As I write this, the coronavirus mortality prediction has plunged to a much lower level than what was initially expected.
When this virus first reared its ugly head and models for mortality in the U.S. were being developed, experts feared as many as 2 million Americans would fall victim to it.
Now the models project only 60,000 – 80,000, and maybe not even that.
This is great news!
Now if you’re wondering what caused the dip in mortality predictions I can’t quite say for sure. There are a few theories about what caused the dip, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss.
Instead, I wanted to focus on how unhealthy blood sugar levels could increase the risk of dying by coronavirus.
Not only is dealing with elevated blood sugar one of the leading risk factors of death by coronavirus, it’s also one of the biggest factors in all-cause mortality.
And that’s why it’s going to be just as important to get blood sugar under control after the pandemic abates as it is during the pandemic.
Chronically Elevated Blood Sugar Means Compromised Immunity
The reason why anyone with chronically elevated blood sugar is at risk of death by COVID-19 (the disease coronavirus causes) has to do with how a lifetime of dealing with elevated blood sugar wears down and degrades the immune system.
When blood sugar levels are chronically elevated the result is a condition known as insulin resistance.
When insulin resistance takes hold in the human body it means that a person’s body requires more and more insulin to regulate the release and uptake of blood sugar.
The reason this is a factor in immune health is our immune cells require blood sugar to create energy, and when insulin resistance has set up within the body, it can’t properly regulate how much glucose is available for the production of ATP (ATP is fuel for immune cells to do their job).
Every single immune cell within your body has insulin receptors.
They use these receptors to feed on glucose and this gives them energy so that they can attack potential enemies of the body. Any alteration in your glucose/Insulin balance can negatively affect their function.
Additionally, insulin resistance which results from chronically elevated blood sugar generally creates a systemic and unhealthy chronic inflammatory status that also over demands and stresses immune cells.
This inflammation has been shown to trigger damage on vascular endothelium (the lining of your arteries and veins) which then results in compromised heart health.
And a damage to the vascular endothelium makes it so when your body needs to send a bunch of immune cells to a site of infection it may be prevented from doing so effectively because the damage prevents blood from carrying the necessary amount of immune cells to the area of infection.
I should be clear, even though I say this, we don’t fully understand how insulin affects the immune system. We’re going off of theories here
Dr. Tsai, of the Toronto General Hospital Research Institute (TGHRI) in Canada said this about our immune system and insulin: “The link between insulin and the immune system is not obvious…It is fascinating to learn that immune cells, which require energy and nutrients for proper functioning just like all other cells in the body, are also regulated by metabolic signals from insulin.”
While we’re still figuring out how COVID-19 affects the body, we know that if you’re already in a state of compromised immune health it can lead to the inability to resist an infection.
And elevated blood sugar and the inability of your immune cells to maintain proper function set a person up for hardship when it comes to casting off the virus.
In reality, elevated blood sugar produces a cascade of other serious conditions that lead to compromised immunity.
This isn’t just true for coronavirus, either.
I’ve stated time and time again, blood sugar issues that result in the formation of conditions like metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and more are major threats to health.
Not only can these conditions cause serious health issues…
All of them predispose you to suffering ill-effects from normal infections and colds.
And in this instance, blood sugar issues affect your body’s ability to fight off the pathogenic virus that’s causing so much turmoil.
Keep in mind, it isn’t that your risk of getting coronavirus is higher if you have blood sugar issues.
The real concern is that because elevated blood sugar levels disrupt so many systems that it can create a chaotic environment within your body that prevents your immune system from mounting an adequate defense against the infection.
This is an incredibly general overview of how elevated blood sugar can increase your risk of succumbing to COVID-19.
But the takeaway that elevated blood sugar can compromise immune health is a key takeaway that I hope everyone would consider.
Resist Coronavirus: Build Immunity
I hope the number one thing you can take away from these articles is that if you’re serious about beating coronavirus, and simply living well at any given time, you want to boost your immune system health.
It doesn’t seem like a crazy idea, but not many people are doing it.
So do what you can now and then something like this won’t be a problem in the future.