Ask the Nutritionist

Juicing and congestive heart failure edema

Ask the Nutritionist

Posted by Claudia McDonald on 5 years ago I have been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and am trying juicing to help lose weight and improve my health. I have problems with edema in the legs and it can get bad in other areas as well. I am concerned about juicing and the addition of more water into my body. The doctor has put me on Lasix to help remove water. The edema can be quite painful and makes my knees ache because of swelling. Is juicing a problem with CHF? Any guidelines i can/should follow? Thank you for any input...

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by CarolG 1 year ago.

Replies To Juicing and congestive heart failure edema

  • Walt

    5 years ago
    Hi Claudia, there is a section called "Ask The Nutritionist". Given the nature of your situation you might ask her, Stacy, the Nutritionist for Reboot. Short of that you could ask your cardiologist. But that's just a layman's opinion. Either way welcome and I hope to see you on here. Walt
  • fairbecca

    5 years ago
    Claudia, CHF is a serious matter. Fluid overload must never be discounted, so you should always consult your MD before making any change to your diet. She/He will guide you and can make suggestions that are specific to your particular health related problems. Juicing may not be right for you, but asking for more information always is right. I agree with Walt that "Ask the Nutritionist" is an interesting place to get information. Perhaps your MD can refer you to a nutritionist nearby. I wish you good health. Regards, Polly.
  • cdiulus

    5 years ago
    Claudia, Congestive heart failure and the medications that you are taking are clearly serious conditions that need to be carefully monitored by your cardiologist. At this time, I do not recommend juice only fasts for people with CHF. That, however, doesn't mean that you cannot make some major changes to your diet with the potential to dramatically improve and/or reverse your disease. Low-Fat plant based diets have been shown to reverse heart disease (see Caldwell Esselstyn's work). Juice can be a healthy addition to a low-fat plant based diet and increase your daily nutrient intake. Many people who begin a juice fast, or start a low-fat plant based diet plus juice experience a significant decrease in edema. This is partly from mobilization of excess water from the cells as a result of decreased calorie intake (the reason everyone says you only loose water weight early in a diet process)and a decreased intake of sodium. Your dependent swelling however, is not just from fluid overload, but an inability of your heart to pump effectively. I would be surprised if your cardiologist didn't already recommend decreasing your sodium. I would encourage you to discuss a low-fat plant based diet with your cardiologist and including freshly expressed juice as a component (particularly if it is high in vegetables) will increase the phytochemicals you are taking in daily. All the best, Dr. Carrie
  • Wally

    3 years ago

    I'm happy I found this post. I too have heart failure (dilated cardiomyopathy) but my condition has improved enough that I no longer need to take furosemide(lasix). My ejection fraction is around 50% so my heart is almost near normal effective pumping so I am 3 days into juicing and will probably stop at 7 as I am also on warfarin blood thinners and all the vitamin k in the green vegetables can lower the INR. If I noticed edema in my legs I would stop juicing.

  • CarolG

    1 year ago

    Hi Wally Great news on your progress. I have edema and dystolic dysfunction and am awaiting stress ct scan to see if there is also plaque in the arteries or blockages. I would love to know which regimen of juices and juicing you used to improve the edema as you have please? Thanks Carol

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