American Flags representing lives lost due to COVID-19

COVID is a pretty scary virus. More than 265,000 Americans have died from this illness to date. The current projections are that we could have as many as 400,000 by the end of this year. That means learning what we can do to protect ourselves and our families is extremely important. Especially when we learn that there are things, like Metabolic Syndrome, that increase our risk of dying from the coronavirus COVID-19—even if we are washing our hands, practicing social distancing, and wearing masks.

More scary news about coronavirus, of those who survive COVID, there are a significant number who suffer debilitating long-term health conditions, under the “Post-acute COVID-19 Syndrome” umbrella. The CBS show 60 Minutes recently did a segment on that, which if you aren’t scared of getting corona, or at least respectfully cautious about it, you should check it out. I have also written about this syndrome and how it affects people commonly referred to as “Long haulers”.

Metabolic Syndrome Risks

choices signs

All that being said, believe it or not, I’m not here to scare you. My purpose is to empower you to make better choices, so listen up.

As defined by the Mayo Clinic, “Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels.”

The good news is that having one of these conditions doesn’t mean that you have Metabolic Syndrome, although any one of these conditions raises your risk level for serious diseases.

The bad news is that you don’t have to have all of them. Metabolic Syndrome is when a person has any combination of 3 of these conditions. This is serious enough it bears repeating—any 3 of the following puts you are a much greater risk of dying if you get the coronavirus:

  • Obesity
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • High triglycerides
  • Diabetes (or pre-diabetes)
  • Low HDL (the ‘healthy’ or good cholesterol)

Overweight Apples vs Pears

apple vs pear body shape

One of the biggest risk factors in Metabolic Syndrome is being obese. Given that 71% of Americans are overweight and 42% of us are not just overweight but are considered obese, it is a fairly safe bet that if you’re wondering if you’re in this category, you probably are. One way to determine if you are obese is by calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI). While not fool-proof, looking at a BMI chart can serve as a wake-up call for many. Generally, a person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

You may have also heard that carrying excess weight around your middle is bad for you—this is true and even if you are not officially obese, if you tend to be an “apple” and carry your weight around your abdomen (as opposed to “pears”) you are at increased risk for serious conditions, including Metabolic Syndrome.

Diseases of Aging is a Myth

Blood pressure and triglyceride levels in Americans are often high in middle age and beyond. These are commonly referred to as diseases of aging. They are not. Those are candy-coated lies you’ve been told that have put your life at risk.

Here’s a dose of truth instead. As I recently wrote, these conditions are actually diseases due to poor diet and lifestyle choices–choices that you make day in and day out.

Since these conditions are due to diet and lifestyle, you can begin to reverse the downward spiral of your health and reduce your risk of being a COVID statistic by making different choices.

Working with a board-certified nutritionist at Living Well Nutrition can help you determine which choices are going to make the biggest impact.

Food IS Medicine, so many of the different choices may involve food and drink. We will also address lifestyle and even supplements choices. All of these new choices will all geared to begin the critical health correction you need.

I’m OK, My Doctor Prescribed a Pill for that

ostrich with head in sand

Are you on medication for one or more of these conditions? If you’re thinking your medication is taking care of you, take the time to pull your head out of the sand. Sure, prescription drugs keep a lid on your symptoms, but they are in no way correcting the deficiencies that led to the problem in the first place. Medication manages your disease process.

Functional nutrition gets at the root cause and thereby eliminates the problem. When we work together and eliminate the cause of the problem your body will naturally heal. This will allow you to live your life to the fullest.

Stop waiting.

Stop living your life in defensive mode.

Get on the offensive and call us today to get your personalized health plan started. Then, you can live with more confidence even in the face of a pandemic.

Image credits:

Flags on the grounds of the Washington Monument representing lost American lives, photo Win McNamee/Getty Images

Ostrich from Ripley’s Believe it or Not

Choices Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay