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Valarie, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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I have started on a program thru a nutritionist, that she

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I have started on a program thru a nutritionist, that she thinks will help with my blood pressure highs, nerve repair (neuropathy), better digestion (Celiac disease), skin problems. She says if we eat right and treat our bodies right, it will heal itself. I would like your opinion on the following:
Agree or disagree?
She wants me to:
stop all supplements I have been taking. It’s not that many (Vit D, Calcium/mag., alpha lopic acid.), and take 5 fish oil caps, 3 times a day, before each meal.
Drink lots of water. Measure and set aside 2 quarts. Drink 16 to 32 oz. first thing in morning. Have ALL the water before you start dinner at night. Doesn’t work some days when I need to go somewhere, as I have a problem with bladder—need to stay close to bathroom.
50% of diet raw. Little or no meat. (she would like me have raw fish, shrimp, but I can’t eat raw meat or fish.)
My note: How do I get enough protein or calcium on this diet?)
Little or no grain. That’s no problem as I only have bread, pancakes, etc made with gluten free flour—no grain (I use rice, sorghum, coconut, potato starch, etc—flours made from these)
I have heard that too much fish oil is not so good. I don’t know what too much is. Some sources say it can lead to toxicity with long term use, or could damage liver, bring intestional problems. If not the right kind can have mercury.
The only prescriptions I am on are Metoprolol suc ER 25mg 2/day), Multaq (dronedarone) 400mg (2/day), Levoxyl 50 mcg (1/day) Am not on blood thinners.
Knee pain—arthritis
I was told by another source that glucosamine Hydrochloride can regrow cartilage in any joint. I have knee pain, mostly caused by arthritis, according to the knee Dr I just saw. He says theoretically that is possible, but he's not seen anyone who has had that happen by taking  the most popular prescribed Glucosamine-Chondroitin.  Another supplement was mentioned, Injuv halluronic acid, which I have never heard of.
This same source said that arthritis is caused by a fungal infection. What I found in research says there is a form of arthritis that is caused by fungal infection but it is rare, but not ALL arthritis is from that.
Lots of things going on that need help in my body. I just would like some honest evaluation of agreement or disagreement, as you see it. Or any additional suggestions, information.

Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.

The U.S.D.A. classifies intake of fish oil up to 3 grams (or 3000mg) daily is generally safe. However, most people take less than half of that dose. High doses of fish oils may not be safe for a number of reasons, the most concerning of which is the increased risk of bleeding and hemorrhagic stroke. And you are correct, there can be other adverse reactions from high doses long term. So I would advise that you stay with a normal dosage, which would be recommended on the label of the fish oil you purchase.

The amount of water is good. But your water should be taken over the course of the day, not in large batches. Drinking all or most of it before dinner is OK also, especially if you are inclined to need to get up at night to urinate often.

I am also concerned about the idea of eating raw fish. Generally, this is not considered safe. Even Sushi chefs are stringently trained in the preparation of raw fish before it is eaten. There is just too much of a risk of parasite infection, or bacterial infection. Fish and seafood is very good for you, and properly cooked, it is better for you than raw.

You are correct to be concerned about calcium in your diet. You need calcium to control blood pressure. If you are not going to take your supplements, you will need to compensate with dietary sources for both calcium/magnesium and vitamin D.

You need grains in your diet (it looks like you are aware of the need to avoid anything with gluten), for the vitamin and mineral content they contain. I would disagree with not eating grains. You should have about 3-4 servings of grain each day, preferably whole.

Generally, to control blood pressure better, you need to reduce your weight if you are overweight. Drastically reduce the sodium in your diet to less than 1500mg. Eat mostly whole grains, vegetables and fruits with small (or no) amounts of red meat, a little more of chicken and fish, and legumes at least twice a week instead of meat.

The idea is to reduce the fats, sugars and sodium in your diet. You should have no more than 3-5 serving of fat (one serving is about 4.5 grams or 1 teaspoon of oil), and this fat should be the "good" kind, such as olive oil, or vegetable oils. Sugars should not exceed 75 calories per day (1 teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories). And as I mentioned, sodium should be kept under 1500mg. Eating fresh foods you prepare yourself helps you maintain this level. Otherwise, carefully check food labels and serving sizes.

This has been proven to work to control blood pressure better than anything else, along with some physical activity every day, adhering to your medicine regimen, and regular check-ups by your physician.

As for arthritis, there are a number of causes. The most common is "wear and tear" over time of the cartilage in the joints. Weight loss and physical activity as much as you can tolerate are the best help for this. Many people also take a Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM supplement and swear that it helps. Some research has concluded that this supplement is beneficial, and is generally well tolerated by most people. Keep in mind, however that glucosamine can also increase the risk of bleeding, so if you are taking this supplement with fish oil be sure not to go over the recommended amounts on the labels.

Here is a very good tool that can help you: Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Tool

Just fill in some information about yourself, along with whether you want to maintain your weight, or lose weight, and it will give you the amount of each food group you need to eat. You can also print out a 4 page document that lists the amounts of different foods in each group.

