Is your immune system prepared for COVID-19?
If you happen to live in Montgomery County, AR you probably noted that we had our second diagnosed COVID-19 case. Both cases have since recovered. We don’t know if this second case is a man or a woman. Let’s just call the person Doe for now.
We don’t know if Doe was sick or hospitalized which resulted in a test. Or was Doe discovered because he/she had been in contact with a infected person someplace else?. Maybe Doe got tested at Healthy Connections or CHI-St. Vincents at their own initiative – which means that contact tracing has already been initiated to find who Doe might have infected. In any case we can assume that Doe was (or should have been) in quarantine to avoid further infections.
Bear in mind, as pointed out often, if Doe isn’t in the hospital the odds are good that symptoms are minor or non-existent and he/she will recover nicely.
So obviously the long term concern is hospitalization or death. From our individual, personal perspective it doesn’t matter a whit how Doe got COVID-19, if Doe is in the hospital, or if you passed Doe at the Dollar Store last week. What matters is how prepared your immune system is to respond to the COVID-19 virus when encountered.
What does insulin have to do with your immune system?
Your immune system’s job to is recognize something dangerous (like a bad bacteria or virus) and move to wipe it out. The immune system can be diminished in a variety of ways but a central one for most of us is associated with how effectively our bodies are able to use insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that stores and/or prevents storage of nutrients. Can’t tell you how important that is. Those nutrients can be glucose (sugar), protein, or fat. When there is too much or too little insulin there will be illnesses that we have all heard of, illnesses currently known as underlying health conditions associated with COVID-19.
Underlying health conditions
So what are they? Diabetes (results from failure to store glucose in body cells and too much glucose being created in the liver), obesity (too much storage of fat resulting from failure to to store glucose – dang stuff has to go somewhere), fatty liver disease (fat storing in bad places when the fat cells get full), cardio vascular disease (excess glucose in the blood vessels stuck to red blood cells and vessel walls plus too much fat escaping from the fat cells.)
It is possible that any of these might happen because of bad genes. However, more often than not, they happen because of what you eat coupled with how you live. These conditions don’t necessarily show up in the same order. But typically too much insulin is the beginning.
A bad diet also fails nutritionally. All of the vitamins, minerals, etc. you get in real food tend to be missing in all that stuff in boxes, bags, and bottles in the grocery store. No matter how good they taste, the more that stuff makes up the bulk of your diet the less real nutrition you are actually getting.
A two way street – diet associated
It’s a two way street. The nutrients required to build, strengthen, and protect your immune system are missing, The health conditions (and treatments for same) interfere with the immune system. Both are diet associated.
Next time we will look at this in greater depth. This gives you enough time to prepare yourself for the inevitable. Your diet may be making you susceptible to COVID-19.
Pat Smith is the author of “It’s All about the Food,” a book that guides nutritious food choices as the way to avoid illness and maintain a healthy weight. Proceeds from her book benefit the Montgomery County Food Pantry. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, 870-490-1836. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/patsmithbooks. Her website is http://www.allaboutthefood.org/