Pandemic Isolation TRIGGERING More Disease?
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
Loneliness is a problem way too many of us face – especially as we grow older.
Friends and family move away and some pass on over time.
And one of the big problems with social isolation is that it creeps up on us slowly, so we sort of get used to it.
The pandemic, of course, has just reinforced that problem.
But the fact remains that loneliness can really take a toll on your health.
And now researchers have found it can even cause this disease condition.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, social isolation significantly increases the risk of premature death from ALL causes.
The risk of premature death is so high it MATCHES the risk of smoking, being overweight, and not exercising.
You have an almost 50 percent increase in your risk of dementia if you spend too much time alone. You also have a 29 percent increased risk of heart disease and a 32 percent increased risk of stroke.
Loneliness is also associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.
Researchers asked that very question and found a surprising answer: socially isolated older adults have higher levels of inflammation.
When the researchers measured the biomarkers of inflammation in the blood levels of 4,685 Medicare beneficiaries, they found especially high levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein.
High levels of C-reactive protein have been linked to certain cancers, pneumonia, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. And increased levels of interleukin-6 have been linked to psoriasis, osteoporosis, and some immunodeficiency diseases.
It’s also worth noting that the inflammation was MORE common in men than in women.
Long-term inflammation is hard on your brain, heart, and body as a whole. And now it’s clear that it can directly result from how we feel about ourselves and our surroundings.
While fixing loneliness is not easy during a pandemic, here are some things to try:
- Fill your house with music. Television is the companion most people choose, but try spending some time listing to music you love instead. Listening to music has been shown to help with stroke recovery and has many other benefits as well.
- Stay connected any way you can. There have never been more ways to connect with other people. Take advantage of the many free online ways to see and talk to family and friends.
- Make the most of the interactions. Most people feel more satisfied with deep and meaningful connection. This means sharing your emotions, personal experiences, and asking question to get people to talk about themselves.
- Get outside. There is something about getting outside of your house that makes people feel less alone and more connected to the world.
Wiley. “Social isolation linked to higher markers of inflammation in older adults.” 11/1/21. Medical Xpress. https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-social-isolation-linked-higher-markers.html
Written By Dr. Scott Olson, ND
Nearly 25 years ago, failed mainstream medical treatments left Dr. Olson in constant pain – and his health in ruins. And that’s when he did something REVOLUTIONARY. He began his career in medicine – and dedicated his life to uncovering the true, underlying causes of disease.
Through his innovative medical practices in Tennessee and Colorado, Dr. Olson has helped cure countless seniors from across America of arthritis… heart disease… diabetes… and even cancer. All without risky prescription drugs or painful surgeries.
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