The Anonymous Widower

A Gluten-Free Sandwich In Costa

Costa announced a couple of months ago, that they would be selling M & S Food.

Even so, I was still surprised to find this gluten-free sandwich in Costa at Paddington station.

I actually prefer their egg sandwiches, as for some reason egg sandwich fillings seem to go well with gluten-free bread.

May 5, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment

Why Do More Elderly Men Die Of The Covids Than Women?

I asked this question of the Internet and found this article from The Times, which is entitled Why Are Men more Likely To Die From Covid Than Women?.

These are the first two paragraphs.

On Valentine’s Day last year, researchers at China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention submitted one of the first studies into who was dying of the new coronavirus that was spreading through Wuhan.

Two clear findings jumped out. Firstly, the virus appeared to hit the elderly hardest. Secondly, if you were a man, you were much more likely to die.

The article goes on to say, that men are 24 percent more likely to die.

I am coeliac and here are some facts about coeliac disease.

This page on the NHS web site is an overview of coeliac disease.

There is a sub-section called Who’s Affected?, where this is said.

Coeliac disease is a condition that affects at least 1 in every 100 people in the UK.

But some experts think this may be underestimated because milder cases may go undiagnosed or be misdiagnosed as other digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Reported cases of coeliac disease are around 3 times higher in women than men.

It can develop at any age, although symptoms are most likely to develop:

during early childhood – between 8 and 12 months old, although it may take several years before a correct diagnosis is made
in later adulthood – between 40 and 60 years of age
People with certain conditions, including type 1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, Down’s syndrome and Turner syndrome, have an increased risk of getting coeliac disease.

First-degree relatives (parents, brothers, sisters and children) of people with coeliac disease are also at increased risk of developing the condition.

The three most important facts in this are.

  • The condition affects 1 in every 100 people in the UK.
  • Reported cases are three times higher in women than men.
  • First degree relatives of coeliacs are at increased risk of developing the condition.

I am sure my father was an undiagnosed coeliac.

When I was born in 1947, there was no test for coeliac disease in children, as one wasn’t developed until 1960.

Testing for many years was by the Gold Standard of endoscopy, which for a child is not an easy procedure.

I’m certain, that in 1997, I was one of the first to be diagnosed in a General Hospital by genetic testing.

At fifty, a locum had given me a blood test and I had been found to be very low on B12. Despite a course of injections, it refused to rise so I was sent to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where I saw a consultant, who gave me a short chat and then got a nurse to take some blood samples.

Two days later, I received a letter, saying I was probably coeliac and it would be confirmed by endoscopy.

I can’t think how else it was done so quickly, unless they were using a genetic test.

I went gluten-free and the rest rest as they say is history.

In some ways there’s been two of me.

  • BC – Before Coeliac – Frequently unwell, lots of aches and pains and weak mentally.
  • AD – After Diagnosis – Healthier, few aches and pains and much stronger mentally.

My immune system appears to be much stronger now!

I believe my son was also coeliac.

Undiagnosed coeliacs tend to have poor immune systems and he died of pancreatic cancer at just 37, because he refused to get himself tested.

As there was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960, anybody over sixty has a higher chance of being coeliac with a poor immune system and be at higher risks from both the covids and cancer.

It should be noted that according to the NHS, there are three times more female coeliacs than male.

Could this be explained by the fact that undiagnosed coeliac disease can be a cause of female infertility? So when a lady has difficulty conceiving, doctors test for it. So perhaps, by the time they get to 70 a higher proportion of female coeliacs have been diagnosed, compared to male ones, which may explain why more elderly men than women die of the covids.

More research needs to be done.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

EMR Refine Its All Day Complimentary Food Menu For First Class Customers

The title of this post, is the same as that as this press release from East Midlands Railway.

This is the details.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) has refined it’s all day complimentary food menu for its First Class Intercity customers, offering a range of options – no matter what time they choose to travel.

The changes will mean, instead of a small number of services offering complimentary food in the morning, the company will now offer a range of free food and drink items on all its longer distance Intercity services, all day, Monday to Saturday, with plans to extend the offer to Sundays in the future.

