive I had asthma and was amazed as bad as I was that I could control it with herbs and said I would be better off if I never had to resort to the drugs. He said the original drs mis-diagnosis and not treating it properly when it started was the cause of it all.

I learned with the juicing that I have all kinds of sensitivities and learned to really pay attention to my body and anything that seems different I can usually pinpoint. To be sure, I wait and try it again (usually it's a food), if same thing happens I eliminate it. The first dr gave me keflex for a mild kidney infection I didn't even know I had, and my kidneys shut down. I had visions of being hospitalized and winding up on a kidney machine with him in charge. That experience scared me so much I didn't set foot in a drs office (except the allergist) for 20 years. Fortunately I was healthy.

My blood pressure hovered around borderline for a long time. Then the glucose showed a little high on annual health fair blood test so I broke down and went to a dr 5 years ago. He was worse than the first. He never addressed the glucose. Just told me to watch my diet, and don't take anything but a daily multiple vitamin. That messed things up and I had a blood vessel break in my eye.

Next dr was fine for awhile. A1c was 7.2 to start, got it to 5.7 in 7 months, diet only, and lost 30 lbs. I was on cozarr (12.5mg a day). My bp was higher in his office than at home - proved it to him, but he doubled cozarr - bs went up and so did bp and he doubled it again. After 4 mos heart pounded short while after taking it and heart rate sped up - to 100 - lasted about 2 1/2 yrs til I quit benicar in June when it dropped to normal. (Both drugs cause this in 5% of patients I believe I read- and benicar can raise triglicerides and mine jumped up)

Two years ago I went to a to clinic connected to hosp where I worked for 24 yrs. Bp was pretty high and it's been one drug after another, mainly to slow down the heart rate. Got a lung function test and blood oxygen was 93 and it should be 95 so I have a concentrator. Many times without using it my level is 95. I don't use it all the time and it's rare for me to feel like I'm not getting enough oxygen. As for metformin, I've taken it well over a year. I took 250 mg 2x a day and a1c went from 7.2 to 6.2. They doubled it and it went up to 6.8, so they doubled it again to 2000. (Do you think less-is-more? I do.) After awhile the diahrea started. (This happens in 51% of patients) They told me to quit it for a week to see if it goes away. It did, but they said to take it anyway. Now even 1000 causes diahrea. I've been taking 500 for over a month, but bs is much easier to control without benicar. I was having the diahrea when I had my last blood test that showed things out of whack. I also take glipizide which causes weight gain, and I need to lose. You can't win. I hate having to be on these drugs. Tiny dose of cozarr was fine, I was losing weight without half trying. Increasing it messed everything up. I had slight edema on diazide that I'd taken for 3 yrs and they switched me to hctz and it got worse.

Flowergirl. I came across a clinical trial involving edema caused by ace inhibitors and nifedipine. They used phynogenol (french maratime pine bark) to take down edema and the result was that it was quite successful and was determined that it was quite safe had no side effects. They administered 50mg 3x a day. And, it also helped take down the blood pressure. Perhaps it would help edema caused by other ccb drugs as well. I think I'll try it. Anything to get rid of the edema, and lower the bp a little more. I can't imagine being on 5 bp drugs and going through what you must go through.

Bethsheba. The old article on calcium and magnesium said calcium drives out mag. I think it also said that mag does not stay in the blood long unlike some other minerals. I see plenty of tablets that are cal only or with vit D. Maybe they've always been there and I didn't notice. I always took cal, mag & zinc then started coral calcium with all the nutrients, but I'm ready to switch back to multiple vit and cal,mag & zinc or something. I was taking the extra mag this last year because of the diabetes and it helped lower the pb and was shocked when blood test showed it was lower than last year.

Thanks again. I appreciate it.

bethsheba 09-15-2007 05:55 AM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hello Boots,

WOW!! Your post was filled with insights, information, and I suspect lots of emotion... There's a lot to think about here so I'm just going to address a couple of things and then come back at another time and look at some other things.

No need to apologize for the timeliness of the response. We all have lives to live ...