Also this site: is free to use, and you can look up just about any food you can think of for nutritional information that includes fats, sugars, and sodium. (along with other information). It is very easy to use and very handy when you are trying to control sodium in your diet.

Your nutritionist is correct about one thing. If you treat your body right, it will have a better ability to heal itself. But cutting out essential foods, is not the way to go. Also, some foods in their raw state are good. Many fruits and vegetables are very wholesome when eaten raw. Some however, need a little cooking. Examples would be tomatoes and spinach. They are nutritious raw, but will actually give your more if cooked a bit. And meat/fish of any kind needs cooking for safety's sake.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You suggested that grains should be in my diet. All grains have gluten, so that's why I do not eat grains. Like I said the flours used for the gluten-free breads come from rice, potato starch, beans, etc. but none that are considered grains.

I didn't mention that I weigh 155 lb and am 5'9 so my weight is good. I have greatly reduced the sodium in my diet. One thing this nutritionist said was that beans should not be in my diet. (dried beans, like kidney or black beans) I don't agree. I don't seem to have a problem with them except some gas. I think beans are a good source of protein if one doesn't eat much meat.

My physical activity is limited because of the inability to move without support. The neuropathy makes it very difficult. My balance is not good, plus the knee pain.

Hi, thank you for your response.

Grains that are gluten-free include rice (wild and brown would be whole grains), quinoa, corn (and cornmeal), hominy (and grits), tapioca, and buckwheat. There are a few others. Here's a link with a list from Mayo Clinic: Gluten-free diet

Beans are very good for you and as long as you can tolerate them, so there is no reason not to eat them.

The only other thing I can tell you is that you might actually count and check the sodium in your diet. Be sure to check all labels of everything you eat. You may be surprised.

And if you don't eat much meat, your fat intake is likely not too great. So, just make sure you are getting around 7 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, at least. Good for both blood pressure and arthritis.

I understand about your mobility. I think it would be a good idea, if you can, to get a referral to a physical therapist so that you can be taught some exercises specific for you that you could continue at home. It is very important to keep arthritic joints moving.

Valarie and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for the information. It will be helpful. I just today received in the mail the fish oil gel caps. It was suggested I chew them. NO WAY!! I gag at the taste and smell of fish oil. I have my doubts if I can swallow 5 before each meal, as recommended. Plus 3 or 4 enzymes gel caps--all large. My stomach may feel too full to eat anything. Good way to loose weight, if one wants to.


You're very welcome.

There is no need to chew the fish oil caps.

And you don't need 5 before each meal, either. In any case, whatever you decide, please do not go over 3000mg of fish oil per day.

Thank you. I am glad I was able to help.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
How many of the large softgels would be 3000mg of fish oil?

Taking the fish oil is supposed to lower my blood pressure. In fact I was told to take my blood pressure every day to make sure it doesn't go below 100/70--something like that. I know 100 was the first number.

Also, while I wait to see if my b.p. lowers, is there a "Quick fix" to get my heart to stop pounding. It's been doing this for a couple of days.


Good morning. Sorry I was away from the computer when you replied.

Large soft gels of fish oil can range usually from 1000mg to 1500mg. It should tell you on the label.

As for the "heart pounding".....can you tell me what you mean by this?

And do you have any other symptoms that go along with this?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I feel a pounding in my midsection like someone who had been running and when they stop for a little bit the heart pounds for a few minutes. But with me I can be while I am in bed or sitting in a chair and it does that. Sometimes it lasts a few minutes, sometimes hours. At the same time my blood pressure is high and I have to pee a lot, every 10-15 minutes for about 1/2 hr to 45 minutes. (this part sounds strange to most people I tell this to, but that's what happens). It's urgent. I have to "go." Can't hold it. The pounding I refer to kind of feels like my whole body is vibrating. It keeps me awake at night. There doesn't seem to be anything I can put my finger on that sets it off this way. The Dr who diagnosed my celiac disease once said about my blood pressure spikes, "There's a lot going on in your body." Like the celiac, neuropathy, heart, etc. all of it---just gets my blood pressure out of whack at times. I'm quite sure if I told my cardiologist, she would want to increase the dose of the metroprol. I would rather try to get it down other ways, if possible. I will give it a try with the fish oil recommended. It's just the sudden rises that give me this pounding that bother me.
Appreciate your suggestions and help. Thanks.

I would advise that you discuss this with your cardiologist. What you are describing sounds like heart "palpitations" which can be caused by many different things.

The thing that comes to mind when you say that your BP also goes up and you need to urinate urgently is something like Tea or Coffee, which have both stimulant and diuretic effects. Or, your body is not able to process alot of fluid at one time, and this could occur after drinking a large amount of fluid in one sitting.

Palpitations are also a side effect of one of your meds (Multaq). And if this is the cause, you need to talk to your cardiologist about this as soon as possible. You may need a change in your medicines.

There are many other causes, so it is really best to report it to your doctor.