The Anonymous Widower

Dexamethasone Declared First Drug To Save Lives Of Coronavirus Patients

The title of this post, is the same, as that of this article in The Times.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

British scientists have hailed a “huge breakthrough” in the fight against Covid-19 after a cheap drug was declared the first to save lives.

Dexamethasone, a decades-old steroid that costs about 50p per day, was found to reduce deaths by up to one third for the sickest patients. NHS hospitals were advised to begin using it immediately.

According to a retired Senior Hospital Pharmacist friend, Dexamethasone has been around a long time and is used in shock. She added “So don’t know why not tried before.”

The Times article says this about previous use.

While it had been administered to Covid patients in China and elsewhere its use was controversial, with no definitive proof that it worked.

Could it be that the research was discounted on ageist grounds against the drug?

Wikipedia also says this about the drug?

it was the 259th most prescribed medication in the United States, with more than a million prescriptions.

That is about 1-in-327 of the US population.

Dexamethasone And Coeliac Disease

Out of curiosity, I typed “Dexamethasone and coeliac disease” into Google.

I found this page on SpringerLink, which is entitled The Role of Corticosteroids In Celiac Disease.

This is the first sentence.

Since Dickie first described the benefits of a gluten-free diet in the 1940s and 1950s, this diet is the standard of care for all patients with celiac disease. For patients with a new diagnosis, dietary compliance can be difficult to achieve, possibly resulting in a clinical course marked by delayed recovery and persistent symptoms. This is of particular concern for patients in the developing world, where gluten-free food items may be difficult to obtain or to identify. While dietary modifications are likely to remain the treatment of choice in celiac disease, the use of adjuvant corticosteroids in newly diagnosed patients is a topic that has been addressed previously.

I’m no medic, so what follows in the scientific report is beyond my limited medical knowledge.

However in A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, I estimated that there are around 120,000 undiagnosed coeliacs in the UK, who are over 65. I used data from Age UK and Coeliac-UK.

According to Joe West of Nottingham University, diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have less chance of getting cancer!

Could it be that this group of people, of which I am one, have a strong immune system?

So could the reverse be true and that undiagnosed coeliacs on a typical gluten-rich diet have a compromised immune system?

My son was an undiagnosed coeliac, with a poor diet who smoked. He died at just thirty-seven from pancreatic cancer!

Could some of the patients, who recovered from COVID-19, when given dexamethasone, have been undiagnosed coeliacs?

I, of course don’t know.

But the role of coeliac disease in the recovery from COVID-19 must be investigated.

A quick way to test my theory would be to survey the catering departments of all hospitals and see how much gluten-free food was being sent to wards, where COVID-19 is being treated.

Coeliacs, whether diagnosed by doctors or self-diagnosed, will probably be vociferous in their need for gluten-free food. I certainly was, when I had my stroke in Hong Kong.

Give me the data and I’ll analyse it!

I would also like to hear from any coeliacs, who have been given dexamethasone!

 

June 16, 2020 - Posted by | Food, Health | , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Interesting point. My mother was put on steroids nearly 60 years ago because of arthritic pain, ands took them for a long time. And then ended up in hospital with a massive lower intestinal bleed caused by the steroids. She wasn’t coeliac, but she did have diverticular disease.

    Comment by nosnikrapzil | June 17, 2020 | Reply

  2. As a Liverpudlian, do you think, that there are large numbers of undiagnosed coeliacs in the area? Given that diagnosed coeliacs on a strict gluten free diet are less likely to get cancer than the general population, according to research by Joe West at Nottingham University, do you think there is more cancer in the area?

    Comment by AnonW | June 17, 2020 | Reply


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