Integrative Health Blog

COVID-19 and Comorbidities

Posted by NIHA Staff on Mon, Feb 22, 2021


COVID-19 will probably be with us for months or maybe even years to come.

Most people will have little to no symptoms – especially if you are young and in good health. However, those with comorbidities are vulnerable for major complications including a higher risk of dying. Comorbidities means more than one illness or disease occurring in a person at the same time. So, comorbidities are conditions that were present before you got COVID, such as diabetes, COPD, or kidney disease. Getting serious about prevention and minimizing your comorbidities is the key to survivability, or more importantly, thriving in these uncertain times.

Action Steps to Enhance Your Health and Immune Resistance

  1. Start a COVID-biological immune enhancement program: Get started on supplements, herbs, immune enhancing health information and professional strategies from an integrative MD on what to do for each phase of COVID-19 from prevention, early symptoms, complications and post COVID recovery.  

  2. Reduce/eliminate your comorbidities: Meet with an integrative physician to eliminate your vulnerabilities such as obesity, diabetes and blood sugar problems, cardio-blood vessel disease (cardio-metabolic), pulmonary disease, cancer, and kidney disease.

  3. Start/continue the ‘detox basics’: Detoxify the liver/bowel, heavy metals, toxic chemicals and have a good detoxification and regeneration program in place. Talk to your physician about at-home detoxification strategies and reducing toxic exposures.

Recognized Comorbidities for COVID-19

Older Adults

Being age 65 or older is a generalized comorbidity and places you at higher risk for complications from COVID. However, it is less your chronological age as your biological or immunological age that is important. Biological/immunological age is dependent on your physical fitness, and how well you have taken care of your health including the health of your vital organs, especially your bowel and liver. This involves how well you have been able to detoxify and stay away from or get rid of the accumulated ‘bad stuff’, either naturally or with an ongoing detoxification program.

We truly live in a toxic world with all sorts of things that have a negative impact on our health- including our immune system. How knowledgeable and practiced you are in removing heavy metals, toxic chemicals, chronic infections, electrosmog, stress and other immune busters from your body will dictate your biological age; but if you are obese, have diabetes or insulin resistance, pulmonary disease, cancer… you have work to do to regain health and immune balance.


Obesity, after old age, appears to be the most prominent risk factor for COVID complications. In patients under 60, if you are obese, your chance of COVID hospitalization is doubled. Obesity is a chronic inflammatory condition and sets the stage for serious COVID complications such as hyper-inflammation or cytokine storm stage. Although obesity often is associated with the other comorbidities (i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease and pulmonary disease), obesity is the most important for COVID complications. Americans are way too obese – don’t let COVID “thin the herd” by making you a casualty. Even a 10% weight loss can help lower your AIC and blood sugar numbers.

Cardio-Metabolic Disease

Now add Cardio-metabolic disease such as heart and blood vessel disease, high blood pressure and blood sugar dysfunction with obesity; both usually occur together and this combination is the most potent risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection.

Why is that? Note that many people with blood sugar problems and cardiovascular diseases are already obese. High blood glucose levels appear to contribute to both viral replication and cytokine storm, thereby exacerbating both phases of the COVID-19 infection. Insulin resistance can lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart and vessel disease. This is all correctable with diet and life styles changes with focused nutrition and sometimes medication. So, the real pandemic is the American way of life, which ultimately is under our control.

Action steps

Get your weight, blood sugar problems and cardio-blood vessel diseases under control.

See an integrative or functional medicine physician to test and correct the underlying causes that may contribute to these comorbid conditions. They can complicate healing from any health threat- COVID-19 is just the latest.


Request Appointment




Topics: immune system, virus