[QUOTE]...First, I blame the hctz for the edema and maybe the shortness of breath that came with it. As for my asthma, I don't take anything for it.[/QUOTE] I suspect you are correct. One thing that I didn't say because I didn't take the time to support it with research is that I've been told that our bodies go into "conservation mode" when we become dehydrated and begin to store water (think camel here). One way to treat that type of edema is to drink lots and lots of water. I can't help but think that may be that's what happens to some people on some of these drugs. Again, I have no medical information to support this...but the info does come from a long line of family experience with edema. I forgot to mention that while on hct, I was prescribed an inhaler for the coughing fits, a nasal spray for the congestion, and something else (which I never filled) for a nose that ran for 2 days without stopping. I had never had these problems (at least to this extreme prior to hct) nor had I been prescribed any meds aside from an occasional antibiotic and some prednisone in the previous 40+ years. I am convinced the hct caused my respiratory problems.

[QUOTE]...Was allergic to 40% of what I was tested for. I had allergic reaction to one of his drugs so I went to my herbs. Three weeks later I was over it and he said he was positive I had asthma and was amazed as bad as I was that I could control it with herbs and said I would be better off if I never had to resort to the drugs. He said the original drs mis-diagnosis and not treating it properly when it started was the cause of it all.[/QUOTE]

Your experience with the original doctor doesn't surprise me, unfortunately, and no, I don't think that experience is uncommon..and until a few months ago, the experience you had with the herbalist would have surprised me! I would have reacted with great skepticism. But in the last few months I have learned new things about asthma, asthmas symptoms, bp medications, and diets. One of the most amazing things I learned researching diets to lower blood pressure was that they're finding that diet may play a very large role in the control and treatment of asthma!! It was thought that inner city children were at high risk for asthma due to polluted air, but cross cultural studies now suggest it may be due to diet...poor families can't afford fruits and vegetables...and I think what you're saying about eating herbs and juicing supports these findings.

[QUOTE] That experience scared me so much I didn't set foot in a drs office (except the allergist) for 20 years. Fortunately I was healthy.[/QUOTE] There is some research out there that suggests that people who don't go to doctors stay healthier and live longer than people who do go to doctors...


You may think me crazy, but I have a suggestion to make...given your allergies, given your asthma, given your diabetes, given your high blood pressure, and given your weight (did I interpret that correctly, that you needed to lose weight?), all of these are symptoms of a sleeping disorder! Some people don't have any noticeable symptoms but you have 4, maybe 5, major symptoms. Have you screened out sleep apnea or other sleeping disorders? If a sleeping disorder is the primary condition, treatment could alliviate, if not eliminate, many of the symptoms...and treatment for sleep apnea is often med free.

Well, that's all I've got for now...have much to do and will chat with you later.


PS A nurse friend told me that parsley is a natural diurectic...have you tried that for edema? I was going to put some in the blender with a little water but haven't gotten around to it yet.

flowergirl2day 09-15-2007 10:44 AM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hi Boots, :)

Your story about a successful treatment of asthma with herbs is identical to that of a little girl, whose mother I know. For many months, the girls' regular doctor could not diagnose her condition. The girl got progressively worse. As a last resort, she was taken by her mother to a naturopath. There is a happy ending. She was sent for proper testing, diagnosed, treated with natural products, and is symptom free today. Completely back to normal. Thank you very much for sharing your story. It helps to know there are drug-free treatment alternatives out there for asthma that really work! :)
You've given me enough information to look for the study you mentioned about the BP drugs causing edema. I belive they also cause (at least partly) my shortness of breath. In my case, the SOB is independent of edema. Edema only makes it worse. I've consistently had it for months. Because of the edema, my max dose of the CCB was halved. I noticed a difference in my breathing rightaway. I was just told I need to stay on it so unfortunately cannot cut it out completely. If I increase my dose of the beta blocker as I was told I should, my breathing might get worse again. And, with me going back to work soon, it's the last thing I need. I'll really have to think about this one.
I plan to look for the study about the pine bark helping edema. I'll bet the study was French. Europe is much more open to the use of alternative treatments. People in some countries there even get re-imbursed for money spent on herbal treatments. I hope I won't be having these edema problems anymore. My husband believes the meds are causing all of my problems. So does my daughter-in-law. Of course, one cannot even suggest anything like that to the doctors. They get so defensive. My GP said just a couple of days ago that people unfairly blame their medications for their problems, which gives the meds a bad reputation in general. Hmmm. I'll bet this opinion is shared by many doctors. That's why we, the patients, aren't taken seriously when we complain about the side-effects.

