Today, we would like to center around a subject that has sparked medical interest and infectious disease research all around the world: COVID-19. More specifically, we are delving into modifiable risk factors, how to manage or prevent them, and how your medical team at Cederquist Wellness Center is ready to help you along the way.
Risk Factor #1: Metabolic Syndrome/Obesity
Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and high cholesterol levels that increases a person’s risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Unfortunately, many people with metabolic syndrome may not recognize the risk or even know that they have a combination of risk factors and those with these underlying health conditions are being shown to be at greatest risk with mortality in regards to COVID-19. When you add obesity to the equation the risk becomes even greater.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index of 25 or higher. You can calculate your body mass index using this BMI calculator. Additionally, Cederquist Medical Wellness Center uses the latest technology to calculate measurements for total body fat percentage which can also be a very useful tool for assessing overall health and risk, as well as measuring waist circumference and extensive labs to assess metabolic risk even further.
Obesity is a serious and life-threatening chronic disease that can lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, lymphedema, poor blood circulation and hypertension. Having too much excess body weight puts pressure on your heart, liver, gastrointestinal tract, and respiratory system. It has also been proven that obesity can lower immune function and increase cellular autoreactivity. Furthermore, observations are suggesting that the inflammation associated with these common comorbidities associated with metabolic syndrome and obesity may be strongly related to COVID-19 severity.
Now more than ever, is the time to optimize our metabolic health. Many factors come into play when determining the cause and best treatment plan for patients. It is important to remember that obesity is not “just a number” or “lack of willpower”, it is a chronic and metabolic condition that requires a specialized treatment plan and ideally, implementation of a strong support system. Practitioners at Cederquist are specially trained to aid patients in weight loss and are ready to help you make valuable changes in your nutrition, lifestyle, and overall health.
Risk Factor #2: Stress
Stress can manifest itself in many different forms. While experiencing short-term, moderate stress levels is normal, high-intensity, chronic stress can have damaging effects on our health. Studies have shown that increased levels of stress can have a profound effect on our immune system. As we know, a weakened immune system can put us at greater risk for contracting disease. Recognizing when stress levels are running high is an important process in the stress relief system. Noticing odd patterns in behavior such as constant fidgeting, lack of concentration, changes in eating habits, etc. can all be signals of high psychological stress. Implementing ways of stress management such as daily exercise, adequate nutrition, and self-care practices are essential to achieving good overall health.
Risk Factor #3: Smoking
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is one of the top risk factors for developing severe illness after being diagnosed with a COVID-19 infection. Smoking causes oxidative stress to develop within the respiratory tract as well as other systems, which depletes our antioxidant defenses and places our immune system at a disadvantage. Smokers are encouraged to increase their intake of fruits and vegetables, especially foods high in vitamin C in order to help the body replenish those much-needed nutrients and antioxidants. For those looking to reduce or eliminate their smoking habits, our team of medical professionals use an individualized, holistic approach that will help you reach your goals in a functional and safe manner.
Your trusted healthcare team at Cederquist Medical Wellness Center recognizes that these are unpredictably tough times. Despite varying changes and adjustments, health and safety should always remain a priority. We at Cederquist are constantly researching and implementing methods in which we can safely and effectively continue to provide top-quality healthcare to all.
We invite you to call 239-260-9956 to schedule a complimentary appointment to discuss how our programs can further optimize your health and decrease risk.