The Anonymous Widower

Coeliacs On A Gluten-Free Diet And The AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

I am coeliac and I am on a strict gluten-free diet.

I have not had a serious dose of Covid-19, but I may have had a very mild dose, after a meeting with about twenty Chinese students, that I described in Did I Have A Close Brush With Covid-19?

That would not be possible to check now, but I did have a bad reaction after my AstraZeneca vaccine, which I wrote about in July 2021 in Hay Fever, Coeliac Disease And The AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine. I also told my GP about it and he said he’d heard similar tales.

I had no reaction to my second AstraZeneca vaccine.

This year my hay fever was even worse. Is this due to my immune system being boosted by the vaccines?

Yesterday, at a funeral, I met an old friend, who is on a strict gluten-free diet and she had not had a serious dose of Covid-19. But like me, she did have a serious reaction to her first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I’d like to hear any experiences of coeliacs on a gluten-free diet during the pandemic.

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , | 2 Comments

Coeliac Disease And Atrial Fibrillation

I am 75 and coeliac and I had or have atrial fibrillation. Cardiologists tell me that, the atrial fibrillation led to my stroke in 2011.

I should also say, that my father was an undiagnosed coeliac and he died from a stroke younger than I am now.

I typed the title of this post into Doctor Google.

I found this paper on Cureus, which is entitled Celiac Disease and Risk of Atrial Fibrillation: A Meta-Analysis and Systematic Review.

I will show two paragraphs from the Abstract,

This is the Introduction.

Several studies have found celiac disease may be associated with a variety of cardiac manifestations. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most common arrhythmias that can cause significant morbidity. However, the risk of atrial fibrillation in patients with celiac disease according to epidemiological studies remains unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis study is to assess the risk of atrial fibrillation in patients diagnosed with celiac disease compared to controls.

And this is the Conclusion.

A significant association between celiac disease and risk of atrial fibrillation was reported in this study. There is a 38% increased risk of atrial fibrillation. Additional studies are needed to clarify the mechanistic link between atrial fibrillation and celiac disease. Some of the limitations of this study are that all were observational studies, some were medical registry-based and there was high heterogeneity between studies.

One of the paper’s conclusions is more research needs to be done.

I know that I have a supercharged immune system, in that it seems to protect me from flu and the dreaded covids and it gave the AstraZeneca vaccine a good kicking. Research from Nottingham University has also shown, that coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a 25 % lower risk of cancer compared to the general population.

So I asked Doctor Google if there was any link between the immune system and atrial fibrillation.

I found this paper on PubMed, which is entitled The Role Of Immune Cells In Atrial Fibrillation.

This was the Abstract.

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia, but its mechanisms are poorly understood. Recently, accumulating evidence indicates a link between immune response and AF, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. It should be noticed that the relationship between immune response and AF is complex. Whether immune response is a cause or a result of AF is unclear. As the functional unit of the immune system, immune cells may play a vital role in the immunological pathogenesis of AF. In this review, we briefly highlight the evidence on relationships between immune cells and AF, and discuss their potential roles in AF pathogenesis. We hope this review could provide new orientation and enlightenment for further research on AF mechanism.

One of the paper’s conclusions is more research needs to be done.

Conclusion

I feel a lot of research concerning coeliacs, their immune systems and atrial fibrillation should be done and this could lead to a better understanding of atrial fibrillation.

 

September 28, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ease Up IPA Goes Gluten Free!

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Adnams web site.

I am now 75 and I have been drinking Adnams beer, almost exclusively since I was thirteen.

My father introduced me to halves of Adnams bitter, whilst playing snooker at Felixstowe Conservative Club.

Part of his logic behind doing this was to teach me to drink alcohol responsibly, like he did and to prevent me ending up like his father, who was a drunk, who died before the age of forty.

The other thing, that my father’s teaching did was give me a preference for good real ale. And especially Adnams!

As I write this, I’m drinking a bottle of their 0.5 % Ghost Ship.

8. Voila!

I drink it for three reasons.

  • Obviously, I like the taste.
  • It is low-alcohol, so it doesn’t affect the action of the Warfarin, that stops me having another stroke.
  • I also find, that because the beer is made with low amounts of barley to keep the alcohol low, it doesn’t affect my gut, despite the fact that I’m a coeliac.

