Jim Edwards
By Jim Edwards Latest Reply 2011-05-04 22:00:36 -0500
Started 2011-04-29 11:46:19 -0500

My Rolfer handed me a magazine while I waited for his previous victim to exit the exam room. He said, "Thought you would be interested in this" and handed me an issue of Cosmo. "I told him that my heart was getting too old to look at that!
"Not the mag, you idiot, the article I have marked. I hope I am not plagiarizing or anything like that, but it is from Cosmopolitan January 2011. the juice of the grapefruit contains chemicals that block enzymes in the digestive system. It messes up the way your body metabolizes Rx's such as Valium, Xanax, Zoloft & Lunesta. It tends to intensify the side effects such as nausea, dizziness, confusion, diarrhea and/or constipation. So, I do not know how many other drugs in these classifications (anxiety, anti-depressants, & sleep aids) also mess this up, but you will want to read that info pamphlet that comes with your meds.

70 replies

Tigereyze209 2011-05-04 22:00:36 -0500 Report

I can't personally speak about other medications, but I know that my Lipitor says that I can't eat any grapefruit two hours before or after taking it. My understanding that it is not so much that it hurts you, it is more that it renders the medication ineffective.

Jameesa 2011-05-02 10:51:43 -0500 Report

Very good information. We should always read the brochures that come with our medications, even you guys…:)

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 11:39:07 -0500 Report

I am sorry, that cannot happen. Next you will want us to stop and ask directions! You know, we only have GPS so you will know that we are going in the right direction! lol

big momma 10
big momma 10 2011-04-30 17:22:23 -0500 Report

Hi family, I am so glad I came here. now check this out, I lived for grapefruit anything. I also take a lot of High Blood pressure med. It is to the water going to my lung or heart you know whatever. I have heard peoples say this but at the same time didt think anything about it. I guess now I need to give up my passion for somethings. HELP ME.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 08:42:49 -0500 Report

Sorry Big Momma, there is no help. It seems as if grapefruit must go :( How sad, it is one of my favorite. Guess I will just have to go and suck a lemon! Lemons might do the same thing, but nobody is ever gonna run test on lemons!

nanaellen 2011-04-29 21:53:00 -0500 Report

I can't eat grapefruit or juice at all because of my blood pressure meds! According to my Dr. AND my Mother it cancels out the Meds altogether! Not JUST the side effects! (And I believe my MOM more than my Doc!! LOL Ellen :)

sisson 2011-04-29 20:53:36 -0500 Report

Boy! I am so gald that I was just browsing the topic because I rember as as child that my grandfrather who was on insillion till is passing. For brekfast that he would all would all way eat a half of a grapefruit with his ceral and coffe.
And me sometimes when I get a chance to go to Long Beach CA there is a farmere market were sell the grapefruite as big as a soccer ball it take me a whole week just to eat one.
But now I know that I have to pay more attention to the infor that I get with my med I really never read then because I don't like to read except what I like to read.
Only it is something that I have or when you guys write or something I realy want to read. But as you can see I so like to (WRITE)

dietcherry 2011-04-29 20:19:28 -0500 Report

Man I love me some grapefruit-its not so sickeningly sweet to me like some other fruits and has always been my fave. But yeah I gave it up, not because I take any pills on a regular basis but just in case I ever do, I wont have to worry about remembering not to eat/drink it. I replaced it with pomegranate.

bizzach 2011-04-29 20:09:53 -0500 Report

Some meds like depakote say in the info to not have grapefriuit while taking it, it is good to always read the info that comes with your meds.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 08:52:35 -0500 Report

Sadly, I am a guy, and as I guy we are not allowed to read these med sheets until something goes wrong. It is just a rule that no guy has ever broken. If we do read these sheets (and I am not saying I ever have!) we do it in private where we will not be seen! LOL

Cookie Roma
Cookie Roma 2011-04-29 17:31:49 -0500 Report

Besides having diabetes, I have DVT so I take anti clotting meds. Its was made very clear to me by my vascular surgeon that I must NOT eat graoefruit or drink gf juice.

edvel54 2011-04-29 19:06:39 -0500 Report

I knew about not having grapefruit with cholesterol medication, but blood thinner, that is a new one. tell me more

jayabee52 2011-04-29 19:13:45 -0500 Report

As I recall, my "Jem" needed to avoid Grapefruit and its juice as she was on Coumadin. Supposedly it made the dose stronger, and she might bleed to death, as I recall.