Many thanks for your input and for sharing.

boots4me 10-05-2007 07:17 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hello Ladies,

Here we go. It's a long one again. I've been doing a lot of research on the internet and checking out some of the other health blogs. It's incredable the problems people have with these hbp drugs. I found one where 6 women complained of their hair falling out within a few months of taking benicar, & a number of people had kidney stones. I had a stone 3 yrs ago while on cozarr. My latest blood test from the health fair shows the past three years. The things that were too high (like calcium, uric acid, triglicerieds) or too low (like iron) occurred while on cozarr & benicar. Last year while on something else, those were okay. Those two drugs do a lot more than just lower blood pressure - like screw up your health in general, at least for some people. As for package inserts, I don't get those. Just get the generic printouts the pharmacy puts out that all pretty much say the same thing.

I've lost about 10 lbs, and my blood pressure is up and down. Sometimes 145/90, or 120/70. and numbers in between. The edema isn't much of an issue now. I took black radish & parsley caps. For awhile I was running to the bathroom as much as with hctz but the edema was still there. I started taking pantothenic acid and that seemed to work better. At least I can see my ankle bone in the morning. I'm only taking b r & p once a day now. The weather is cooling so that helps. At least I don't look puffy in places and dehydrated in others. Towards the last, I was getting up 3 or 4 times at night to go the bathroom while on hctz, and the reaction I had to that, was an allergic reaction from what I've been able to find. I doubt I'll ever be able to take it again.

The blood sugar is much easier to control now. I've even had readings of 107 & 105 in the morning sometimes, and that's a first for me. It's always high in the morning. I quit taking 2000 of met. I'm taking 500 mg now. It's hard to believe benicar made so much difference.

I've stopped smoking twice for two days, and the bp dropped like a ton of bricks, and when I went back to it again it was higher than before so I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and quit. I have a stop smoking chinese formula that's worked very well for me in the past, but it doesn't work while on any of the bp meds. It basically calms and relaxes a person so you don't even think about smoking and gradually you wean yourself off smoking and no stress - so there's something in bp meds that causes tension or blocks a pathway or something. That's pobably why they mess up everything. I quit once for a month, but my mother's dementia problems got to me, so I had to smoke again. That was before bp meds. I've ordered a subliminal cd. Maybe if my concious mind can't handle it, my sub-concious mind will. I just have too many things going on in my life right now to relax much. I suspect even if I quit I'll still have to take something for bp so I'm looking for alternatives.

Bethsheba, You could be right about sleep apnea. My dr mentioned it once but hasn't said anything about admitting me to check it out. Years ago while working 10-12 hrs a day and under a lot of pressure, I'd wake up at night with the feeling my heart had stopped. I took hi-stress B's and it went away. As for the weight problem, it really wasn't much of a problem until I had my gall bladder out at 31. I was given codeine with tylenol for pain (stones) before surgery. I gained 7 lbs in the hospital on pain med. I continued to take the pain med for about 3 weeks after. Altogether I gained about 25 lbs while taking it and losing weight has been a nightmare ever since. Of course, I got chicken pox shortly after the surgery and then the allergies flared up. I think stress of surgery (and new job), and illness had a lot to do with it - drains the nutrients and then not getting proper treatment by the dr made it all worse.

