The Metabolic Triad Persists: Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease - Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Metabolic Triad Persists: Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease

November 10, 2019

And whose fault is it that the metabolic triad persists? Not mine, that’s for sure. I’m doing my darndest to remind people that nutrient building blocks are the basis of health and help prevent disease. It’s allopathic medicine’s fault because it keeps trying to treat lifestyle with drugs and it’s just not working. The article “The Metabolic TRIAD Persists: Obesity, Diabetes, and Heart Disease” is another nail in the coffin of allopathic medicine and literally the coffins of millions of patients who have not been given any other options by a system that’s based on drugs. Short-term use of these drugs may be useful but not lifelong prescriptions.

There is no end of data that draws links between the triad. This data is the reason doctors say they have to use a half-dozen drugs to try and “prevent” the triad and all their associated diseases. I’m sure you know the scenario, I call it the blood pressure spiral.

Fortunately there are some doctors, like cardiovascular researcher Dr. James DiNicolantonio why say, “Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency: A Principal Driver of Cardiovascular Disease and A Public Health Crisis.” However, as I discovered with the world-renowned magnesium researchers, Drs. Burton and Bella Altura, clinical research from the hallowed halls of academia doesn’t often reach the doctors, who continue to take their prescribing cues from Big Pharma. Ginney and I also saw this at the magnesium research conference held at the NIH, March 2019. Incredible magnesium breakthroughs are occurring every day and I seem to be one of the few people beating the drum to bring magnesium to public awareness.

Instead of the logical conclusion to explore magnesium here is the wish list that allopathic medicine puts forth.

  • Let’s lower the cut off for hypertension to 130/80 from 140/90 so we can give more drugs.
  • Let’s put everyone on statins.
  • Let’s give 6 medications for any sign of heart disease.
  • Let’s give meds for diabetes not diet.
  • Let’s do surgery for obesity.

Let’s Lower Hypertension to 130/80 Instead of 140/90 
Once allopathic medicine became convinced that they should give drugs as their only solution to try and “prevent” the Triad, they looked for excuses to prescribe more drugs. They did this with hypertension in 2018 when they lowered the cutoff range of high blood pressure from 140/90 to 130/80. Suddenly the hypertensive population in the U.S. doubled. 

A Medscape article “When to Start Treating Hypertension” announced this new cutoff but my mind immediately went to the studies showing that people with magnesium deficiency are at risk for hypertension. I’ve already mentioned the paper that I’m asking everyone to print up for their doctors, friends, and family: “Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency: A Principal Driver of Cardiovascular Disease and A Public Health Crisis.” In this paper, hypertension is the first entry. The section begins:

Arterial hypertension is the most significant global risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, exhibiting the highest prevalence worldwide.

But then here’s what happens when allopathic medicine treats hypertension.

“About 80% of patients with hypertension treated for at least 6 months with either hydrochlorothiazide or a single non-diuretic drug have been found to have magnesium depletion.”

“…Many patients with hypertension are treated with thiazide and loop diuretics, both of which deplete the body of magnesium.”

“…giving patients with hypertension who are receiving long-term thiazide diuretics oral magnesium supplementation significantly reduces blood pressure.”

“…the high intracellular calcium induced by magnesium deficiency may induce both insulin resistance and hypertension…”

As doctors hammer hypertension to try and prevent heart disease, they remain absolutely stone cold deaf to the fact that taking BP medication depletes magnesium and leaves a person vulnerable to heart disease. All the doctors see is patients getting sicker and sicker and all they are able to do is give more and more medication earlier and at lower BP levels in a deluded attempt to try to offset the epidemic. The extreme irony would be funny if it weren’t so fatal.

The Blood Pressure Spiral
We all know people who have taken BP meds and gotten into the following tailspin. Jack is 60, and he goes to his doctor for his annual checkup, but he’s been under tremendous stress – which causes magnesium deficiency. The doctor, unsurprisingly, finds that his blood pressure is a little high. It’s been a little high a few times in the past so he is put on a diuretic drug, which drains more of his already depleted magnesium.

When he comes back for a follow up reading, his blood pressure is even higher. The doctor doesn’t know why, but it’s because Jack’s magnesium is being driven lower and lower by the diuretic. His doctor just thinks he’s caught Jack’s blood pressure early and has to get more aggressive. The doctor puts Jack on two more antihypertensive drugs.

A month later, seemingly ‘out of the blue’, but because of lower levels of magnesium caused by all 3 drugs, his cholesterol levels are elevated and so is his blood sugar. The doctor, once again remarks that he’s caught Jack’s cholesterol and blood sugar “just in time” without having a clue that the drugs may be the cause.

In true allopathic fashion, the doctor puts Jack on a statin drug and a diabetic drug. Both those drugs drain the body of more magnesium. And so the story goes, as more and more magnesium is lost, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency escalate into full blown heart failure. However, the real failure is that doctors don’t understand that they are causing magnesium-deficient heart disease. It’s a terrible vicious cycle and the reason why most doctors don’t think heart disease can be cured – because they keep giving drugs, which cause symptoms of magnesium deficiency and escalate heart disease. The best form of magnesium is ReMag, a stabilized ionic form of magnesium that allows full absorption at the cellular level to power the 1,000 enzyme systems that require magnesium in 80% of known metabolic functions.

