If you take bone-building meds and diuretics, read this

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Dear Pharmacist: I take a water pill (diuretic) for blood pressure. Now, I have to take Boniva for osteopenia. Is there a connection? What's next for me?— H.J., Ocala

Dear H.J.: Oh, yes, definitely connected! Your diuretic makes you lose water volume, but with every bathroom trip, you lose minerals! Many people are saying "A-ha" now, because you started out taking a blood pressure med, then at some point, you were prescribed a bone building drug for osteoporosis.

I'll share my side effect solutions because I realize you have to, need to, or want to take your prescription medications.

You ask: "What's next for me?" Depending on the specific diuretic you take, you may eventually need an antidepressant, something for leg cramps and tinnitus (ear ringing). You may need a drug for heart arrhythmias. All this to counter the mineral and electrolyte deficiencies that result from the drug-mugging effect of drug No. 1, your blood pressure drug!

Shocked? When side effects due to drug nutrient depletion (drug mugging) are not recognized, you get a new "disease" and a new medication for it. This gets me fired up! It's why I wrote "Drug Muggers" (Rodale, 2011).

I'll email you a longer version of this article with more side effect solutions if you sign up for my free newsletter at my website. In the meantime, here are several side effect solutions to ask your practitioner(s) about. Don't make changes without your physician's approval.

Parsley or dandelion: These are gentler diuretics, less likely to cause the harsh depletion of minerals; also less likely to cause dehydration in low doses.

Marshmallow root: Bisphosphonate drugs for bones can irritate the esophagus in sensitive folks. Marshmallow root or slippery elm tea soothe and protect your esophageal tract.

Green foods and supplements: Think of spinach, kale, spirulina or chlorophyll supplements or wheatgrass shots. These are full of minerals to restore what the drug mugger (diuretic blood pressure pill) is mugging from you. Take me seriously, mineral deficiency leads to heart beat irregularities, faintness, dizziness and depression.

Coconut water: Unsweetened, unheated coconut water will restore electrolytes if you have to take diuretics or lisinopril, a popular blood pressure drug.

This is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose your condition. Go to DearPharmacist.com.

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