I did the juicing (carrots & apples) to test for foods I was allergic to. Long 3 week juice fasts clears the toxins as well as add nutrients. I had blood tests before and after and the "after" tests were better than the first, and I wasn't taking vitamins while doing it. I dropped 50 lbs both times and kept most of it off until I ate meat. Afterwards, new growth of gray hair came in the natural color and wrinkles and lines faded. At 50 I looked 40 and felt like 35. Even at 60 I had fewer wrinkles and less gray hair than some 40 yr olds, but that all went away with the hpb meds. Now I look like h--- but I'm going to reverse that if I can. I need to start juicing again on a regular basis. Whenever my cholesterol or triglicerides are high, I juice 6,7 carrots a day and it drops. If either of you are on statins try this and maybe you can get off them. I once lowered my HDL 28 pts and triglicerides almost 50 in three weeks. When I went to cardioligist for echo cardiogram I told him how fast it had gone down and he asked if I was on lipitor and said, "No. I'm on carrot juice." Where there's a will there's a way. All you have to do is find the way. The first dr that saw it flipped and demanded to know what I was doing because nothing but statins will do that. The second and now the third dr suggested statins and they've seen chol & trig go down with juicing carrots, so they don't talk about statins because I won't take them.

As for the calcium and mag question. I don't think I'll worry about it. I just bought a big bottle of cal, mag, zinc & D, but I'm going to take boron with it.
Maybe at some later date I'll take K-1 or K-2.

I did find a dr website that said virtually every presc med drives at least one nutrient out and some up to five. Diabetes drugs drive out COQ10, beta-blockers drive out COQ10, thiazides drive out mag, pot & zinc, other diuretics drive out COQ10 & folic acid, aspirin drives out 4. It didn't mention other hbp drugs. Another dr website said that nearly everyone in this country is deficient in mag, and the labs base their guidelines on averages. It said that if numbers show on the low side that person is already deficient in mag and needs to supplement. He said when you supplement you only absorb 1/4 of amt shown on bottle, and to test for tolerence like vit C.

Flowergirl, Did I read on one of these posts that you have a sore thumb and need to drink more water? Do you think it rhumatoid arthritis? (I guess that's the one that causes pain & swelling). I had that on my knuckle on my thumb a long time ago. I called the herbalist and she said to take pantothenic acid at night before I go to bed and it worked right away. I still have a knob, but it's only flared up twice. It's also very good for gout or for any other type of inflammation in the feet for some reason. I have a neighbor that has gout so bad she can hardly walk. I gave her 4 tablets. Two days after she ran out she was calling to find out where to get it. That's why I tried it for the edema - and it worked better than the parsley. I've never been able to find out why, but it's helped people I've recommended it to that had a lot of pain from arthritis in a foot from an old injury (when celebrex didn't work) and gout. In two days it eliminated swelling my mother had when she had a hairline fracture in her foot.

Did you find the trial on pycnogenol? It was 7 pages long and was done in Italy. I found an excerpt on another one done before that using 100 mg 3 X a day. That one said it was taken with amylase & lipase. Found another site that said if you take it with enzimes it will be absorbed in 30 min and stays in the system 3 days. It restores capillary integrity, restores collegen and improves circulation which may help persons with edema. I've read up on benfotiamine and I've ordered some of that. That's supposed to restore collegen & help capillaries in the eyes & kidneys especially in diabetics. I've read a few places that you can overdose on anti-oxidants. I'm going to check out a dr website and find out about that before I start taking too much stuff.

I am seriously considering C-12 peptide for blood pressure. Krill oil is supposed to raise HDL a lot, and lower trig so I may try that sometime. My HDL is okay but it could be higher. I found a natural hbp concoction. It's Chinese holly leaf, hawthorn and some other thing. It claims to have worked on 80% of people that have taken it and is guaranteed to lower blood pressure within 5 weeks or less, and is not terribly expensive like most are. If C12 peptide doesn't work I may just try it. I'm sick and tired of side effects and adverse reactions. The web site I found on pcynogenol shows studies on all kinds of herbs and says the things in this natural hpb thing are non-toxic. It shows excerpts on close to 200 trials & studies done on hawthorn, and about 200 done on pcynogenol. So anybody that thinks there have never been double-blind trials on herbs just hasn't looked in the right place.
You just have to be careful where you get them.