Sidehack 2011-04-29 13:24:41 -0500 Report

I should have clarified that it is the grapefuit JUICE that is the problem.

kdroberts 2011-04-29 13:46:24 -0500 Report

It's grapefruit in general, not just the juice. The juice is concentrated so it magnifies the issues but grapefruit itself will still cause the problems.

Bubbelove 2011-04-30 10:48:33 -0500 Report

There are other juices that one should not drink. Cannot remember right now, but I will Google it when I have a chance. My literature at the pharmacy indicates that I should avoid grapefruit in any form.

Sidehack 2011-04-29 13:22:42 -0500 Report

The problem is the factory processing. It cancels my simvastatin. The actual grapefruit does not interfere with my meds.

northerngal 2011-04-30 16:42:38 -0500 Report

Grapefruit or any citrus can affect medications, especially blood pressure, heart, and mood altering meds (for depression, ADD, etc) because the chemical in the citrus affects the absorption of the medication, sometimes increasing it, sometimes almost cancelling it. They usually recommend not drinking/eating it within an hour of taking the medication, but its safest to avoid it altogether, unfortunately. Ask your pharmacist, I find that they are as informative as MD's sometimes. They tend to have the time to explain it to you too and they need to be informed of all drug interactions.

Hopieland 2011-04-30 16:54:52 -0500 Report

I agree…ask your pharmacist. They are very knowledgeable about all meds and how they interact with other meds, foods, etc. For the most part, I learn much more them my pharmacists about meds than I ever have from my PCPs over the years.

ethansmimi 2011-04-29 12:46:07 -0500 Report

I've heard this about grapefruit before but it still seems weird that something that's supposed to be healthy can be so bad for you. But then as a diabetic, it's weird to me that I have to severely limit my fruit intake when fruit is also supposed to be good for you. Then because of a blood clotting disorder, I have to watch my leafy greens. Sometimes I just don't know what to eat. It gets too complicated.

Hopieland 2011-04-30 17:02:56 -0500 Report

Fruits have natural sugar and do spike our #'s, but can, and should be part of our nutritional routine, but in moderation. Leafy greens and all veggies, same thing, but they usually don't spike our #'s. The key here is when we take meds, they are chemicals. It's the chemicals we injest that react with the foods we eat that make some, like GF, or any citrus fruit a problem. Leafy greens deplete vitamin K and our bodies and that causes our blood to clot too slowly. So we're caught between the pharmacist and the health food store! Such is life with you're a PWD… D does limit our choices in foods, but visiting a good nutritionist can help you unravel some of the complicated "rules." As your PCP for a referral to one at your local hospital. Sure helped me figure out what to eat and what not to eat. Ask lots of questions. People here are very experienced with D and very helpful.

northerngal 2011-04-30 16:47:33 -0500 Report

Find a good dietician. They can recommend foods that are safe with your combination of issues. My Endocrinologist has a dietician at the office, so I can ask questions and discuss things right there. I find that a lot of what they recommend are foods I'd NEVER consider. I'm picky. You just have to experiment and find what tastes good, doesn't affect your bs too much, doesn't counteract other meds and is affordable. (yeah right) If your MD can't help, check with the hospital, they often have groups or individuals who'd be helpful.

