Like you, I have spent a lot of time online lately. But while much of the world scourers the headlines of the major media, I’ve been reading journal articles & listening to experts (not just the ones on mainstream media). I’ve noticed some things about CoVid 19 and I’ve developed a theory about concerned you need to be. I also have some suggestions on being proactive about your health, your fear and choosing where you ‘come from’ in such times.
I think much of the fear has moved beyond healthy respect, normal avoidance and prevention all the way into a full panic mode.
A couple of things about panic:
- We don’t make good decisions when we are operating out of panic. This is how our brains are wired. When we go into ‘fight or flight’ response, our frontal cortex is essentially shut down & overpowered by the more primitive part of our brain that can’t see anything more than the two options of either running away or fighting back. Since we are being told there IS no ammunition to fight back, we’re all in fear mode dutifully panicking inside the 4 walls of our homes. I’m not necessarily saying this is wrong, but I AM saying it’s very difficult for us to look at the problem and bring sane science to bear here. (more on what some experts are saying next time).
- The hormones racing through your system when you’re in ‘fight or flight’ are damaging to your body in multiple ways.
- These hormones adversely affect the very immune system you want and need to be strong to fight this invader.
- These hormones also adversely affect multiple other systems in our bodies, most notably our cardiovascular system and our digestive system.
How your body behaves differently in “Fight or Flight” response:
We all have heard about highly stressed executives and how much more prone they are to a heart attack.
But did you know that the same hormones that are active in fight or flight also cause digestive issues and a tendency to lay down extra fat!? Yup! It’s true; when Cortisol levels are high, we gain weight easier, our blood sugar levels are adversely affected and our hormones that regulate hunger and appetite are impacted as well. In addition to all that, the digestive system basically shunts everything you take in either for immediate use, raising your blood sugar levels or for immediate storage, laying down extra fat. Yeah, so basically, forget intermediate functions like glycogen storage, general repair, growth, immune function and more. By evolutionary standards, this makes sense; get through the crisis and then worry about repair. But when stress is chronic, it has devastating results.
So what are some basic mechanisms to get us out of the loop?
- Limit your exposure to amped-up coverage. Do you really need to listen to the news, the President or local news conferences daily? Be selective.
- Get some aerobic exercise. The hormones our body secretes in fight or flight are designed for us to have the capacity to run or fight back. Aerobic exercise mimics that; thus using up the hormones. This gets us back into a healthier state.
- Meditate, do yoga, self-hypnosis, EFT tapping or use other methods. Most are working via video call) to bring your brain and nervous system back into alignment. (Contact me for a referral to a practitioner if needed)
- Get a chiropractic adjustment. It also helps normalize nervous system function & helps the connection between your Nervous System and your Immune System
- Eat your fruits & veggies: Keeping your diet balanced positively impacts all your systems. Just start here.
- Breathe: If you’re not someone who has ever adopted meditation, yoga or other things, just the simple act of taking 10 long slow deep breaths several times daily can be a big help. Try it before you sit down to eat a meal. It will bring the hormone levels down a little and will help your digestive system do a better job of processing your food properly.
So, what this about CoVid 19 and it being an ‘equal opportunity invader?’
We’ve heard some amazing things over the past month: over a million cases of the infection, 100,000 deaths world-wide and tragic stories.
We’ve heard that most cases of death are in older people with weakened immune systems, but we’ve also heard of the tragic cases of healthcare providers and younger people dying. Let’s look a little closer: Much of the data is still being calculated and interpreted. However, a study undertaken by the Kaiser Foundation has concluded the following:
- About 4 in 10 of ALL adults over 18 are at risk for more serious infection.
- Just over ½ of those in #1 above are age 65 and older. (Therefore, a little less than 2 in 10 under 65 are at increased risk)
- The adults between 18 and 64 that are most at risk have these co-morbidities: heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), uncontrolled asthma, diabetes, or a BMI greater than 40.
Note: They did not track cancer or immune system compromise as a co-morbidity (they chose to not track that so that it wouldn’t falsely elevate the stats).
Further research on the rates of the above conditions in the US indicates that in adults 18-64, about 9.4% have diabetes, about 8.2% of those living in rural areas have COPD and about 4.7% of those in metro areas have COPD. About 7.1% of adults in the U.S. have asthma and about 60% of that is uncontrolled. I was unable to find data that distinguished adults 18-64 from the rest of the population regarding morbid obesity but 18% of the general public is considered morbidly obese. (All found by simple google search)
Given all these factors together, a picture emerges of the ‘at risk’ adult under 65 which basically suggests that while there could be a very rare exception, almost all the people developing serious disease have one or more conditions that pre-disposes them to the disease.
Here’s the thing that most others won’t say: too many people with the conditions listed above (and other diagnosed health conditions as well) don’t really think of themselves as being chronically ill and so don’t want to recognize that they are more susceptible than others to this and other infections.
Add this to the fact that the media reports deaths by age and generally doesn’t mention mitigating factors and we can begin to see some of the reasons the public is so spun up about this infection.
Yes, it is theoretically possible for an otherwise healthy person to get Covid 19 and die of it, just as it’s theoretically possible for them to get some other infection they could die of. There are no guarantees in life.
Part of what I’m attempting to distinguish here is that too many of us who have chronic conditions and take medication to mitigate symptoms ignore our problems and consider ourselves ‘healthy’ or fool ourselves into believing we are invincible when the data clearly shows otherwise. These health conditions make people more susceptible to death from ALL causes. Considering that and in light of these stats, I’d like to suggest that it’s time that if you have any health condition, you take an honest look at it and make a choice to do something about it. Most chronic conditions can essentially be reversed with the right diet and lifestyle.
So while you’re stuck at home, you might give some thought to some questions like:
- Am I going to use this time to begin to address some of my health issues that may make me more susceptible to other problems (including CoVid19)?
- Are the health conditions I have amenable to being resolved with diet and lifestyle? (the answer is likely ‘yes’ but you may need assistance)
- Am I willing to put a plan in place that can help me reverse these conditions?
- If you’re on any medication: Do I understand the long-term effects of the drugs and other conditions they are likely to cause?
And perhaps most importantly: Am I willing to accept the consequences of my inaction?
I’m happy to offer a Free Consultation about your condition.