Another thing about edema - a co-worker went to the herbalist and talked to a mother that had her 9 yr old daughter with her and the girl was quite heavy. Drs said she had dropsy and no cure. The herbalist said she did not, & to have her eat 4 to 5 apples a day on an empty stomach and she started to get rid of that water. Later she said she could take apple pectin in place of some of the apples and continued to lose more water weight.

The herbalist wasn't just a common herbalist. She was the most amazing person I've ever met. She wrote books, lectured across the country and helped thousands with health problems the drs either couldn't diagnose or have an answer for, except maybe surgery. Some say she was psychic. Many went to her as a last resort and were helped. A friend had a floating kidney and 3 drs said she had to have a metal plate put in. She went to the herbalist and was given black radish & parsley and something else. Three months later she went back to one of the drs and he said she was fine. This is just the top of the iceberg. She came from Gemany and worked with a dr there. Some of her "cures" were nothing short of miraculous. It's too bad so few of our drs know little about herbs and the rest discourage people from taking them. I think a lot has been lost, thanks to the drug companies and the guardians of our health - the FDA and the AMA. After the experience I've had, herbs don't scare me but the drugs do. The trick is finding what works.

If either of you want to know what helped my asthma and any sign of sinus problems or runny nose, I take Yarrow tea. If that doesn't work I take Linden flower tea. One morning last spring I woke up with a sore throat (first one in over 15 years) and sinuses all filled up. I drank a cup of yarrow tea and in an hour it was all gone. It has a medicine taste but not too bad. For me it acts like an anti-histamine and also has antibiotic properties. I've met people from various countries that know of both teas and how well they work. If you already have a problem going on it takes longer, but it helps. I quit taking sudafed and all the others when they said they'll cause stroke and they never worked as well anyway. I don't know if yarrow raises blood pressure. It may a little. Linden I'm sure is safe and another that is safe is Elderflower tea. The herbalist said that was one of the best all-round teas you could drink. Actually what she gave me the last time for bronchitis was nothing more than willow leaves, cinnamon, thyme and milk sugar. The last time I went to dr for it after 2 weeks of anti-biotics, according to xray I was on the verge of bronchial pneumonia and he prescribed keflex which I'd had an allergic reaction to, so I took what she gave me and within 1/2 hr I started coughing and I won't go into detail about what I coughed up, but I could breathe afterwards and in less than a week I was well - and the dr believed he had finally found what it takes to cure me. She said if I drank a cup of willow leaf tea a week, I would never have the sinus, bronchial or asthma attacks again. I don't do it because it's hard to find, but I do keep her formula on hand just in case. All I know is, it took down the swelling in my broncials. This is what I took when I went to the allergist when I got sick with the flu 3 years later and couldn't tolerate his drugs.

I hope I've given you two some ideas that might help you. As for the teas, you can get enough for 8 to 10 cups for less than $2.00. And fresh carrot juice or any other fresh juice wouldn't hurt a thing. That also helped my allergies. I have a permanent loss of hearing in one ear because of my ears being plugged all the time and the dr not helping that. I can drink carrot juice and many times my ears will pop while drinking it. Just taking nifidepine now my ears pop open when I get up in the morning, so it's doing something it shouldn't.

Bye for now.


flowergirl2day 10-05-2007 09:46 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hello Boots! :)

Wow! What a post. As usual, it's full of insights. Thank you for taking the time to type it. It must have taken quite a while. :D
I heard another alternative medicine success story from a co-worker just today. It blew my mind. She is quite younger than I with a young daughter. Because she had four large stones in her gallbladder and was in a great deal of pain, she was told her gallbladder would have to be removed. She told to the doctors there was no way they were taking any of her bodyparts out. Went to a naturopath, who treated her with natural products (I forgot which ones). Follow-up scan sometime later confirmed the stones, with the exception of a small fraction of one, had dissapeared. Needless to say, this lady is a great believer in alternative medicine now. I keep hearing more and more such stories from people that I know and whom I trust. It's really quite incredible.

I am so glad the herbs are making such a positive difference in your life. Many of today's synthetically produced drugs were originally derived from botanicals which grow in tropical rainforests and elsewhere on the planet. These were the only cures available until relatively recently. The knowledge of the healing powers of herbs, roots and leaves in certain conditions was surprisingly extensive. It's all slowly coming back now.

