Update May 31, 2012

Recently I pulled this post out of my archive and added a few details to it.

I’ve been noticing an increasingly casual attitude about ‘water pills’ and I’m finding the trend a bit disturbing!  Several articles I’ve read recently said that ‘water pills’ were “safe when taken as directed”.

That statement is hard for me to swallow, so I have a better question …

Are water pills harmful?

The answer to that question is a profound yes!

Water pills are very harmful!  In fact your doctor really doesn’t even want to put you on them until he/she sees your fluid retention as a bigger danger than the side effects of those “water pills”.

Recently, I was approached by a woman who wanted my advice about a procedure she was considering to treat her irregular heart beat.  I’ll call her Jane.

I encouraged Jane to address three issues and see if her symptoms would subside.  After all, if simple will solve the problem, you are good to go.

What 3 problems needed Jane’s attention?

  • Caffeine consumption

If you have troublesome arrhythmia, eliminate all caffeine.

  • Fluid retention

Jane had fluid collecting around her ankles, but was careful to point out that she did not have “fluid in her lungs”.

First off, if you have ankles the size of softballs, the excess fluid is stressing your heart and giving your lungs increasingly difficult work, especially when you lie down to sleep.

Jane admitted she had sleep apnea and used a CPAP machine, but still insisted that her fluid retention was due to being over weight, and she was not able to lose weight.

Then Jane mentioned that her doctor “wanted her on diuretics” (water pills), but she refused to take them.

Jane said that diuretics were harmful and that she likes natural alternatives.  She said, “doctors drug symptoms, I like natural choices”.

When you carry extra fluid, it stands to reason that you should be concerned about your oxygen level.  Oxygen, as well as vital nutrients, are unable to cross the blood barrier normally with excess fluid present.

With fluid in the way, you are not able to take on the oxygen you need.  Without the oxygen you need … you will deteriorate.

Jane assured me that her oxygen level was fine, so I asked if she monitors it when she gets up and walks.  She said that she has knee pain, so she doesn’t walk.

Jane was looking for simple answers, so I did my best to give them to her.  She seemed a bit resistant and argued away much of my advice.

I had an appointment I needed to get to, but I really had a heart to help Jane because I could see what a tough spot she was in, so I gave her time I really didn’t have.

Just as I was about to excuse myself to hurry off to the appointment I was now running late for, she launched into prayer that she would not experience any illness.

Let me just say that I am a very spiritual person, and I talk to God daily.  I just think that it isn’t fair to ask God to give you what you are unwilling to give yourself.

God helps those that help themselves.

Denial doesn’t work.  My charitable advice was the answer to her prayers, but she asked God to give her a short cut.

Jane couldn’t hear me, but maybe you can.

1.  Arrhythmia and irregular heart beat are definitely signs of a fussy heart, and caffeine is stress your heart does NOT need.

2.  Excess fluid retention is harmful no matter what the cause is!

3.  Your doctor knows how harmful diuretics are, but he/she also knows that excess fluid retention is down right dangerous!  Are you getting this?

4.  Natural diuretics are arguably less harmful than drugs, but the point is that you are not addressing the CAUSE of your fluid retention.

5.  You MUST treat ALL occurrence of low oxygen level or you are ignoring your needs and causing yourself harm.

6.  If you do not MOVE your heart muscle will get progressively weaker.  Congestive Heart Failure is a progressive weakening of the heart muscle.

If you can’t walk, then you need to swim or find some other activity to give your heart work to do daily!

Move it or lose it!

7.  God will answer your prayers!  When the student is ready the teacher appears. 


So, get ready to help yourself!

Ask yourself, “How Do I Get My Ankles To Stop Swelling?”

One of the most important things you can do to address water retention is to REALLY nourish yourself thoroughly.

You will be surprised how much better your body utilizes water when you are well nourished.

It may seem counter intuitive that eating more will help you LOSE water weight, but prove it to yourself and you’ll be glad you did!

Click on the link and get some great recipes.

Green Smoothies -> Juice For Life



Many blessings,

Carrie Tucker, RCP

The Life Breath Coach

Heart Failure Solutions


PS– Remember everyday:

  • Relax and Release tension
  • Exhale Slowly
  • Be active in a way that adds Joy to your life

Plus pure water ~whole foods~sunshine~and laughter

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