Customers travelling First Class during the morning will now be able to choose a hot complimentary bacon or sausage ciabatta, porridge, or a vegan breakfast burrito. While in the afternoon, they will be offered a chilled sandwich, wrap or salad, or the choice of a gluten free meal or vegan option.

Next time, I go to Nottingham, I’ll go First.

March 5, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

‘Biggest Breakthrough’ On Pancreatic Cancer Is On The Horizon As Scientists Hail Two-In-One Teatment That Could Even CURE The Disease

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Daily Mail.

These three paragraphs give an introduction to the research.

Scientists are on the cusp of the ‘biggest ever’ breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

UK researchers have developed a two-in-one treatment that could dramatically improve survival and even cure the disease, which is one of the deadliest cancers.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have barely improved in the last 50 years and it has the worst prognosis of any common cancer.

It is a state, that you don’t want to go near.

This is the heart of the new two-in-one treatment.

One of the treatments is immunotherapy, whereby a drug fires up the immune system to fight the cancer.

The drug is a checkpoint inhibitor, which means it blocks proteins that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells. It has had stunning results against some types of cancer.

But pancreatic cancer tumours have a thick outer layer which stops the drug in its tracks.

The second treatment, known as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), involves blasting the tumour with pulses of sound waves.

This creates tiny bubbles in the cells, which bounce around with such force that they puncture holes in the protective barrier – allowing the immunotherapy drug to get to work.

I find it strange that I when I wrote Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK, I found that a similar technique is being investigated by the Faraday Institute in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

In this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?, I found this paragraph.

The team has also found a way to achieve direct recycling of the anode and cathode using an ultrasonic probe, “like what the dentist uses to clean your teeth,” he explains. “It focuses ultrasound on a surface which creates tiny bubbles that implode and blast the coating off the surface.” This process avoids having to shred the battery parts, which can make recovering them exceedingly difficult.

Umpteen million tiny bubbles can’t be wrong! It sounds to me that engineers from the Faraday Institute and Medics from the Institute of Cancer Research have been imbibing pints of the thinking man’s liqueur; real ale in a serious meeting in a pub.

But if it works don’t knock it! Just use the technique on your project to remove an awkward coating.

My son, who died of pancreatic cancer was a coeliac like me, but he had never been tested and as he was a sound engineer in the music business, he lived on a diet of Subways, cigarettes and high strength cannabis.

I asked the Professor at Liverpool University’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Unit, if this had contributed to his death and he nodded.

But my son certainly, didn’t have my strong immune system, which is because I’m coeliac and have been gluten-free for nearly thirty years. I know it is strong, as it gave the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine a good kicking. But by the time I got the second dose, it had worked out it was a friend, so I got no reaction.

I have three questions.

What is the hard skin of the pancreatic cancer made from?

Do all cancers have hard skins?

When patients are given immunotherapy drugs, do they go gluten-free for a Tesco effect (Every little helps!)?

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Covid Leaves Wave Of Wearied Souls In Pandemic’s Wake

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

It is the usual excellent article by Tom Whipple and it discusses long covid.

I haven’t knowingly had long covid or even common-or-garden short covid for that matter.

The Asian Flu of 1957-1958

But go back to 1957-1958 and the outbreak of Asian Flu.

This was another present from China to the world. Wikipedia says this about its severity.

The number of excess deaths caused by the pandemic is estimated to be 1-4 million around the world (1957–1958 and probably beyond), making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

According, to this page on Wikipedia, deaths from Covid-19, were approaching 5,500,000 at the first of January 2022.

But then the world population is now 7.9 billion as opposed to 2.8 billion in 1957. This is 2.8 times bigger.

If the Asian Flu of 1957-1958 had had a Covid-19 death rate around two billion would have died.

Was There A Long Form Of The Asian Flu?

In Long Covid And Coeliac Disease, I started the post like this.

I recently heard an interview with Adrian Chiles on Radio 5 about the so-called long covid

I am 73 and the more I read about Long Covid, the more I think I had something similar around 1958, when I had just started Minchenden Grammar School, where I missed most of the Spring Term. This was at the time of the 1957-8 flu pandemic., which killed between one and four million people worldwide.

