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diurectics without kidney failure

My mom has congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and Diabetes. She's been on diuretics her entire adult life. Over the past 8 years, whenever she got excessive fluid build-up and severe symptoms, the hospital would basically flush her out with heavy IV diuretics and she would be fine again.

However, she has been hospitalized for 3 weeks now, was on a ventilator for 3 of those days and had over a liter of fluid drained from her back. She also got pneumonia while at the hospital which is supposedly all gone now.

The problem now is that she can't get better bc the diuretics are causing problems with her kidneys. So, they've had to keep juggling back and forth with just minimal diuretics. Over the past 3 days, however, she has gained 2 pounds a day with excessive fluid, even with barely eating. So, another big attack is imminent.

She had a few very close calls while in the hospital; but they released her to a rehab facility saying there is no cure and she probably won't last very long. Mentally, she is very young, vibrant and loves life. I'm desperate to do whatever is possible to help her remain with us.

I have 2 questions:

1. Is there any kind of natural, food or herbal diuretic that could help her without stressing her kidneys? Example: I know caffeine has diuretic properties; but maybe those properties cause the same negative effects on the kidneys as the medication, comparatively (less damage, but less results).

2. My good friend's mom had the identical conditions and they both told me that putting in a pacemaker 15 years ago cured her and completely changed her life. Now she even runs, etc. when before she could barely walk.

The cardiologists and pulmonologist both say her heart is very "hard". If a pacemaker could help, I can't imagine why none of them have suggested that?? She's afraid to ask them because she feels they might be offended, as if she's questioning them.

Any answers to either or both questions could be life-saving. Also, any additional advice or ideas I may not have thought of would be so very appreciated!
3 Responses
11548417 tn?1506084164
The cardiologists and pulmonologist know your mother's situation best. I really don't see why she should be afraid to ask them. I can not imagine that they would be offended. Your mom is from the generation "doctor says and patient listens", but those days are gone. Nowadays patients and doctors discuss medical situations. Start the discussion with them.
63984 tn?1385441539
I agree with Ger57 completely.  I'm guessing when they said your mom's heart is 'thick' they mean is has lost its elasticity.  This translates into congestive heart failure.  From experience, I can tell you once one is in stage IV, the kidneys tend to fail.  In my case it wasn't the diuretics directly, she in undoubtedly receiving prescription-grade supplements of Potassium, Calcium and Magnesium.  The heart isn't strong enough to push the blood through the filter (kidney) and renal function starts to fail.  I was given some extremely strong drugs that were very, very hard to tolerate but gave a 'kick' to the final beat.  
You can go the hospital records office and request your mom's records, they have to make them available, sometimes there in a nominal charge.  Why not get them then talk your Mom's doctors to evaluate them.
It isn't the policy of this board to discuss drugs, but OTC drugs in my opinion should be avoided at all costs.  I've lost two family members who swore by nostrums, one a Chinese set of roots and herbs, and another who decided to give up all prescription drugs and use something called Chelatin.  Both died in two weeks.  
Good drugs and rest after a long hospital visit have me recovering from kidney failure caused by heart disease.  I have a blood clot in my heart which is being dissolved by drugs, and then my A-Fib can be eliminated.  Please get your Mom's records from the hospital and then be your mom's advocate.  She isn't thinking right, how could she?  My wife just left me out of the discussion with the doctors.  I was so confused with kidney failure I ripped out all my tubes, and the rest of the story isn't pretty.  Take control.  Hugs
63984 tn?1385441539
I forgot to add, I have a pacemaker.  The only thing it will do is give he docs a history, I think.
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