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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Posted by: Jo Anne
Date: December 23, 2000 9:04 PM

I take diuretics to assist in keeping my blood pressure down. They have always worked fairly well. Occasionally I have had edema anyway but it only lasts for a day or two. Lately even with the diuretics I seem to be retaining a great deal of fluid. My Nurse Practitioner suggested I take two a day off and on. I have noticed that after I take the second one I seem to swell up even more. I believe that I am probably needing some minerals that I am depleted of but am not sure what to take. I do take Cal/Mag with Zinc and I know I need the Magnesium but any suggestion for other help would be greatly appreciated. I don't think a different diuretic or more diuretics is the answer.

RE: Edema
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: December 25, 2000 12:39 AM

Dependent (gravity assisted) edema is a symptom which doctors treat as if it were an illness. The edema, although perhaps unsightly, will not do you in. However, the underlying cause may be a serious threat to your health. Using a diuretic to try to rid the body of excess fluid, while maybe a decent cosmetic maneuver, has little to do with improving your health. What is happening with dependent edema is that there is a mineral imbalance due to exhaustion of the mineral pumping mechanisms which are supposed to regulate intracellular/extracellular mineral concentrations and keep them within certain limits. A healthy metabolism supplies the energy needed for these pumps to work efficiently and the components of healthy metabolism are many and varied. Proper diet, adequacy of digestion and absorption, efficiency of the excretory organs (liver, kidney, sweat glands, lungs) all play important parts. Kick starting these systems back into good working order is accomplished by proper rest (very important), relaxation (massage helps), plenty of water (suggest distilled), support of the organs of excretion (drainage remedies, far infra-red sauna therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy), and daily exercise. You may need a doctor's help, but obviously not a doctor who only knows to give you a drug to make you artificially urinate. The same comments hold true for hypertension. High blood pressure is far more complex than simply (from out of the blue) retaining fluid.

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