Diane Kozlovich
Diane Kozlovich 2011-04-30 19:52:54 -0500 Report

I had a follow-up PCP appt because my blood sugar A1C test had gone up so much. He told me to see a dietician. I haven't done that, yet… I need to!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:19:19 -0500 Report

I am glad he referred you to a dietician. I can't stand it when the doctor pretends to know everything. If I had to do it all over again, I would have educated myself more on this site (which may or may not have existed 7 years ago…Anyway, it did not exist to my knowledge). My medical coverage only approved 1 visit and to be honest, I had not accepted the fact that I was diabetic, I knew very little about eating healthy, except eliminating "concentrated sugars", and therefore I was not able to ask any questions, because I didn't know which ones to ask. For instance, the most important question I know to ask myself now is, "How many carbs does this meal, this snack contain?" I wish you the best. The road is long, but worth the trip. Jim

northerngal 2011-05-01 09:38:36 -0500 Report

Most MD's are specialized and don't have enough detailed information about how certain foods affect bs readings. A good dietician who works with either an internal medicine Dr. or Endocrinologist, will work much more often with diabetics and have a better understanding of how those foods affect the readings. General practicianers know a little about a lot of things, you need someone who knows a lot about YOUR situation. It can be a pain documentiing everything you eat and your doses (I mark them every time I check, even though the pump will tell them that info). It gives me an idea whether things are on track or not. You'll be glad you did.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:13:01 -0500 Report

I have a GP and one thing I like about him is if I ask him a question and he does not know the answer, he says, and does, get back to me. It forces both of us to educate ourselves on whatever the question is.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-29 13:54:58 -0500 Report

I hear you loud and clear. That is why I recommend the stone diet. No carbs, no sugar, no calories, and full of minerals! Available in many different colors and varieties all across the US. Oh, and after a few meals, no teeth!

northerngal 2011-04-30 16:49:06 -0500 Report

You must have a good drink to wash down those stones…I'm in granite country, very tough!!!!!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 08:56:14 -0500 Report

We have a lot of shale. Very colorful, very high in iron. I suspect it is very high in fiber too. Being in WV we do have access to moonshine…

northerngal 2011-05-02 09:27:08 -0500 Report

Here in Wisconsin, its beer. When Sports Illustrated compared drinking rates on campus' around the country a few years ago, the footnote at the end said "For those of you searching for Wisconsin's ranking, we ranked only amateurs, professionals were not included to preserve fairness". I still laugh at that, and I hate beer. Being diabetic, I never learned to like alcoholic beverages because of the effect on bs. This state was settled by mostly Germans so that should explain it.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:38:40 -0500 Report

I have found a moderate amount of alcohol (1/4 cup) helps to lower my BG very fast by up to 100 points. Of course, if my BG was 115, I would be in a coma at 15! But mine has been in and around 250, so a drop to 150 isn't bad. Will see the doctor next week. Usually I can get in in a day or two, but he wanted a block of time to work things out. I know through experimentation that the Lantus is doing me little or no good. So, until then, bottoms up, twice a day, 1/4 cup. ! don't like beer, and only had Vodka in the house (we make our own vanilla), so I used that.

ethansmimi 2011-04-29 16:43:38 -0500 Report

Ha ha, that's funny. Speaking of teeth, did you notice yours becoming more brittle with diabetes? Little pieces of mine chip off frequently. Must be those stones, lol.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:00:53 -0500 Report

Thanks to an incompetent orthodontist over 45 years ago, my teeth are pretty well shot and getting shotter (there is a new word for you!). Anyway, I see the dentist at least twice a year, brushing often and well, and flossing 2-3 times a week. Last year the dentist had me start to rinse with fluoride to strengthen my teeth. I see him tomorrow, in fact. I can't wait. I am so excited. He gives me a present ever time I see him. Such a nice man. all I have to do is give him a big check. :)

ethansmimi 2011-05-02 09:12:16 -0500 Report

Since the only insurance I have is medicare, I don't get to see the dentist like I should. There are no funds for it. I don't think it's right that medical insurance doesn't pay for dental problems. It's been proven over and over that dental issues affect the rest of your body so it would make sense to me that medical insurance would pay to keep your teeth healthy as a preventive measure. Oh wait, that's why they won't do it, it makes too much sense.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:23:18 -0500 Report

That is sad, especially because the ADA recommends regular dental visits. You should get yourself elected to Congress. You will not only receive life long pay (even after serving one term), but you also receive life long medical, dental and eye care, for free!

kdroberts 2011-04-29 12:57:40 -0500 Report

Healthy is relative, for some it may be, for others it may not be. It also highlights why natural medicine (herbs, minerals, etc) should never be considered unconditionally safe and without side effects because everything you eat and drink will have some sort of effect on your body. It may be positive, it may be negative, it may be trivial or, as in the case of grapefruit and certain medications, it may be very dangerous.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-29 13:53:08 -0500 Report

It the same article it address St. John's Wort & birth control meds, pill, patch, ring.
You (well, not you KD, or me, or sidehack) can end up pregnant! The same thing can happen when a women is on Birth control and uses antibiotics. Like KD says, do not presume that natural + safe.

MewElla 2011-04-29 12:04:00 -0500 Report

Grapefruit is a big No No for me…interacts with a lot of medications out there, and not that I take meds for diabetes, but just stay away from it..My dr said there were lots of side effects from it..

Bubbelove 2011-04-30 10:50:44 -0500 Report

What about orange juice?

jayabee52 2011-04-30 15:05:46 -0500 Report

Orange juice does not seem to have the same effects as grapefruit does. But I avoid OJ because it sends my BG#s through the roof.

Hopieland 2011-04-30 17:05:58 -0500 Report

Me, too! I love OJ but only have it in 4 oz glass once in a blue moon. A sugar junkie, I use Truvia in tea to help forget my love for OJ. How about you? What do you do?

northerngal 2011-05-01 09:40:28 -0500 Report

Get the unsweetened. Its not as bad. Check the carbs though, thats what makes a difference and the sweetened juices are pretty bad.

jayabee52 2011-04-30 18:44:09 -0500 Report

What I do Hopie is I avoid all sweeteners, "natural" or artificial. There's a sweetness receptor in our brains and when it's triggered and there is not a rise in glucose in the blood, then I understand we go on the search for food or drink to raise the BG numbers in our blood. — or that seems to be what happens with me — When I avoid sweeteners of any kind my BG#s are in better control.

I mostly drink water, or almond milk. I do get some aspartame in my Metamucil, but that doesn't seem to trigger me as much.

My BG#s are staying between 88 and 119 for about the past 2 weeks (except once when I fell off the wagon and had some stuff I should not have had. 219, yikes! — I took insulin to bring that down) all without insulin or meds.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:08:28 -0500 Report

Great morning to you James! Why almond milk as opposed to 2% cow milk?
Lately, I would be in heaven with 219. Next week I have a prolonged appointment with my PCP, as I have determined that the Lantus is not working at all for me. The only way I have been able to keep my BG under 200 has been with 1/4 cup of Vodka, twice a day. But I do not want or need those calories.

Hopieland 2011-05-01 00:56:01 -0500 Report

James you are a joy. I never thot of almond milk. I use soy milk as a creamer in my coffee or tea and on my cereals. I believe you're right about sweetners triggering a craving for something sweet. I've cut out sweetening my iced tea (again) and find that more satisfying. Sodas, sweets, carbs in general seem to cause me to crave sweet stuff. When I eat properly for my body the cravings die off, and sure enough…#'s go low, too. Thanks for sharing! I am encouraged.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:04:48 -0500 Report

I don't mind totally unsweetened tea, but I am finding I need to be more selective in the tea I drink, because they are not all the same. Off the shelf tea seems to need something to cover up the edge. Some of the flavored teas are very good without sweeteners. Like most things you have to allow time for your taste to adapt.

jayabee52 2011-05-01 01:04:50 -0500 Report

That's what this site is ALL about, encouraging one another! And sometimes getting a kick in the pants if needed. I'm glad I encouraged you.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-05-02 09:24:32 -0500 Report