Boots, I have not found that particular study you mentioned. I got distracted while looking for it, and then forgot about it. I now have a reminder to myself written right here where I can't miss it. I still plan on doing it. I think the carrot & apple juice drinks reducing one's cholesterol sound intriguing. How nice it would be to discontinue at least one drug, even if it meant one has to drink carrot juice every day for life. I read just today that people who take Lipitor (I do) would get the same results with no toxicity if they took 3000-6000mg of vitamin C instead of the drug. I went to check my bottle of vitamin C supplements rightaway to see how strong they were. What I take is almost nothing. That's a lot of vitamin C that would be needed daily. I don't take much because the dietitian at the hospital did not think I needed to. I have since read many articles regarding heart health and vitamin C and think I should be taking more of it. Carrots provide vitamin C and beta carotene it its natural form. So it all makes sense.
I don't have a sore thumb so far and hope I never will. I've heard enough about gout to scare me for life. I am having some problems with my knee. I am quite sure it's medicine-related. Most of my medications can cause muscle and joint problems, pain or discomfort. You are so right. Medications cause us to develop deficiencies in nutrients, minerals and enzymes, or cause excessive amounts of these in our blood or plasma levels. Then everything goes haywire as the body's chemistry is changed forever.
My husband loves linden tea and we buy the teabags whenever we can find them. We also buy chamomile tea. I have never seen or heard of yarrow tea. I'll look around. A cup of good herbal tea once in a while can't hurt. With the weather getting colder now where we live, we'll be drinking more hot beverages.

take care,


flowergirl2day 10-07-2007 02:59 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
I can't believe all the good things I've read about pycnogenol. It's a shame this natural product is virtually unknown. They say it's an effective alternative to beta blockers and ACE Inhibitors with similar cardiovascular and blood pressure lowering properties, and that it counteracts the damage to the heart from hypertension (cardiac remodeling).
I am going to look into this further and try to locate the study mentioned by Boots. Apparently, there have been more than 200 of them.


tamu45 10-07-2007 04:49 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
I had pycnogol as part of my copious regimen, but switched to grapeseed extract since its cheaper and I thought they essentially did the same thing. Perhaps I'll switch back.

Boots I wish you better luck with supplements then I had.


tamu45 10-07-2007 04:51 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
[QUOTE=flowergirl2day;3246217]I can't believe all the good things I've read about pycnogenol. It's a shame this natural product is virtually unknown.

Its been well-known in France for many many years. French scientists years ago discovered it cures varicose veins, and reasoned quite correctly that it may have artery-helping qualities. The problem is it is made from a scarce (and getting scarcer!) pine tree, and so naturists have been trying to push grape seed extract as a more eco-friendly alternative.

But it seems pycgnogol may have unique properties of its own...


flowergirl2day 10-07-2007 08:06 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
It sounds better and better by the minute! I'll visit a health food store on my next day off and see what I can learn. I'll do some research in the meantime.
Thanks for that information, tamuprof! :)


boots4me 10-08-2007 06:44 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question

Did you try for pcynogenol for high blood pressure or something else? If so, what else did you try? I've been taking grape seed extract for years and I can't tell a difference in the way I feel when I take it and when I don't. Thanks.


boots4me 10-08-2007 09:39 PM

Re: HCTZ and edema question
Hi Flowergirl,


Yes, gall stones can be disolved with a couple of remedies. Also kidney stones. I used to buy every book I could find that looked like it gave a lot of information about herbs and other natural remedies. [removed] The books list many herbs that have been used to treat various ailments, but the herbalist said the books don't tell you how to mix them so they will work.

I read that drug companies take the herbs that work, analyzes them and takes the one or two ingredients that are in the highest amounts believing those ingredients are the ones that work and makes them synthetically. Sometimes those few ingredients are somewhat poisoness but the other things in the plant work synergistically with it and tones down the poisoness part, so the plant as a whole is safe. The drug company has a drug that works, but it's poison. They know plants work. That's why they've been trying to stop the sale of herbs and self-help books here for 30 years.

