Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Is the cure worse than the disease?
    twinb63 posted:
    Dieting for the past month has resulted in a 15 lb. weight loss. Went in to the doc 10 days ago because my blood pressure was consistently reading in the low 100's or below, over low 50's with my pulse in the low 50's & as low as 43 beats per minute. As you can imagine I was dozing off during the day, nodding off when driving.

    So the doc took me off the diuretic/BP pill (hydrochlorathiazide/triamterene), cut the lisinopril in half to 10 mg. (also for BP), but kept me on the dreaded beta blocker at the same dose to keep my heartbeat slow, & started me on another BP pill that supposedly targets the prostate's BPH issue - frequent urination during the night.

    Almost immediately I noticed my shoes began fitting tighter & my calves & feet got swollen. As the days went on things only got worse with the edema. Yesterday I went in again, this time seeing another doc who, after a 5 hour duration of blood work, a chest x-ray, & lying on a bed in a hospital gown concluded that I should not have been taken off the diuretic. So last night & today I've been urinating like a bull drinking water from a stream for hours on end. And yes, the swelling is going away.

    My unanswered question is "Am I hooked on hydrochlorothiazide?". I really don't want to start going to drug users anonymous meetings and announcing "My name is Joe and my drug of choice is a diuretic."

    I return to the clinic next week to see the dope who decreased my meds in the first place; I won't leave there until I find out why I began retaining fluids when I stopped taking the diuretic. There's gotta be an answer somewhere.

    One final whine before I stop: my first mistake was to eat enough junk to put on 40 lbs. of blubber, and my second mistake was to start taking medications to counteract my stupidity in the first place. What have I learned? Two wrongs don't make a right, and the easy way out is never the easy way out. In this forum, especially in this forum, I feel like the unshaven cartoon character nut walking around with a sign saying "Repent. The end is near." Excuse my bitterness and self-beating, I know most of you have been down this road already.
    dtms1 responded:
    wow!! which is why my doctor fired me--I wouldn't let him start me on beta blockers.

    Go onto Dr. Mcdougall's website. He says that if you are taking blood pressure meds the diastolic pressure should not go below 80 or 85.

    Are you supposed to go off blood pressure meds, inculding diuretics, cold turkey or are you supposed to gradually be weaned off them?

    Have you drastically reduced the salt in your diet?

    Does the slower heart rate from the beta blockers have anything to do with causing the edema--or is it supposed to reduce edema.

    I have read of so many people who used a plant based diet who were really, really sick from coronary artery disease and managed to reverse the disease and avoid surgery.

    twinb63 replied to dtms1's response:
    Wow is right Dolores. I imagine it would be best to slowly decrease the meds rather than just stopping but I don't know. As for salt, I haven't added it to my food in years, so no change there. One of the side effects of beta blockers is indeed edema; and since the primary purpose is to slow down the heart rate it seems, well, silly to ever use them. After all, if it's good to exercise/walk/get off one's duff everyday, then taking a med to slow down the heart so that there's practically no energy to walk seems to contradict that advice. It doesn't make any sense to me. And as for starting me on a new med that supposedly targets the prostate while lowering blood pressure seems unlikely to me. Drugs are a shotgun approach rather than a rifle.

    After talking to my wife today about my predicament, we've decided that I should announce to the docs & the cardiac nurse practitioner that I'm going to stop the beta blocker, most of the BP meds, and the statin, regardless of what the protocols say about how they might be useful to heart patients. I've gone along with their raising the meds & adding new ones for over three years now and I've only gotten in worse condition. I'll tell them I'll follow their advice about how to get off the meds, but the decision has been made about stopping them. If they want to work with me on that issue, fine; if not, I'll do it myself using info I can gather. It's sickening to me that medicine today has deteriorated into giving drugs and doing exotic surgeries.
    jc3737 replied to dtms1's response:
    Even on the Fuhrman diet my BP is not down in the range I want it.For some unknown reason my BP will stay low for a while and I think I have it well under control and then for no apparent reason it will rise.Right now its on the rise....systolic in the 130s...diastolic is fine.

    I have seen studies that show medication is of little or no value in lowering the rate of cardio incidents until the systolic reaches the 160 level....meds will lower blood pressure but not the risk of heart attack or stroke.Does this suggest that something more is going on besides the higher pressure causing problems with organs and arteries?