This article on New Decoder is a personal memory of that pandemic, from an experienced journalist called Harvey Morris.

Last night, I was listening to another program about kids with long covid and they seemed to be describing how I felt all those years ago.

One of those two programs, also said that one doctor tested patients for coeliac disease.

So did I have a long form of Asian Flu which kept me off school for a long time?

I can remember a conversation between my late wife and my mother that took place before we got married in 1968.

My mother described how I was badly ill at around ten and how our GP, the excellent Dr. Egerton White kept coming to see me, whilst I was recovering at home, as he couldn’t fathom out what was wrong with me.

But he did seem to take particular care of me, even coming to visit me in hospital, when I had my tonsils out at around five. Could it be, that as he had brought me into this world, that he felt differently about me? It should be noted that he was probably from the Caribbean and either black or mixed-race.

Is Long Covid Linked To Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease?

As I said earlier that one doctor tested long covid patients for undiagnosed coeliac disease, at least one doctor must believe so.

Looking at the statistics in The Times article, I can make the following deductions.

  • 42 % of sufferers from long covid are over fifty?
  • 58 % of sufferers from long covid are female?
  • It is not stated how many sufferers had been diagnosed as coeliac and were on a long-term gluten-free diet.

These statistics would fit roughly with the statistics for coeliac disease.

  • According to the NHS, there are three times as many female coeliacs as male.
  • There was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960, so it is likely, that many undiagnosed coeliacs are over 60.
  • Since around 2000, coeliac disease is tested for by means of a simple blood test.
  • Doctors understand coeliac disease better now, so I suspect more coeliacs under about thirty have been diagnosed.

I am certainly led to the conclusion, that undiagnosed coeliac disease could be a factor in long covid.

Treating Long Covid

The article on The Times has a section which is entitled How Do We Deal With It (1)?, where this is said.

One of the great challenges of pathology is that you have to know what you are looking for before you can find it.

“People with long Covid go to the clinician, give blood, and none of the results that come back show that these individuals are sick,” says Resia Pretorius, from Stellenbosch University. The doctors look through the metabolites in their blood, seeking something unusual, and find nothing. “The end result is their clinician tells them it’s psychology — go for a run or whatever. Some of these patients can’t even walk up a set of stairs. They think: are we mad?”

She had an idea. What if it was about the blood structure, as much as its composition? Her laboratory has looked at the blood of both acute Covid patients and long Covid sufferers. They have found tiny clots.

Something in the disease seems to cause malformation, and they can’t be removed.

They have also found preliminary evidence that treating patients with antiplatelet and anticoagulants leads to significant improvement. Although, she stresses, it’s a risky procedure that requires careful monitoring, in case people bleed dangerously.

When I read the bit about anticoagulants, the bells in my head started ringing.

I am a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet, who suffered a serious stroke in 2011, from which I made a remarkable recovery. I am now on Warfarin, which is the old-fashioned anti-coagulant and test myself regularly with a meter, so I don’t bleed dangerously.

Note remarkable is not a word of my choosing, but one that has been used several times by doctors referring to the recovery in my stroke. But then there are masses of Jewish, Huguenot and Devonian survival genes in my cells.

At the time of the panic about blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine I wrote A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots, of which this is an extract.

This morning I found on the Internet, a peer-reviewed Danish study which was entitled

Coeliac Disease And Risk Of Venous Thromboembolism: A Nationwide Population-Based Case-Control Study

The nation in the study was Denmark.

This was the introductory paragraph.

Patients with coeliac disease (CD) may be at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), i.e. deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its complication pulmonary embolism (PE), because they are reported to have hyperhomocysteinaemia, low levels of K-vitamin-dependent anticoagulant proteins, and increased levels of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor.

One thing in this summary screams at me. The mention of vitamin-K!

Ten years ago, I had a serious stroke, that because of modern clot-busting drugs failed to kill me.

I am now on long-term Warfarin and know I have to eat a diet without Vitamin-K.

There are too many coincidences in all this for me not to shout, “Do More Research!”

 

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Prevalence Of Celiac Disease Among Blood Donors in SÃO PAULO – The Most Populated City In Brazil

The title of this post, is the same as that of this scientific paper from Brazil.