Congrats on your good numbers with no added insulin or meds. Hope you have continued good readings.
I forgot my metformin for the last almost a week. This AM at 7 I was 68. It was my night off and I had snacked on 2 handfuls of cashews and Brazils around 3 AM. Afer supper at 9 PM I remembered I had been forgetting and amost took my Met. Wonder if I would hve been even lower if I had. My BGs for the last 2 months have been 70 to 110 fasting. 90 to 120 at 1-2 hrs after eating, except for a few up to 140 on Girls' Night at Mom's (aka The Cake Lady) and Easter.
Maybe you and I are getting the hang of the carb thing for a while.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 09:44:48 -0500 Report

Hello GB, I have too much on my mind to remember if I took this of that when i should have taken it. Now I have a med container. Once a week I sit down and fill the AM and PM with the right meds and supplements. I know at a glance if I have taken the meds and I also know if I missed a taking. Oh, I also know what day of the week it is, as long as I didn't miss a whole day! Go ahead, laugh. You'll all will get to this point someday! LOL!

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 10:14:39 -0500 Report

Ya fill it when it is empty! That is how I know it is Wednesday night. I come home, eat supper, go to take my meds, and they are all gone. It then clicks, "Oh, it must be time to refill!" My pill box is the one thing that my wife allows to stay on the kitchen table! Lol!

Bubbelove 2011-04-30 16:59:12 -0500 Report

That's why I do not drink orange juice. I never liked orange juice, but since my diagnoses I sometime crave it. I do not give in since I did once and wow the numbers flew.

Hopieland 2011-05-01 01:00:20 -0500 Report

I rarely drank OJ myself, until after my own Dx. Me thinks the idea of not having sweet somethings triggers thots that trigger cravings? And we know sweet stuff makes us hungry for more! It's really not a matter of depriving ourselves as much as eating what's health to our body. Over the years I could fudge a little here and there, but now I pay more dearly for it, so I'm learning to stay "clean" and pay less. Cravings can be a sign we are deficient in something our body needs. I'd like to know when its that and when its not!

kdroberts 2011-04-29 11:54:20 -0500 Report

It also interacts with statins which is important for diabetics to know since a large % of the diabetic population take a statin for cholesterol lowering. The difference is that with statins it leads to higher levels of the drug in your body and can be very dangerous, especially if you are on a high dose. I think it does also interact with calcium channel blockers which are used for high blood pressure, although I think the interaction is less dangerous and mostly increases the side effects.

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-04-29 12:08:05 -0500 Report

Thanks KD! I have high cholesterol and high BP! I think the next thing I will hear is that grapefruit is high in fiber and low in carbs! LOL

Bubbelove 2011-04-30 10:54:58 -0500 Report

One never knows what to believe. It drives me crazy. One time something is good for you, then you turn around at it's dangerous for you. I just read that Calcium is a problem. I take calcium with D & K. Spoke to my doctor. He confirmed that some test have "said" that it was not good, others that it is perfectly safe and that someone who needs it should take it. I keep reading and discuss anything with my doctor. Just remember doctors "PRACTICE MEDICINE." They don't have it down pat yet :-)

Hopieland 2011-04-30 17:11:55 -0500 Report

Whenever they DO get it down pat, we'll all be long gone! I hear ya on the who to believe…But I think each person is unique and we each react to the same things in different ways, so we gotta find our own way…with a little help from our friends…

dietcherry 2011-04-29 19:19:33 -0500 Report

Cheeky Jim!!! lol

Jim Edwards
Jim Edwards 2011-05-02 10:22:38 -0500 Report

Be careful what you say of the Northern ones. Remember the Hatfields & McCoys, the war between the states. f I am the Jim you speaketh of, I am north and slightly west of DC (That is dietcherry, not washington or diabetic connect) (wait, I think I am north and slightly west of washington dc, too) I live across the line in WV, which was Union, for most of the war and work in VA which was Rebel country for most of the war. My Daddy was from the hills of Wahalla, SC, around the SC, NC, TN borders. Yes, I am proud to say there is hillbilly in my blood.

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