Reducing the risk - now and into the future
I guess we are all pretty de-sensitised to the term 'underlying health conditions' and its association with increased chances of succumbing to Covid-19 by now. But what do we actually know about these underlying health conditions? What are they? And why do they put us more at risk?
According to Dr Henderson in patient.info/news-and-features/covid-19-corona..."Underlying chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease can affect the immune system. This reduces the body's ability to fight off infection or illness, so the symptoms and impact from infection can be worse."
In the UK, 91% of fatalities so far, according to the ONS data, had other health problems, with men twice as likely as women to die. Meanwhile data from the US shows a large number of younger people being affected in New York City and an even greater number in New Orleans. So why is this?
In the recent Ivor Cummins podcast, Dr Paul Mason explains that it all comes down to metabolic health. The metabolic health of the population of NYC and New Orleans is apparently even worse than that of the overall American population. Only 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy in all five metrics of metabolic health and if you are metabolically unwell, you are going to place yourself at much greater risk of the complications of Covid-19. For the over 60's, only 2% are metabolically healthy in all five metrics! And it is not just the US, the rest of us are not far behind.
So what are the five metrics to watch out for?
- High blood sugar levels
- High blood pressure
- Central adiposity - visceral fat
- Triglycerides - high is bad
- HDL - low is bad
Many of these features of metabolic syndrome are associated with insulin resistance, which means that the body does not use insulin efficiently to lower glucose and triglycerides levels. Insulin resistance is the root cause of all five of the metrics and is relentless, and only gets worse as people get older. So it is not age itself that is the risk factor, it's that age is so often twinned with poor health.
This is the focus of my nutrition coaching services - helping people to improve their physical resilience and well-being - whether to reverse existing conditions, or to avoid developing them in the future.
And of course this also relates closely to our mental resilience and well-being, both because not feeling at our best physically has an effect on how we feel mentally, but also more intrinsically in terms of the relationship between our gut and our brain - the gut-brain connection.
Right now, I imagine that many people are head down, intent on just getting through this current nightmare in one piece. If any of the above resonates with you and you would like to have a confidential chat, please just reach out and let's see whether together we can help you to improve or recover your health to #beyourbestyou.