I have yet to find a low-alcohol beer, that has had an adverse effect on my body.

But Will Ease Up Be Safe For A Coeliac To Drink?

These paragraphs describe how Ease Up is brewed and the testing of the product.

When producing Ease Up, we now use an enzyme called Clarex® which breaks down gluten-type proteins, reducing gluten content to below 20 parts per million (ppm). Only foods that contain 20ppm or less can be labelled as ‘gluten-free.’ According to Coeliac UK, research shows people diagnosed as coeliac can consume products with gluten present at or less than this level, but customers are advised to consider their own individual tolerances.

Clarex® is added in the fermentation vessel, where it mixes well during a normal, vigorous fermentation. Our beer is tested at the end of fermentation and then, after packaging, it is put on hold while it undergoes a thorough external validation process before it is confirmed gluten free and released. Just look out for the new, updated branding.

Note the phrase about individual tolerances.

Conclusion

It looks like Adnams have produced the ideal real ale to have in your pub, club or house, if you have some coeliac customers, family  or friends.

Never did I think, I would ever write about disruptive innovation in the brewing industry.

September 7, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Statins Are Not To Blame For Most Muscle Pain, Scientists Conclude

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

This is the first two paragraphs, that outlines the study.

Fears over statin side effects are unfounded as they only lead to muscle pain in 1 per cent of patients, a comprehensive study has shown.

University of Oxford scientists say they have “definitively” proven wrong the widespread belief that statins are a common cause of muscle symptoms.

Can my experience, add anything to the argument?

  • I am seventy-five years, 170 cms. in height and weigh just over sixty-two kilograms.
  • I have been taking statins, at least since I had my stroke ten years ago.
  • I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my left knee. I put this down to the fact, that my wife and I had three small children fifty years ago and lived in a fifth-floor flat with no lift. All the carrying up the stairs damaged the knee and it flares up every ten years or so!
  • I have constant minor pain in my left humerus, which was broken by the school bully, when I was fourteen.
  • When I was diagnosed as a coeliac and went gluten-free, a lot of my muscle and joint pains were reduced.
  • The pain levels seem to have risen again since going on statins.

This page on the NHS web site is an overview of Coeliac Disease.

In a section, which is called Who’s Affected?, 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.

I also believe that the number of diagnosed coeliacs, is also affected by the fact that there was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960 and that a reliable genetic test wasn’t available until the 1990s. This will lead to numbers of undiagnosed coeliacs in the older population.

Coincidence Or Just Facts?

Note that statin side effects only lead to muscle pain in one per cent of patients according to the report in The Times and one per cent of the population are coeliac.

Conclusion

I’m no medic, but I am a coeliac and an analyser of data. I believe that better analysis of the data may add some new insight.

For instance, as coeliac disease is three times higher in women, then if it is involved, then it would mean that the muscle pain ratios will have a sex component.

I also believe, that all medical research databases, should record, whether the participants are coeliacs.

 

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vitamin B12 For Stroke Recovery: Understanding The Benefits & Safety Tips

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the FlintRehab web site.

I have posted the link, as I was talking to a doctor earlier and they might like to look at it.

Consider.

  • I am coeliac on a strict gluten-free diet.
  • Since the coeliac diagnosis in 1997, I have had a B12 injection every three months.
  • I had a serious stroke ten year ago.
  • Some doctors feel, I have made an excellent recovery from my stroke.

Could my regular B12 injections have aided my recovery?

Note, that I have cleaned up the Vitamin B12 tag in this blog.

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

I Was Struggling In The Heat

Early last week, I was struggling in the heat.

On Wednesday, I had my three-monthly B12 injection injection and since then I’ve been feeling a lot better.

Yesterday, when I went to see the Oxted Viaduct, I climbed a couple of short hills in the heat and had no problem.

I have my B12 injections because I’m coeliac and I was at one time low on B12.

Given too, that some web sites report than B12 helps stroke recovery, does that explain, why I made a better than some recovery from my stroke?

At least three doctors, I’ve met, have used the word remarkable when talking about my stroke recovery.

I certainly would create a fuss, if the GP, thought I should stop taking B12. But then I’ve been taking it for at least thirty years.

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 2 Comments

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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