    And extra dietary potassium will reduce the risk significantly of cardio incidents EVEN when it does not bring down blood pressure.Which is why the DASH diet probably works....added potassium.
    dtms1 replied to jc3737's response:
    The lowly potato is just loaded with potassium. Bananas are good too. If you don't already do it, you can go on the USDA nutrition data base and look up foods with potassium either in alphabetical order or from the highest potassium foods to the lowest.

    rubystar2 responded:
    List of Foods High in PotassiumFoods with Potassium Serving SizePotassium (mg)Apricots, dried10 halves407Avocados, raw1 ounce180Bananas, raw1 cup594Beets, cooked1 cup519Brussel sprouts, cooked1 cup504Cantaloupe1 cup494Dates, dry5 dates271Figs, dry2 figs271Kiwi fruit, raw1 medium252Lima beans1 cup955Melons, honeydew1 cup461Milk, fat free or skim1 cup407Nectarines1 nectarine288Orange juice1 cup496Oranges1 orange237Pears (fresh)1 pear208Peanuts dry roasted, unsalted1 ounce187Potatoes, baked,1 potato1081Prune juice1 cup707Prunes, dried1 cup828Raisins1 cup1089Spinach, cooked1 cup839Tomato products, canned sauce1 cup909Winter squash1 cup896Yogurt plain, skim milk8 ounces579
    Honor Student: School of Hard Knocks
    dtms1 replied to rubystar2's response:
    Hi Ruby, those numbers all look higher than the ones I got from the government data base but are in the ball park. On a plant based diet if you keep your sodium low it is hard to see how anyone could be potassium deficient.

    jc3737 replied to dtms1's response:
    Apparently lack of potassium is not the factor causing my BP to rise,,,,,I eat one banana and one baked potatoe with every meal... which is over 4000mg of potassium just with those two foods alone....and I only get 500mg of sodium(if that).

    I think something is causing potassium delpetion and sodium retention.I have heard that barberry(one of the herbs I take for prostate)is known too deplete potassium....and I have taken that for years.I have stopped it but it could be many months for it to get out of my system.The problem is way more complicated than I thought,and I'm not sure that herbs are the problem.

    Last winter my BP was 105/60 so I think I can assume it has nothing to do with arterial hardening or calcification.I don't know if lack of dairy (calcium)is to blame ....Right now I'm on Fuhrman and not getting my usual amount of dairy....I'm getting no dairy.If the BP does not clear up in the next few weeks I'm going back to my balanced diet.
    rubystar2 replied to rubystar2's response:
    Holy cripes. I'm sorry for this mess of a post. 'when I copied and pasted it, it was a nice, little, organized chart. Something got lost in the translation, there. Very sorry.
    Honor Student: School of Hard Knocks
    twinb63 replied to rubystar2's response:
    That happens a lot to me too; the format gets changed when you copy and paste from one place into another. The info can be figured out easily enough though.
    EngineerGuy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Some people take decades for the blood pressure to slowly decrease.

    You might read "Fasting and Eating for Health", by Dr. Fuhrman. Also, "The Pleasure Trap" by Doug Lisle, PhD. You're a sharp guy. This contains information applicable to blood pressure, that you might want to be aware of.

    Re: Right now its on the rise....systolic in the 130s...diastolic is fine.

    On the other hand, you might be doing great already. A high of 130 is probably just fine.

    Try running a little bit, just so you are breathing a little hard. Then rest two minutes, and take your blood pressure. That happened to me when I was late to a doctor's appt, and I was surprised that I had excellent blood pressure. 100/60. Shortly after that I discovered that sitting and breathing hard, like to get dizzy (like when we were kids), will lower blood pressure 20 points. Sitting very still, (and breathing only when necessary) will raise blood pressure 20 points.

    My wife has white coat syndrome. Her blood pressure at home is anything from 130/80 to 100/60. At the doctor's office it might be as high as 160/100, (even when measured at the doctor's office, with our home bp cuff.) (in other words, the our home bp cuff is OK).

    My bp ranges 125/70 to 100/60. It used to be as high as 135/80. bp is higher after a meal.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to EngineerGuy's response:
    I don't think its a matter of taking years for the pressure to come down....since it was very low all last winter.(105/65 was a typical reading)

    And you probably remember that I am a runner so exercise is a constant...I think it has something to do with potassium depletion and the kidneys...sodium retention...could be from one of the herbs i take for experimenting to find out.
    EngineerGuy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Best of luck with it. Let us know...

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    DeadManWalking57 replied to jc3737's response:
    I don't think one gets 4000 mg of potassium from one banana and one potato. That is absurdly high. You would need a potato the size of a football.

    Potassium is lost in sweat if one overheats a lot. Another good reason to moderate one's exercise. The taste of sweat changes if you get low on sodium and switch over to potassium depletion. When that occurs, your temperature will slowly rise and you'll feel the urge to slow down more than before.
    jc3737 replied to DeadManWalking57's response:
    Th potato and banana arefinally working....BP is 110/68 now.

    I have one baked potato (800mg)- and one banana(800mg) at EVERY meal so that should be very close to an additional 5000mg of potassium in my diet....1600 per meal times three meals.

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    I was diagnosed with diabetes in March of 2007. Ever since then I've been slowly losing weight, exercising and eating as healthy as I can. Thanks ...More

    Helpful Tips

    2 Salads a Day
    Hi folks, Probably the most important tip there is: Eat 2 large salads a day. A salad has lots of greens and vegetables. Romaine ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    14 of 26 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.