I see a lot more people now in health food stores buying herbs than I did 25 years ago. People are spending millions on alternatives that insurance doesn't cover. There's one dr website that says drs and presc drugs are the third leading cause of death in this country. I read somewhere, "If the doctors of today don't become the nutritionists of tomorrow, then the nutritionists of today will become the doctors of tomorrow." Maybe that's the direction we're heading in. Herbs, foods and nutrients won't fix everything, but a lot of things can be dealt with with just a few simple remedies.

Yarrow is a perennial flower. I have a lot of it in my garden. You have to go to a health food store where they sell bulk herbs and buy it that way. [removed] I don't know if you've done that, but you have to be careful and get these things from companies that sell wild-crafted, or organically grown herbs.

3000 to 6000 mg of vit C sounds like a lot to me. I take 1000. I wonder if taking alpha lipoic acid would help so you wouldn't have to take that much. Actually fresh carrot juice tastes good. I doubt you would have to drink it every day if cholesterol is down. Two to three times a week would probably keep it there. Beets are good for cleaning the liver (helps to get drug residue out) so I sometimes juice those.

If you quit statins and want to test to see if juicing carrots works try what I do. (This may only show up if chol is on high side when you start.) Chol has to be excreted some way & this is how I knew for sure it was carrots doing it. After finding low fat diet didn't work (chol went up to 225) the second time I juiced to lower chol, I checked my urine in the morning and it always looked cloudy. One morning the phone rang and I didn't get it poured out, but set my small glass on the window sill and forgot about it. I went back later and there was a layer of solidified fat about 1/8" thick sitting on the top. Every morning after that I left glass with urine on window sill (it was wintertime) and the amount of fat was less and less and finally there wasn't any. Dr laughed when I told him but he didn't when he saw numbers of next test. I'd been juicing several days when I discovered this so I don't know if one or two days would show anything or not. For 3 yrs my LDL is low 90's & serum chol is 165-180's & HDL at 49-53, trig about 110-120 when not on an ARB. If it works for you this same way, numbers like this should be good enough for any dr.

I don't juice all the time. I also eat walnuts sometimes (about 1/4 cup at night). This same dr wanted to put me on statins and I told him I didn't think 225 was that bad and told him I wasn't a dr but statins scare me. He said HE IS a dr and they scare him too. I just read that 4 of 5 people that have heart attacks have cholesterol under 200 - so, why all the hoopla? I can see 260 and over being risky but 220 used to be "normal" until they came up with statins.

The sad part for me in all this is, my son's bp is running 145-150/90-100 and he says he'll never go to a dr after seeing the trouble I've had. I guess I'll have to find something "natural" that works for me and make him take it. He's had a problem with his stomach for over a year. It almost acts like an ulcer but probably GERD or hiatal hernia, and he always takes Tums. It bothers him right after he eats and he always eats spicy food or fast food & drinks pop(he's single). While doing my research I looked for something that might help him. One place said enzymes are needed to digest beef and bread because those foods don't have any. I had a bottle I've had for a long time and told him to try it and it's working. He said his stomach doesn't bother him no matter what he eats as long as he takes a tablet. I can hardly believe it. I have a relative that had GERD. Dr gave her medication for it and she said it gave her an ulcer.

The herbalist came up with a formula that's Hawthorn. Horsetail, taurine & arginine to clear plaque. Our annual health fair used to do arterial tests, and I took this formula about a week before each test and my bp in extremities was always fine. One year I didn't take it and it was off. The next year I took it for two weeks and the bp in all four extremities was virtually identical. They've quit doing those tests but I take it occasionally but hadn't taken it for a few years when I had a corotid doppler test (5 yrs ago) and it showed I had very minimal plaque. I saw a few flat streaks on the screen. The tech said he'd seen people 20 yrs younger that had a lot more, so I guess the old girl knew what she was doing again.

Sorry about the gout thing. There's another "Flowergirl???" on these boards. but remember that vitamin remedy if you come across someone with gout or gouty arthritis. It works a lot faster than drinking a lot of water.

Let me know if you find the trial and if you decide to try it.


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