Heart failure

From Bhagwan
Linda,I have diastolic heart failure so retaining water in my legs and abdomen inspite of taking 1mg.of Bumetanide. I am quite concerned about it.What are the consequances if my water retention is not treated ? Please advice me what to do ? I had requested my doctor to increase my dose of Bumetanide to higher dose but he is not listening to me. I am also taking 10 MEQ of Potassium Chloride once a day. Thanks in advance for your help.
Answer from Linda Lazarides
Bhagwan, heart failure causes water retention because the heart no longer has the pumping force to drive the blood sufficiently through the kidneys. If your doctor will not increase your dose of diuretics, there is doubtless a good reason for this. If you think your doctor is not listening to you, the best thing is to get a second medical opinion.
All heart patients must ensure they get sufficient vitamin D either from sun exposure on the skin, or by consuming liver once a week. Vitamin D deficiency is very likely in those tho spend a lot of time indoors. It is extremely damaging to the heart valves and heart muscle.

From Lonnie
I have CHF my cardilogist is treating me for this. my question is I have been removing fluid from my stomach & lungs. I have noticed that my arm & face are seeping a clear fluid. It prevents me from sleeping at nights. It only seems to seep at bedtime.Please advise me how I can treat this.
Answer from Linda Lazarides
Lonnie, when water retention is very severe, there is not enough pumping pressure for your kidneys to work very well, and water will try to seep through the skin. This is common in heart failure. Try not to get too anxious about it, but make sure your doctor knows about it so that he can ensure your dose of diuretic medication is optimal for you.


About Linda Lazarides

Linda Lazarides is an international expert on water retention, author of eight books and founder of the British Association for Nutritional Therapy. She has successfully treated hundreds of people referred to her by doctors. See success stories or download E-guide.


  1. renee walls says:

    I am 47 years old, I have type II diabetes which is being treated with Metformin. I was on lisinopril for my blood pressure which I ran out of 3 weeks ago…but my blood pressure is unusually low. My real problem is that about 3 weeks ago I started retaining fluids, then it stopped. about a week & a half ago it started again and it is getting worse. It used to just be my hands,feet & ankles. Now it is going up into my knees, my belly, and yesterday I swear my boobs and it is hard to walk, kneel down and get back up. I laid down and put my feet up. Others symptoms include shortness of breath, the swelling of course & a slight cough. I am scared, confused & worried. I don’t have insurance, but do I need to go to the ER? any advice would help.

    • Linda Lazarides says:

      Water retention with a cough and shortness of breath means that your heart is not beating strongly enough and water is getting into your lungs. You must seek immediate medical attention.

  2. Since oi had my heart attract 3 yrs ago I have put on 5 stone. My legs and tummy are huge in fact I look pregnant. I have to wear surgical stockings because my ankles swell like ballons. I’m on water tablets which yes make me wee a lot but they are not really doing anything.
    I’m so depressed with it all to go from a size 14/16 to a 24/26 is just unbelieverable. I’m 62 and feel and look 90 god I wish someone could help me

    • Linda Lazarides says:

      Chris, the fluid is due to the damage which was caused to your heart when you had your heart attack. A damaged heart pumps the blood more weakly, so the kidneys think they don’t have to work so hard. Water tablets are prescribed to force the kidneys to work harder to excrete excess water. Your doctor is giving you the best help s/he can, and now you have to help yourself. Are you following the healthy eating advice on this website? If you feel you can’t cope on your own with improving your food choices, you may want to consider consulting a naturopathic nutritionist. You can Google for naturopaths in your area, or there may be someone near you on this list http://www.naturostudy.org/practitioner-directory/?sort=20&dir=ASC&page=1

  3. hi i dont know if you can help or not but well first of all you can call me lotus, i have a decent diet, im almost entirely vegetarian and i walk my dog two blocks at least four times a day and live on the second floor so exercise isnt an issue, i do have a heart problem but that’s under controll and for the past few weeks i have been so puffy it hurts to stand. like, my legs ankles, feet and abdomen look disgusting and horrifying.im already on diuretics but they dont seem to work any suggestions?

    • Linda Lazarides says:

      I’m so sorry Lotus, it sounds like your heart condition may not be entirely under control, as these are signs of a heart not pumping strongly enough. You need to see your doctor about this.

  4. I have heart disease. Right after a 5 hour flight, my legs started to hurt. Hurt badly. As they were filling with water. Scared me too. So I have been off my feet now for 2days now, and it is maybe 70% gone, but still very much there.

  5. I have been retaining fluid for years now. Been on water fluid pills two types. But as of last year (may 2014)I became unable to work or be very mobile due to my back. ( was born with spina bifida occulta rare form, meaning a lot of defects) for half t h e year last year I was in so much pain I think I slept it away. As of january of 2015, the put a pain pump in. A morphine pump. I have always swelled up but this last month, has been awful. I am so swollen, it’s from head to toe. Legs, feet,stomach,face ,hands. I feel headache, a little heavy to breath, just don’t feel good.I read a post you had , and I have had a lot of sugary drinks and some fat. But I can’t get enough greens. I crave green beans by the can fulls!!! I know I am losing weight but gaining water. Help!! Now the doctor wants me to go see a cardiologist. And honestly I am scared!!!!!

    • Linda Lazarides says:

      Debbie, I’m so sorry to hear this. Your doctor is recommending a cardiologist because such a lot of water retention is usually because the heart or kidneys are struggling. With such a complex medical history I can’t really offer any guidance but if your body is craving green beans then do eat as many as you can, and also drink juices made from green leafy veggies. These foods are a good source of potassium and magnesium, which are among the “electrolyte” nutrients that the heart needs in order to beat.

  6. My mother is bedridden in the hospital. Upon admittance, she was diagnosed with CHF. She has severe fluid retention. She even has fluid in her lungs, causing her to use oxygen to keep her oxygen saturation levels in the normal range. She was admitted about two weeks ago. They had put her on a diuretic, but then took her off of it because of increased Bi-carbons? So, she hasn’t been on a diuretic for over a week now and the fluid levels keep increasing. Shouldn’t she be on a diuretic..STAT?… and what is this bi-carbonate and should it stop the diruretic treatment. I read in one reply above that someone was on water pills. Is this an alternative?

  7. When I was born in 1952 I had heart problems I had a ‘blaylock operation’ when I was 4 year old. My face and body were purple and I used to get called horrible names at school. I managed my life although could not walk very far or do any sports, at 17 years old I had another operation to reverse what I had done when younger. It was very successful and I have lived quite happily, getting married, having a baby boy and now have two grandchildren. Then when I was 58/59 it all changed. The Doctors said my heart was failing but me being me I cant give up. I now am bothered with shortness of breath, water retention and my weight goes up and down. I visit the hospital regularily and my own Doctor. I am a bit overwhelmed by all of this as no one can give me a proper answer as to why this has happened. I am now 63. The excess water is becoming a real problem I am now on Furosimide 40 and 20, spirolactone 50, Bisoprolol 10, warfarin 4. Can you suggest anything to help me please.

    • Linda Lazarides says:

      Margaret, this does indeed sound like the condition known as heart failure, which is sometimes also called “tired heart”. Long-term conditions such as asthma and anaemia can force the heart to pump harder so that it wears out faster. Hopefully you have been tested for vitamin D deficiency and have been taking care to give your heart the best diet you can. Your doctors are not holding out on you, they genuinely don’t know why your heart is tired and are doing their best to help alleviate your symptoms.

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