August is National Wellness Month, and as we’re turning the corner on the Covid-19 crisis, having a wellness mindset is more important than ever.
The Covid-19 pandemic did many things, one of which was to highlight the importance of overall good health—and how most Americans are simply missing the mark. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that six in 10 Americans have one or more chronic diseases, and 4 in 10 have two or more. That’s not okay!
And how did that impact Covid-19 patients? Well, studies have shown a strong correlation between commonly preventable chronic diseases—think diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease—and an increase in Covid-19 severity, including death. So, when Covid-19 arrived, the majority of Americans were already in an at-risk category!
In addition to chronic illness, studies found that physical inactivity and vitamin D deficiency also increased the likelihood of Covid-19 severity and mortality. Both of these factors are prevalent among Americans and highly preventable with exercise and supplements.
So, while a vaccine is now available to help protect those at-risk, it’s not the singular solution to reducing Covid-19 cases, nor will it prevent future medical crises. That’s because, when Covid-19 hit, we already had a medical crisis on our hands in the form of chronic illnesses and a lack of foundational wellness habits. So, if we want to address Covid-19 holistically, we need to address the root causes of what makes people so at-risk in the first place.
And to do that, functional medicine must be part of the solution.
Functional Medicine: From Symptoms-Focused to Root-Cause
With six in 10 Americans currently living with a chronic illness, it’s clear we need a shift in our healthcare strategy. And where we’ve missed the mark is simply focusing on treating symptoms, not the underlying root issues. Our healthcare system is often viewed as a “sick care” system—rather than getting ahead of the problems and optimizing for incredible health, patients primarily see a doctor once something is wrong.
One form of medicine that is fast becoming popular because of this very issue is functional medicine. Functional medicine is a form of medical practice that seeks to find the underlying cause and systemic imbalances, rather than just the symptoms. Its popularity has grown significantly in recent years, and it’s no wonder why.
As a functional medicine doctor, I’ve spent 22 years developing and practicing a method of functional healthcare that truly seeks to address causal issues and help patients craft a personal health plan so that they can live their absolute best lives.
This specific form of functional medicine is called The Galyardt Method, and it is an individualized approach that incorporates functional medicine, neurofeedback, and nutritional counseling to help patients overcome chronic illnesses and gain optimal health. I’ve seen patients transform when switching to this more holistic approach to health and medicine, gaining back their health and taking on a true wellness mindset themselves.
Problems like Covid-19 cannot be solved with a single solution. And while the miracle of a vaccine is truly amazing, and helping so many at risk, addressing why we are at risk in the first place is vital to overcoming this crisis and protecting ourselves for the future.
So, as National Wellness Month is upon us, I hope you’re inspired to adopt a wellness mindset and start taking small steps towards better health—for yourself, and your loved ones. And if you’re not sure where to start, my team at F8 Well Centers would love to help guide you!
Underlying Medical Conditions Associated with High Risk for Severe COVID-19: Information for Healthcare Providers. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Updated: May 13, 2021, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-care/underlyingconditions.html
Sallis R, Young DR, Tartof SY, et alPhysical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patientsBritish Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 13 April 2021. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2021-104080
Sooriyaarachchi, Piumika, Jeyakumar, Dhanushya T., King, Neil, Jayawardena, Ranil. “Impact of vitamin D deficiency of COVID-19.” Clinical Nutrition ESPEN. Published May 29, 2021. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2021.05.011