Let’s Put Everyone on Statins
A huge segment of allopathic medicine is still so fearful of heart disease and so enamored with statins that they want everyone to be on them to “prevent” cholesterol from clogging arteries. An article in The Telegraph, June 2016 stated that “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time.” The statement comes from a meta analysis of research involving nearly 70,000 people that found no link between “bad” cholesterol and the premature cardiovascular deaths of over 60-year-olds. The BMJ Open Journal found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level actually lived longer, which led Professor Sherif Sultan, University of Ireland to say that lowering cholesterol with medications is a total waste of time. I’d say it’s not only a waste of time but a dangerous waste of time because of all the statin side effects.

Statins are a group of powerful drugs that block a specific enzyme in the liver that helps make cholesterol. When that enzyme is blocked, cholesterol levels are lowered. That enzyme, however, does much more in the body than just make cholesterol, so when it is suppressed by statins there are far-ranging consequences. One major side effect that medicine acknowledges is elevated liver enzymes and disrupted liver function. If you take statins, you must have regular blood tests to look for liver damage. Stopping statins if your liver is damaged usually reverses the problem

Another acknowledged side effect, statin myopathy, is an iatrogenic (doctor-induced) condition that damages muscles and is entirely related to statin intake. Up to 20 percent of statin users can suffer muscle pain, tenderness, and weakness. But drug companies only report a 0.1 percent incidence of a severe type of muscle damage, called rhabdomyolysis, that is caused by statins, and therefore they try to say that muscle symptoms are rare. They ignore the one in five people who suffer their way through statin therapy, usually receiving other medications to treat the statins’ side effects.

A well-known magnesium expert, Mildred Seelig, M.D., wrote a fascinating paper with Andrea Rosanoff, Ph.D., showing that magnesium acts by the same mechanisms as statin drugs to lower cholesterol. Every metabolic activity in the body depends on enzymes. Making cholesterol, for example, requires a specific enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. As it turns out, magnesium slows down this enzymatic reaction when cholesterol is present in sufficient quantities and speeds it up when we need more.

HMG-CoA reductase is the same enzyme that statin drugs target and inhibit. The mechanisms are nearly the same; however, magnesium is the natural way that the body has evolved to control and balance cholesterol, whereas statin drugs are used to destroy the whole process.

If sufficient magnesium is present in the body, cholesterol will be limited to its necessary functions—the production of hormones and the maintenance of membranes—and will not be produced in excess. Remember, most of the cholesterol in the body is produced in the liver, so if it’s not needed, the body won’t produce it—but this mechanism depends on having sufficient magnesium.

It’s only in our present-day circumstances of magnesium-deficient soil, little magnesium in processed foods, and excessive intake of calcium and calcium-rich foods without supplementation of magnesium that cholesterol has become elevated in the population. If there is not enough magnesium to limit the activity of the cholesterol-converting enzyme, we are bound to make more cholesterol than is needed.

Any Sign of Heart Disease – Give 6 Medications
I’ve said many times that my medical school training did not include using pharmaceutical drugs for disease prevention. That notion has become more prevalent in the last 10-20 years. The best example of the overmedication of heart disease is the Downward Spiral of Hypertension that I mention above.

When coronary artery calcification is found on a Coronary Artery Scan, even though there is no medication that can eliminate calcification, statins are usually recommended. When a someone is diagnosed with diabetes they are often offered statins and blood pressure drugs because there is such a high incidence of cholesterol and hypertension with diabetes. If you have a mini-stroke, a mild heart attack, tachycardia, or atrial fibrillation you will be given up to a half-dozen drugs. There is no acknowledgment that all these drugs can lead to more magnesium deficiency and more symptoms that are treated with more drugs.

I wrote the following blog called “Medications Can Cause Heart Failure

The 2015 review paper “Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease” describes the science behind drugs that deplete magnesium. The paper names diuretics, epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, calcineurin inhibitors, and proton pump inhibitors as the greatest offenders. The Physicians’ Desk Reference has identified a much longer list. The following commonly used drugs have been robbing magnesium for many years.

Magnesium Robbers
Birth control pill
Bronchodilators, such as theophylline (for asthma)
Corticosteroids (for asthma)
Digitalis (for some heart conditions)
Diuretics (for high blood pressure)
Fluoride-based drugs (fluoride binds magnesium)
Proton pump inhibitors (for acid reflux)
Statins (for cholesterol)
Tetracycline and certain other antibiotics

WebMD page listed drugs that can cause or contribute to heart failure, which I think is, at least in part, due to escalating magnesium deficiency. Heart failure doesn’t mean the heart collapses, but it becomes sluggish in its ability to pump blood through the body. Symptoms include shortness of breath, weakness, and edema of the feet, legs and lungs. Drugs can be toxic to the heart, affect the strength of heart muscle contractions, worsen blood pressure, or prevent other medications from working.