I am posting, so I can find the paper when I need it.

I will only point out one sentence.

Furthermore, an increase in the ingestion of wheat in the country in recent decades may have favored the increase in CD in our society.

I wonder if this statement can be confirmed, as this could explain the increase in coeliac disease in some countries.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Lumo Allows Passengers From London To Edinburgh To Pre-Order Meals

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Advent.

I just tried it out and what I saw was a good start.

They even had gluten-free sandwiches and other items from Marks & Spencer.

You can access it here.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

AstraZeneca May Explain Britain’s Lower Death Rate

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

These are the second and third paragraph of the article.

Dr Clive Dix said he believed that the jab could help to stave off serious Covid-19 illness for longer than RNA-based alternatives made by Pfizer and Moderna. “If you look across Europe, with the rise in cases, there’s also a corresponding lagged rise in deaths, but not in the UK,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “I personally believe that’s because most of our vulnerable people were given the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Dix suggested that the T cell response to the AstraZeneca jab may explain the lower level of hospital admissions and deaths.

Dr, Clive Dix is a former Deputy Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce.

I think that Dr. Dix may have a point.

I am coeliac and I know I have a strong immune system.

When I had my dose of AstraZeneca vaccine, I was fairly sure that my immune system gave the viral vector vaccine a good kicking, as it thought the chimpanzee adenovirus on which it is based could be a dangerous intruder.

But with the second dose, I got no reaction. Had my immune system decided that the vaccine was a friend?

I have mentioned this reaction to people and I have found some coeliacs, who had a similar reaction to the one that I had with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

But more significantly, this summer, I suffered badly from hay fever. My GP told me that the high level could have been because the AstraZeneca vaccine had boosted my immune system.

I’ve only had it as bad once before and I suspect that was a couple of years after I went gluten-free, after being diagnosed as a coeliac. I suspect that that would have boosted my immune system.

I can do a small calculation.

I suspect, that there are about 40,000,000 in the UK who have been vaccinated with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

If we assume coeliacs are 1-in-100 of the population and most have been vaccinated, as they tend to be cautious about their food and health, that equates to 400,000 people who could be fully vaccinated and have an immune system with all the defensive strength of a whole regiment of special forces soldiers on steroids.

For some time now, various sources have been saying the models of the pandemic aren’t right.

I do wonder, if coeliacs with the AstraZeneca vaccine are super-immune and they are skewing the models. After all 400,000 with a super-immunity is a large number in comparison to the total number of deaths from the Covids in the UK, which stood at 171,801with the Covids on their death certificate tonight.

Conclusion

I am drawn to one big conclusion and that is more research needs to be done.

It would be a great help, if we knew how many coeliacs on long-term gluten-free diets had ended up in hospital.

I wouldn’t ask the doctors, but the catering departments, who would be providing the gluten-free food, that the coeliacs will be demanding.

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Infection, Mortality And Severity Of Covid-19 In Coeliac Disease – Prof Jonas Ludvigsson

The title of this post is the same as that of this presentation on the Coeliac UK web site.

If you are coeliac and worried about catching the Covids, I suggest you watch the presentation.

The presentation is about eighteen minutes long and this is the last-but-one screen.

Coeliac Disease and Covid-19

  • No increased risk of death from Covid-19
  • No increased risk of ICU for Covid-19
  • No increased risk of any (!) Covid-19

THEN: Coeliac patients with Covid-19, have no increased risk of death compared to other patients with Covid-19.

Conclusion

The professor concludes it is good news and there is no need for coeliac patients to get the jab earlier than other people.

I would also like to add my fourpennyworth!

The professor was only analysing diagnosed coeliacs, who were probably on a long-term gluten-free diet.

My son was an undiagnosed coeliac, who lived the rock and roll lifestyle, generally living on ciggies, high-strength cannabis and Subways. His immune system, probably gave him all the protection of a plastic colander.

He died at just 37 from pancreatic cancer.

 

December 25, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Full-English Gluten-Free Breakfast At Leon

I regularly have a breakfast like this in Leon.

Delicious and gluten-free!

December 11, 2021 Posted by | Food | , , | 2 Comments