“Beyond Corona” by Cynthia West, M.D.
Over the past several months we have all focused our attention and efforts on the immediate need to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting this new disease, COVID 19. The question of “What can I do?” became a main topic of conversation followed by the next most frequent question “What can I take?”. The response to the first question was distance, handwashing and masks. The answer to the second was less clear. No specific medication rose to the top of the list as being effective and even now there are still questions about which drugs should be used. Many quickly recognized the key was within our own immune system. The healthy immune system the less vulnerable it is not only to COVID but whatever infection next comes our way. Immune resilience is what enables us to respond effectively over the long haul.
We have all heard about the intense inflammatory response, the cytokine storm, through which this coronavirus causes its destruction. What do we know from the initial data collected on people who have been most severely affected by COVID? The vast majority also had one or more other chronic health conditions: hypertension, cardiovascular disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes and obesity. In fact, the most common health condition in people ages 18-49 hospitalized with COVID is obesity.
What do these conditions – obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes – have in common? They are the result of chronic inflammation and for the majority the source inflammation is lifestyle. Lifestyle refers to what we eat, how we move, how we sleep, how we handle stress and habits such as smoking and alcohol use. Knowing this, is it possible that we can protect ourselves from this virus and others by revamping our lifestyle thereby decreasing the inflammatory burden and creating a healthier immune system? This is not only possible, it is the very basis for creating and maintaining our health overall. A healthy lifestyle makes us resilient.
No matter where you are on the disease spectrum, you can decrease the toll of inflammation and rejuvenate your immune system to make yourself less vulnerable to COVID infection and others. Creating a healthier lifestyle is the very basis for the work we do in functional medicine. We are dedicated to working with you no matter where you are on the journey because we know changes can create better health for you.
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in ways we have never experienced. Turn this into a call to action for you, your family and our communities. We are here to help you on your journey. Let’s get started.
To learn more about Dr. West, please listen to her podcast with Dr. Turnpaugh https://turnpaughhwc.com/dr-cindy-west-thinks-outside-the-box-a-functional-medicine-podcast/