expert type icon EXPERT

Dr. Jonathan L. Sheline, MD, MS

Family Practitioner

Dr. Jonathan Sheline is a family practitioner practicing in Durham, NC. Dr. Sheline specializes in comprehensive health care for people of all ages. In addition to diagnosing and treating illnesses, family practitioners also put focus on preventative care with routine checkups, tests and personalized coaching on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Sheline possesses immense general knowledge on maintaining health and today, family practitioners provide more care for the underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty.
35 years Experience
Dr. Jonathan L. Sheline, MD, MS
  • Durham, NC
  • Physician Assistant Studies, Barry University, FL
  • Accepting new patients

Can a no-carb diet be healthy?

A very low-carb or no-carb diet can be helpful for losing weight. However, usually the way you accomplish this is to eat lots of meat and fatty foods, which usually will increase READ MORE
A very low-carb or no-carb diet can be helpful for losing weight. However, usually the way you accomplish this is to eat lots of meat and fatty foods, which usually will increase your cholesterol and increase your risk of diabetes and several cancers. Also, most people find it very difficult to stick to a very low-carb diet, and they often end up gaining back all the weight they lost.

A better diet to lose weight is a "whole foods plant-based" diet, in which you eat vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes (beans, lentils). You can learn lots more about this from the website: NutritionFacts.org.

Are high hemoglobin levels a problem?

Yes, this can be a problem, depending on how high you're talking about. Probably the most common causes of high hemoglobin (Hgb) are smoking, and living at high altitude -- both READ MORE
Yes, this can be a problem, depending on how high you're talking about. Probably the most common causes of high hemoglobin (Hgb) are smoking, and living at high altitude -- both of which make your body increase red blood cell production because you're not getting enough oxygen. It can also be due to poor heart or lung function, taking certain drugs or hormones, or a condition called polycythemia vera. Dehydration can temporarily increase your hemoglobin level.
Unless the Hgb level is quite high, it probably won't cause a problem. However, very high Hgb levels (above 19 or so) means your blood is thick enough to maybe increase the likelihood of clot formation, leading to strokes, heart attacks, etc.

Is my vitamin b12 deficiency from my change in diet?

Hello, I am a family physician with a private practice in lifestyle medicine, which mainly entails using proper nutrition to allow patients to heal themselves without needing medications. READ MORE
Hello, I am a family physician with a private practice in lifestyle medicine, which mainly entails using proper nutrition to allow patients to heal themselves without needing medications. I advocate a plant-based diet for nearly all of my patients, one that is based on whole plant foods. People who eat entirely plant-based do not get enough Vitamin B-12; I recommend all my vegan patients to take supplemental B-12: the dose if you are under 65 is 500 mcg per day; if over 65 then 1,000 mcg (1 mg) per day. The cheapest form, cyanocobalamin, works just fine.

So in answer to your question, yes, it is probably your diet which is causing you to be deficient in B-12. Vitamin B-12, and sometimes vitamin D (for people who don't get much sunshine) are pretty much the only supplements I recommend. Vitamin B-12 is not made by plants. It is not made by animals either, but is present in meat because animals harbor the bacteria which actually manufacture vitamin B-12. Hundreds of years ago, when our food wasn't so sterilized and was contaminated with a certain amount of bacteria from the soil, we didn't need supplemental B-12, but now we do.

I understand your reluctance to take supplements, but B-12 deficiency is a serious issue, so I strongly urge you to take a supplement in this case.

Dr. Jon
PhysicianAssistedWellness.com