I’m going to talk about a friend of mine: my mentor, Ed.
Ed is 79. It was his birthday last week.
It was also the week he ventured out of his Arizona home, with double mask, for his CV vaccine appointment. He’s very careful because of his age and so-so health, so he takes all recommended precautions.
This week, Ed told me he has Covid. He described all of the symptoms and confessed to having absolutely no idea how he could have contracted it.
I immediately felt grief – and fear – of the possibility of losing my friend and mentor. But there was another thought that arose. If he got it with all the precautions he took, I have to re-examine my own ideas of the disease. Not just how to evade it, but re-evaluate my attitude to a new world where something indiscriminately chooses its victims. Rich, poor, outside worker, inside worker, health carer, garbage collector. Covid doesn’t care.
It’s been hard to keep out of the conspiracy circles surrounding CV. It seems that every day there’s a new ‘expert’ telling us it’s a plot by the Illuminati to rid the world of good people – or some alternative version of this theme. I have made a conscious choice not to watch the ‘must-see’ video on Facebook or YouTube. Frankly, I’m holding steady in my own mind and can’t see how any more theories would help my mental state.
Ed’s announcement winded me. Someone so close. Someone I admired so much. It felt, for the first time, personal.
And it made me revisit this idea I have held onto for most of my life that somehow calamities only happen to other people. Ed today? Me tomorrow. So what can I do about it NOW?
One word arose: IMMUNITY.
Followed closely by another: INFLAMMATION.
It seems to me that people aren’t really talking about immunity. They are talking about masks, and social distancing, but not actual immunity. Perhaps it’s too hard for people to grasp. But given the appalling state of Western nations’ basic health, I think it’s a particularly focused question. How is it, we’ve all wondered, that in a room with an influenza victim, some people catch it, and some don’t?
Of course there are levels of immunity. I’m lucky. I credit the health choices I’ve made over the last 21 years to the fact that in that time I’ve never had a cold or flu. Same with Cassie, my beloved.
But why, for instance, is the infection rate so high in America? Yes, we know there may be political reasons, but it seems to me that immunity – or lack thereof – must also be accounted for.
Among US adults aged 18 years or older, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome rose by more than 35% from 1988–1994 to 2007–2012, increasing from 25.3% to 34.2%.
Metabolic syndrome prevalence increased from 1988 to 2012 for every sociodemographic group; by 2012, more than a third of all US adults met the definition and criteria for metabolic syndrome agreed to jointly by several international organizations.
So exactly what is Metabolic Syndrome?
“Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of biological factors characterized by abdominal obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (1). The link between metabolic syndrome and increased risk of multiple chronic diseases (eg, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, chronic kidney disease, schizophrenia, several types of cancer) and of early death have been reported for many decades.”
When I read those statistics it seemed to point to a simple conclusion about the high infection rate for Americans. Lump obesity, stress, CV problems, arthritis, and cancer into one and what do we have as the predominant health condition in America? Metabolic syndrome.
The bottom line of all of these conditions is lack of immunity. Your body is doing its best with one hand tied behind its back.
And when… or if… we contract CV?
What does a healthy body do? It fights with both hands. What does a metabolic syndrome body do? That’s a good question. Like my friend Ed, if it’s overweight, then it’s already inflamed every day of its life. So it’s not only fighting with one hand behind its back, it’s trying to fight in a soup of inflammation fuzziness. Inflammation affects an estimated 60 million Americans.
…or the ability to increase our immunity isn’t difficult. There are many supplements and diets that can help. I can only share what has been shown to work for myself and Cassie. I continually re-examine my diet to maintain a healthy alkaline reserve. I have cut out all grains, all sugar and virtually all carbs. All of them rob me of my alkaline reserves and as a result, increase the general acidity of my metabolism. And acidity – as we know – creates inflammation.
And.. inflammation responds by creating its own acidity. Yes, I drink alkaline water, and take alkaline electrolytes… But that’s just the maintenance part of my strategy. It’s just filling up my alkaline reserves. My alkaline buffer or alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium are essential not just for their unique and specific health capabilities, but also just the ‘be there’ when acidity arrives in the form of stress, environment, excess of certain foods or drinks.. All creating an acid tide in our bodies.
I have contracted CV. I have made it to the hospital. I need a ventilator to breathe. My airways are extremely inflamed.
But my inflammation flares so dramatically that…
I’m not going to preach to you about this.
It’s my truth and you are welcome to criticise it on the basis of limited sample, science or awareness. But… it’s true for me and that’s why I’m offering it today.
In my mind, the cascade is there.
Acidity > Inflammation > Metabolic Syndrome > Low Immunity > Big Problem.
I’m lucky. I learned this 21 years ago and I have practised it: not by any means perfectly – but at age 74 I look at my old surfing buddies still on the acid treadmill – and it’s not a pretty sight.
I’m hoping for goods news about Ed.
He has been someone SO important in my life. But if the worst comes, I have to remember that it need not be that way. It’s up to me.
I think that the pandemic has shown us all that we can’t depend on a good tomorrow as a ‘given’. It has shown me that I have to take the leap from passive health to active, proactive and reactive health. What I put in my mouth does matter. How I live on a daily basis does matter. Observing my bad habits and changing them is no longer a life choice. Now it’s a choice for life itself!
~Ian Blair Hamilton
PS: Ed emailed me today. he’s OK. He has no idea what caused the shivers and temperature. But.. he’s alive and I’m happy.
ian Blair Hamilton Founder. AlkaWay