Ask Dr. Scott

Ask Dr. Scott Health Questions:

Do you have questions about your health or about one of my programs? Are you looking for an online doctor who specializes in alternative medicine or natural medicine? Ask me ( Dr. Scott — a Naturopathic Doctor) for natural ways to treat diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disease, cancer or anything else you might have on your mind.

As you may know I specialize in stopping sugar addiction and weight loss; take a look around the site for more information.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and submit your short question in the “Leave a Reply” box and I will do my best to answer it (I may even make a blog post out or your question).

553 comments

  1. Have Hashimotos thyroiditis, CVID, Asthma, GERD, Osteo arthritis and Osteoporosis, Elevated BP, Taking bio-identical hormones including testosterone (had complete hysterectomy). Recently read Dr. Izabella Wentz’s books on thyroid and trying to follow her protocol with the goal to feel better. Tested for food allergies IgE and find I’m allergic to too many foods and struggling to find something to eat. Asthma Doc says I must eat because of CVID. Trying a functional medicine Doc, but she admits that I’m a complicated case and she might not have the knowledge needed to help me. I’m frustrated! One thing blocks another thing and meanwhile I’m miserable. Have eliminated gluten, but can’t use alternatives because I’m allergic to almonds, rice……yada, yada, yada.

    Appreciate your thoughts….thanks.

  2. Dr Scott. I have an unusual problem, basically when I consume any type of sugar I get a bad headache. This has been going on for 3-4 years. I don’t eat a lot of sugar because of the headaches. I have seen all kinds of doctors and all kinds of scans, MRI,Ct, etc, basically they don’t know what to do for me except drugs. Which I don’t want to take. My question is what would cause this and what can I do for it. I don’t have very many food choices. Thank you for your time. Amy

  3. I ride road bikes on long rides with middle aged men and women who while they can ride 60 miles with no problem, still have a medium to large “insulin belly” from decades of carbohydrate consumption. That is why I have cut out most processed carbs and upped my healthy fats. It works like a charm and I have never had more strength or endurance. I will be doing the MS150 (185 miles from Houston to Austin, TX) on water and electrolytes and zero carbs this year just because it is so cool and because it is so much friendlier to the body. It is a no brainer because it is an aerobic self-paced ride. I am surprised you do not push healthy fats more, they keep you from being hungry but do not raise insulin. Healthy fats are self-priming in terms of fat metabolism. As you know, sugar and to a lesser degree, proteins shut down fat metabolism.

    One last thing. I think that high glucose may lead to heart rhythm/timing issues as it causes degeneration of the capillaries in the septum. Cheers.

    1. Hi Bill,

      Thank you for your comments! As an athlete, I really appreciate the ability to head out the door without anything but my shoes. I find that I can run for a long time, at a good pace without needing fuel. It sounds like you are doing great and I agree with your comments about insulin, carbs. Interesting thought about glucose and heart rhythm.

  4. Dear Dr. Scott,

    When you compare deaths related to sugar and cigarettes, where do the numbers come from. You haven´t stated any references ?

    Look forward to hear from you.

    1. Hi Stefan,

      Here is the math (let me know what you think):

      Roughly 5 million people worldwide die each year as a result of using tobacco.(1) But, diabetes kills around 3 million people a year and that number is climbing.(2) The United States and Canada have the “honor” of having a higher percentage of the population who die of complications of diabetes (8%) compared with poorer countries (2-3%). Apparently being wealthy means you are more likely to get diabetes.

      So it would appear that deaths due to diabetes and cigarettes are roughly equal, especially in the United States. But what happens if we include people who die due to heart disease and stroke as sugar-related deaths? Surely we cannot say that all the deaths due to cardiovascular disease are due to sugar, but many of them might be, and since heart disease and stroke account for 1/3 of all deaths or around 16 million people a year worldwide, then the destruction due to sugar is far greater than cigarettes.(3)

      By some estimates, over 90% of people who have hypertension have a kind of hypertension called “essential” or “idiopathic” (they cannot find an underlying cause).

      If we start at where scientists agree that sugar may indeed cause weight gain, then we begin to see how hypertension may be, in part, due to sugar consumption. The more weight you gain, the higher your risk for hypertension. It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults in the United States has hypertension (60 million people worldwide).(4) That is a lot of people who have a disease for which medical science does not understand the cause.

      We know that sugar is harmful to blood vessels and can hurt the blood pressure regulation system in the kidneys. High blood sugar can also damage large blood vessels. Atherosclerosis causes blood vessels to become less flexible and more rigid, this loss of flexibility leads to increased blood pressure. These two factors: kidney and blood vessel damage could be the smoking gun we are looking for when we think about what is causing essential hypertension.

      The million-dollar question is: Can this happen in people who are consuming “normal” levels of sugar and who show no sign of disease?

      One study that focuses on this question seems to think that at least fructose may contribute to hypertension through a variety of mechanisms. Another study has shown that people with pre-diabetes or metabolic syndrome are more likely to have nerve damage called peripheral neuropathy that is so common in diabetics.(5)These studies are a beginning, but many more need to be done to come to a conclusion.

      You can also throw in deaths from obesity itself, but that gets complicated because many of those are heart disease and diabetes related.

      (1) Ezzati M, Lopez AD: Regional, disease specific patterns of smoking-attributable mortality in 2000. Tob Control. 2004 Dec;13(4):388-95. PMID: 15564623
      (2) Roglic G, Unwin N, Bennett PH, et al: The burden of mortality attributable to diabetes: realistic estimates for the year 2000. Diabetes Care. 2005 Sep;28(9):2130-5. PMID: 16123478
      (3) Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke, WHO, Sept. 2004
      (4) Johnson RJ, Segal MS, Sautin Y, et al: Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;86(4):899-906. PMID: 17921363
      (5) Johnson RJ, Segal MS, Sautin Y, et al: Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Oct;86(4):899-906. PMID: 17921363 (6)xvi Smith AG, Singleton JR. Impaired glucose tolerance and neuropathy. Neurologist. 2008 Jan;14(1):23-9. PMID: 18195653

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