Your lipid profile matters in warding off COVID-19

June 21, 2020

THE threat of coronavirus is still high. So it’s up and about on us to pay attention to our body about the signs and symptoms of upcoming illness it is trying to tell us.

We need to be the best of our health these days to avoid the virus. And this is not the appropriate time to get sick or visit the hospitals where most of the doctors and nurses and other frontliners were much occupied attending to Covid patients and conducting rapid tests.

Knowing your “numbers” (health stats) once or twice a year would help you pinpoint your health issue if you have any.

Our primary concern during this pandemic is to keep our immune system strong. To ensure our immune system is to ensure that our lipid profile is good.

* Blood pressure. Most of Covid patients have underlying symptoms of high blood pressure. We should keep our blood pressure at normal level. An elevated blood pressure is significant because it often progresses into Stage I (systolic 130-139 or diastolic 80-89) and then Stage II (systolic over 140 or diastolic over 90) hypertension, which can eventually lead to a risk of atherosclerotic heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.

Hypertension is asymptomatic, but if the blood pressure is higher than 180/120 and the person is experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, back pain, numbness, weakness, change in vision, or difficulty speaking, it is essential that the pressure be lowered and the person seek immediate medical attention.

* Cholesterol levels. An elevated cholesterol level is also dangerous. A total cholesterol (TC) should be less than 200 mg/dL. TC is at the borderline high with readings up to 240 mg/dL. Anything above 240 is considered high, and higher than this would lead to cardiovascular disease.

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding smoking, exercising, and maintaining a healthy diet would help lower the bad cholesterol level.

* Triglyceride levels. Many are watching their blood pressure and cholesterol levels only. They ignore or not aware of triglycerides. This is also factor to consider when evaluating cardiovascular risk. Triglyceride is about the fat of sugar, carbohydrates and fatty (fried) foods. Triglycerides level increase along with bad cholesterol (LDL). And as they increase, the good cholesterol (HDL) falls, which can further increase of cardiovascular disease.

Try cut your intake of simple carbohydrates can also help bring these numbers down.

* Your mouth. According to experts, there is a definitive link between the mouth and the rest of the body, with many systemic diseases having oral manifestations.

Researchers have concluded that the bacteria found in plaque (the primary etiological factor causing gum disease) is linked to coronary disease, and that people with periodontal disease are up to two times as likely to suffer a fatal heart attack and nearly three times more likely to suffer a stroke as those individuals without this disease.

Dentists said oral bacteria cause the platelets in the bloodstream to aggregate and form blood clots (thrombi) that can block blood vessels and infect heart valves.

Those with diabetes also tend to have a greater than normal risk of gingivitis (inflammation and bleeding of the gums) and periodontal disease (the disease that affects the bone and tissue surrounding your teeth).

Brush your teeth well at least twice a day, use a mouth rinse, floss with the proper technique, and don’t forget to visit your dentist.

You should also avoid other risk factors such as smoking, chewing tobacco, and vaping.

* Watch your body alignment. Are you bending forward?  Most people with scoliosis have a mild form of the disorder but, as conditions worsen, it can cause uneven hips, shoulders, prominent ribs, and even a shift of the waist, along with chronic back problems and loss of coordination and mobility.

Examine yourself: Bending at the waist and reaching for the floor, examine the back from behind and from the front, looking for signs of asymmetry. Standing straight up and checking posture from the front, behind, and from the side can also help show signs of misalignment.

If you suspect you have scoliosis you may see a chiropractor who can provide a diagnosis and determine the degree of curvature with appropriate imaging, then prescribe an individualized treatment plan.

* Your blood glucose levels. Always keep your blood glucose within a healthy range (70-140 mg/dL) to protect your tissues from the damage of elevated blood glucose which can lead to diabetes.

High blood glucose levels, also known as hyperglycemia, can cause inflammation, damaging vessels that supply blood to vital organ. A reading of 200 mg/dL or above signifies Type 2 diabetes, which could lead complications such as heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, neuropathy, retinopathy, fatty liver disease, and many other chronic diseases.

You can easily test your blood glucose levels at home using a blood glucose meter purchased from your local pharmacy. The best time to test is two hours after a meal-healthy elevation, which will demonstrate your ability to metabolize glucose. If the result is above 140 mg/dL, you should contact your doctor.

Reduce high-fat foods intake like red meat, chicken, and eggs. Increasing your intake of low-fat, plant-based, whole-foods, will optimize the function of your liver and muscle cells.