The article admits that people with heart failure take an average of 6.8 prescription medicines a day. They say that the more drugs you take, the more likely you are to have a drug-drug interaction that can lead to heart failure. The drugs they consider dangerous are:

Heart Failure Drugs
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Diabetes medications
Blood pressure medicine
Antifungal medications
Cancer medications
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors

With a spectacular lack of understanding of the need for nutrients, the article admonishes people to avoid vitamins or supplements that may prevent cardiovascular problems or improve heart failure symptoms. They give no explanation for this ban. They lump supplements along with unsafe drugs, which can only scare the uninformed reader.

I’m not telling anyone to stop using their drugs but if you are on drugs you should really take ReMag to counter the magnesium deficiency that they cause. And if your health condition is caused by magnesium deficiency, you may be surprised to find that by supporting the structure and function of your body, you feel better.

Let’s Give Meds for Diabetes Not Diet

In my Blog “Screen More Diabetics: Give More Drugs” I describe an effective treatment for diabetes that allopathic medicine is ignoring. Instead:

Allopathic medicine wants to expand the criteria for diagnosing diabetes to gather more patients – to do what? To give them more drugs, that’s what. It completes the trifecta for drug company profit because they have lowered the “normal” of cholesterol so more people take statins; they have lowered the abnormal of blood pressure and promote a study that gives patients 3 BP drugs to begin treatment; and now they will give more people diabetic drugs. These three conditions can be the result of magnesium deficiency – but the public is not allowed to know this because it somehow makes magnesium a drug.

Instead of realizing that the current treatment of diabetes isn’t working doctors think the answer is to give more drugs to more people at an earlier point in their diabetic timeline. I became very concerned when I read a Medscape article called “Prediabetes, Diabetes Screening Criteria Miss Half of Patients.”

There are already over 30 million patients with diabetes in the US but they want to give another 30 million the bad news that they are on the downward spiral of diabetes – because everyone knows there is no medical cure for this disease. Doctors say you have to learn to control your diabetes but there is no cure.

The authors admit that “Early screening is important because it can enable earlier pharmacotherapy and lifestyle modification, potentially warding off more serious complications of diabetes.” Of course they lead with the drugs because they are pretty convinced that diet doesn’t work. They ignore the fact that the Ketogenic diet and fasting are working to reverse diabetes. Instead they attack doctors that use diet therapy. Dr. Tim Noaks in Australia is actually being sued by dieticians for promoting a low carb diet, which they say is out of his field of expertise!

Dr. Jason Fung is a Toronto kidney specialist who for 10 years watched increasing numbers of Type 2 diabetic patients develop kidney failure. Even though they take all their medications their disease is not cured and they still get complications – kidney failure, blindness, and amputations. Dr. Fung said it was terrible to see. He reasoned that if diabetes is the cause of kidney disease, you have to get rid of diabetes. Knowing that obese patients with DM would get better if they lose weight he decided to tackle obesity as the root cause of most Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Fung had such success with a low carb diet for his patients that he wrote a book called The Obesity Code. In it he blows up the myth of calorie counting saying that weight loss has nothing to do with lowering calories and has been mostly unsuccessful. Dr. Fung says you have to lower insulin levels to make any headway. And the best way to lower insulin is to lower carbohydrate intake. It’s only then that the weight starts to drop.

Adding fasting to the picture was another major breakthrough in weight loss and reversing diabetes. Dr Fung next wrote The Complete Guide to Fasting because he couldn’t find anything that put together the research on fasting and the history of fasting. He says it’s obviously the least expensive way to lose weight.

Fasting may seem extreme but the research supports its safety. In my book Total Body ReSet for Weight Loss and during my Weight Loss Webinar and Diabetes Webinar, I encourage people to keep taking their Completement Formulas during fasting and carbohydrate reduction. This will help you keep up your energy levels and reduce your food cravings because your body is getting the nutrients that it thinks it should be getting from foods.

Let’s Do Surgery for Obesity

Obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease (CAD). A large-scale meta-analysis on almost 900,000 individuals found that for each unit increase in body mass index (BMI), the risk for type 2 diabetes increased by 67%, and the risk for CAD increased by only 20%.

As noted in the above section about diabetes – an effective treatment for obesity and diabetes is the Ketogenic diet and Fasting. If only allopathic doctors would embrace a dietary solution, instead they think that drugs (with cardiovascular side effects) and surgery (~120,000 per year) are the only options for obesity. And they distract everyone from seeking dietary solutions with an ongoing debate about whether obesity really causes cardiovascular disease. Obesity researchers are also mapping obesity genes – in a misguided attempt to find a cure.

I won’t go into the obvious absurdity of treating a lifestyle/diet condition with surgery but just remind you that there are solutions. As noted above, read my book Total Body ReSet for Weight Loss; view my Diabetes Webinar and Weight Loss Webinar where I encourage people to keep taking their Completement Formulas during fasting and carbohydrate restriction. For more information on heart disease and hypertension you can read my book Heart Health. This used to be my AFib book, but I added several more heart diseases to this new edition.

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Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

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