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Medications can deplete nutrients

Updated: May 11, 2022

Imagine Nilesh, a 44 year young man, has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. He has been prescribed high blood pressure tablets, but he is not keen as they keep sending him for ‘loo breaks’ a bit too often and he has started to experience a very dry mouth. He has become very conscious about it at work especially when giving presentations as the dry mouth would hinder him from speaking clearly.

So this high blood pressure is the ‘disease’ but before the disease came the 'dis-ease' which nutritional therapists call ‘upstream effects’. There are changes upstream before they happen downstream. So as nutritional therapists we train you to look upstream, some call this 'root cause'. Nilesh was aware of his body sending him messages, but he 'plastered' them with a G&T in the evenings after work, as well as taking pain killers for his random headaches. These are 'upstream nudges' which we all tend to ignore but they are important.

This blood pressure medication is called Furosemide. Furosemide depletes calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 and zinc. That is some expensive urine!

Potassium is vital for heart health, magnesium is vital for heart health but also in relaxing the blood vessels, so if this mineral magnesium is being ‘depleted’ by taking a medication that prescribed to reduce blood pressure, is it not a 'tad' counter-productive?

A nutritional therapist will look up drug induced nutrient depletions, because there are times that a nutritional therapist may be seeing a client who is actually experiencing symptoms due to the lack of certain nutrients due to their medication(s).

This should be the role of the doctor, the role of the pharmacist, but these vital nutrient depletions are not taught at medical school, however, at the school we ensure that our students are not only taught this CRITICAL information but also the role of the medication.

In Nilesh's case it is imperative that FIRST his body is nourished with foods that are rich in the nutrients that are being depleted, before diving 'swimming' upstream to look deeper into the root cause.

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