COVID-19 is a wake-up call

What exactly is a wake-up call? Something that serves to alert us to a problem, danger or need. Seeing what this virus has done to our country and the world should serve as warning that we do have a problem, we are in danger and there is a need. 

The fact that a virus has shut down our lives should serve as a warning to us all. The fact that a virus has caused such panic and fear, such extreme social distress and economic ruin should get our attention. 

So, what is the warning? Our society is not healthy. Chronic illness is rampant in this country and COVID-19 is making this clear. 

Who is most at risk from this coronavirus? In addition to the elderly, those with chronic illnesses. We don’t have a cure for growing older, but we certainly can do a great deal to be healthier as we grow older. This is would make this virus or any infection for that matter less lethal. 

Which chronic health conditions lead to complications and possibly death from the virus: 

Obesity: 36% of Americans are obese and 32% are overweight. That means almost 70% of Americans are overweight. 

Heart disease:  over 120 million Americans have heart disease, nearly half of all adults have cardiovascular disease.  

Diabetes: over 34 million Americans have diabetes; this is 10.5% of the population. To put this in perspective, 2.7 million people live in the city of Chicago. 

High blood pressure: In the United States, about 77.9 million (1 out of every 3) adults have high blood pressure.

Lung disease: over 33 million adults have chronic lung disease. Asthma (caused by the immune system) is one of the most common types of chronic lung disease.

What do these have in common? 

These high-risk, chronic health problems are the result of poor function in the body. Functional medicine restores health to the body. The reason individuals with these conditions are more like to die from COVID-19 is because they are not healthy! Their immune system fails to deal with the virus the way a health person’s immune system does. 

 These are the same chronic health conditions I work with in my functional medicine practice every day. Functional medicine doctors specialize in improving the health of their patients, they do not suppress disease in their patients with drugs. If disease suppression worked, then we would not have such high rates of chronic illness and those with such illnesses would not be at higher risk of death from a virus. 

What does it mean to improve someone’s health? 

In our office we see our patient’s blood test results improve, they lose weight, they have more energy, they reduce and/or eliminate medications. They enjoy a higher quality of life. 

This is NOT happening in traditional medicine. The opposite is happening…people are getting sicker, taking more medications and at greater risk of other diseases and infections. 

Your best defense 

Your best defense against illness and death from a virus or any infection is a healthy body. This has been my message for the past 20 years! In the case of COVID-19 or any other coronavirus your best defense is and will always be a healthy body and healthy immune system. 

Instead of putting the emphasis on improving health and disease prevention, the “solution” is to stay at home until a vaccine is developed. Sounds familiar…do nothing, take no responsibility for your personal health and wait for a pharmaceutical company to come to the rescue! How has that been working for us so far (refer to the chronic illness statistics above). A healthy body is and will always be your best defense. Sure, work on the vaccine but let’s wake up and start preventing disease and building up our immune system. 

What will we do when the next virus comes around? What will we do if the next virus is more dangerous that this one? 

The purpose of functional medicine is: 

Understanding how the body works, knowing how and where to investigate health issues, knowing what to look for, understanding the significance of what is found and creating a plan of action to reverse and correct the root cause the health problems.

My wish for you…health, happiness and a better quality of life! 

If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to

Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations. 

This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. This article is for information purposes and is not a substitute professional healthcare services. Contact our office for more information.