As some of you might already know, I very recently recovered from a bout with COVID 19. I am here to tell you, this sickness is no joking matter and it needs to be taken quite seriously despite the fact some people will display little to only a few symptoms. I am in excellent physical condition and it affected me pretty good for three weeks. While I was fortunate to not experience troubles with my lungs consolidating, the virus made my entire body hurt. My body hurt in a way to where it was like I could feel pain in every fiber of every muscle in my body. Even the tendons and ligaments were painful to me. And then, the fatigue was enough to have me sleeping more than half of the hours of each day for two weeks, and after the third week, I was still feeling weak when I resumed my weight training. Being quarantined to the house (my wife Loraine had this too) became difficult when we were running low on groceries and trying to find a store or business that could deliver goods to our home.
There are so many ways this virus affects us that we cannot truly appreciate until we have been impacted by it. I love to eat, but for three weeks I hated food. Instead of losing my sense of taste and smell, everything I ate or drank tasted and smelled kind of earthy and pungent to me. My coffee tasted the same as my scrambled eggs, which tasted the same as anything else I consumed. Everything tasted the same, and none of it tasted good. A month later, my sense of taste is still a little bit off, but at least my coffee is once again tasting like coffee instead of like brewing peat moss scraped off a rock in the forest into a hot drink.
Overall, Loraine and I got off easy compared to some. I was fearful for her being as she still has a compromised immune system from her breast cancer. We have both recovered without hospitalization, yet my friends wife just got out of an extended stay in the hospital as a result of contracting this virus. I know a few other people who have lost loved ones to this sickness and despite this, I still know a few who are not taking it seriously. Common sense has to prevail my friends. I’m not suggesting we should run around looking for death under every rock, but we must still take care of our health and take precautions against the virus.
How does COVID 19 affect those with Metabolic Syndrome?
First, what is Metabolic Syndrome?
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that occur together, which increase 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. Metabolic syndrome is closely linked to overweight or obesity and inactivity, and it is also linked to insulin resistance.
Patients with metabolic syndrome exhibited an almost 4-times greater odds of fatal Covid-19 outcomes, compared to patients without metabolic syndrome in the multivariable analysis.
Among the patients hospitalized for Covid-19, having three common comorbidities associated with metabolic syndrome – hypertension, obesity and diabetes – was associated with an almost 5-fold increase in risk for requiring treatment in an ICU, being placed on mechanical ventilation and developing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
The findings suggest that metabolic syndrome is a “composite predictor of Covid-19 lethal outcome,” wrote researcher Joshua Denson, MD, of Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues. (1)
“Together, obesity, diabetes and pre-diabetes, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels are all predictive of higher incidents of death in these patients. The more of these diagnoses that you have, the worse the outcomes,” said lead investigator Joshua Denson, MD, assistant professor of medicine and pulmonary and critical care medicine physician at Tulane University School of Medicine, in a statement. “The underlying inflammation that is seen with metabolic syndrome may be the driver that is leading to these more severe cases.”
While many observational studies have examined the impact of diabetes, obesity, and other risk factors with COVID-19 outcomes, Denson and a team of colleagues sought to further this understanding by assessing the impact of metabolic syndrome and each of its individual components on outcomes in COVID-19 patients. Using the World Health Organization (WHO) criteria for metabolic syndrome, investigators designed their study as an assessment of data collected from a pair of Tulane-affiliated hospitals in New Orleans. (2)
Metabolic Syndrome is Preventable!
Preventing metabolic syndrome is most certainly possible. you can prevent yourself from getting this condition by maintaining a healthy waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. However, a huge obstacle blocking the way to prevention is there are far too many people who are apathetic about their weight and health until it actually does make them uncomfortable. Sadly, some never get over their apathy. In talking to people about nutrition and fitness, it is not uncommon to hear people say they “do not do healthy” and that “they are going to enjoy life by eating whatever the hell they want”. It is not rocket science that our immune system is our defense against disease, and poor nutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiencies. Maintaining your immune system requires an intake of proper vitamins and minerals. Eating a well-balanced diet, including fruits, vegetables and food low in unhealthy fats, will help support a *healthy immune system. Yet, quick junk foods still are the go to for a majority of western society of today. We can see the evidence of this each day by the long drive through lines at any fast food joint you might drive past in America on any given day.
Exercise and weight loss will aid in preventing Metabolic Syndrome. You can begin by consuming a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while excluding sugar and processed foods. Leading a sedentary life leads to Metabolic Syndrome, therefore exercise of some sort is also important when it comes to preventing this condition. Regular physical activity will reduce your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels. The key is to try to maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise program or radically changing your diet.
It Is Expensive to be Unhealthy!
Nearly two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a healthier diet could prevent at least $71 billion per year in medical costs and lost lives. That number may be underestimated because it only accounts for diet-related coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes. It does not include other diet-related illnesses.
Seventy-five percent of health care dollars are spent on treating preventable diseases. (3)