The Anonymous Widower

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

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

I Don’t Generally Take Pain Killers

I have taken pain killers rarely in my life, but only when I get serious pain.

But since the cataract operation, I have felt a bit of light pain in my left eye.

So I’ve resorted to taking three of these large pain-killers.

Usually, I dunk them in cup of tea.

I’ve always liked ginger and they have been my favourite biscuits since I was about six.

I also used to see a Jamaican nurse in a former GP practice for my B12 injections and she was fulsome in her praise for the spice and what it can do.

Dr. Google also finds evidence that they help.

However, who cares, so long as I think they work.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Strange Relationship With Vitamin B12

For the last couple of days my eyesight has not been its best.

My typing has been not of its usual quality for a one handed typist and I even have had difficulty with doing up my shoe laces. So much so, that yesterday, I wore my best slip-on shoes with a royal warrant from the Queen.

My INR yesterday was 2.2, which is within range.

Last night, I decided to give myself a pseudo injection of B12 – a tin of sardines and two eggs baked in the oven. Serial Cooking -Sardines And Baked Eggs gives the recipe and full instructions.

  • My typing this morning is so much better.
  • I just tied my shoe laces with alacrity.
  • But my INR has risen to 3.3.

I do wonder, if after my stroke, that my brain directs the B12 to the damaged areas and that those, who advocate B12 after stroke are right!

As to the INR, I’ve just found this page on Valve Replacement.org.

But as a Control Engineer, I have the solution. Test my INR every day.

July 14, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Way Out Of The AstraZeneca Vaccine Row With The EU

This article on the BBC is entitled Brexit: EU Introduces Controls On Vaccines To NI.

These are the introductory paragraphs of the article.

The EU is introducing controls on vaccines made in the bloc, including to Northern Ireland, amid a row about delivery shortfalls.

Under the Brexit deal, all products should be exported from the EU to Northern Ireland without checks.

But the EU believed this could be used to circumvent export controls, with NI becoming a backdoor to the wider UK.

The row involving AstraZeneca, the UK and the EU is now getting serious,

I think, the EU are missing an opportunity.

My Experience Of The AstraZeneca Vaccine

Yesterday, I received my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which I wrote about in Job Done – I’ve Now Had My First Covid-19 Vaccination.

As I am an engineer, who helped to finance a drug-delivery system, I know a bit about the subject of drug delivery.

My jab yesterday seemed to have been administered very quickly and painlessly, without fuss. I regularly have B12 injections as I’m coeliac and this AstraZeneca one was certainly less painful for me.

Have AstraZeneca designed the vaccine and its delivery system so that it will have application in mass vaccination situations like refugee camps, where thousands may need to be vaccinated quickly?

Consider.

  • It can be transported and stored at easy-to-manage temperatures.
  • I suspect that a skilled vaccinator can vaccinate more patients per hour, than with other vaccines.
  • I didn’t feel a thing, which must help those with needle phobia.
  • The vaccinator didn’t need to apply a plaster, just using a cotton wool pad and pressure. This must save time.

This looks to me, like disruptive innovation is at work.

Surely, though by streamlining the vaccination process, this will increase the number of patients vaccinated by a well-trained team. This will be what doctors ordered.

The Real Problem With The AstraZeneca Vaccine

I have worked a lot in the design of project management systems and very often, when projects go awry, it is due to a lack of resources.

It strikes me that the problem with the AstraZeneca vaccine, is that there are not enough factories to make the vaccine.

As it is easier to distribute and AstraZeneca are making it without profit, perhaps the EU should approach the UK about creating a couple of large factories to make the vaccine in suitable places across the UK and the EU.

A proportion of this increased production could be distributed to countries, that couldn’t afford a commercial vaccine or didn’t want to get ensnared by the Chinese in a Vaccines-for-Resources deal.

It should also be remembered that Oxford are at the last stages in the testing of a vaccine for malaria. That would surely be a superb encore for Oxford University and AstraZeneca. I suspect the UK will back it, but it would surely be better, if the EU backed it as well.

January 29, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why I’ll Delay Having The Coronavirus Vaccine

The vaccines are coming for the covids, but I won’t be having a jab, if one is offered to me, in the first round. I may not be offered one, as I am only 73 and in good health.

But there are many out there, who need the vaccine more than I do, who will be given lower priority than myself.

So I’ll wait!

I am also a diagnosed coeliac on a gluten-free diet and my statistical researches and news reports, show that communities and groups with high levels of undiagnosed coeliacs have suffered badly from the covids.

These communities and groups include.

  • Anybody born before 1960, as there was no test for coeliac disease in children before then.
  • Ashkenazi Jews. My coeliac genes come from an ancestor in this group.
  • Irish
  • Caribbean. West Africans have a tendency to coeliac disease and what better way to bring it out, than starve them on slave ships and feed them on only bread and water.

I have also found a research paper, that shows, that India could now experience a coeliac disease epidemic, caused by modern strains of wheat.  See Coeliac Disease: Can We Avert The Impending Epidemic In India?

Coeliacs on a gluten-free diet, are an interesting group, in that according to peer-reviewed research by Joe West of Nottingham University, they are 25 % less likely to suffer from cancer.

How can one disease protect you from another?

My coeliac disease was indicated by low-levels of B12, as gluten was damaging my gut and stopping it absorbing vital vitamins. By removing the gluten from my diet, my B12 levels returned to normal.

So it’s the diet that protects my health.

If you think, you are coeliac, don’t be put off by horror stores of multiple endoscopies and the difficulty of sticking to a gluten-free diet. I may have been one of the first individuals tested, by the current genetic method, which is now used by most GPs. A blood sample is sent off for a test and that is generally all that is done in most cases. I heard in 48 hours.

So why is it beneficial in the case of cancer?

It can only be, that with all those vitamins, coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a very healthy immune system.

So does, this immune system, help protect coeliacs from the covids?

Until proven otherwise, my statistical research, thinks it does!

So I believe, that I can afford to wait.

Has Good Project Management Helped The UK Get The Vaccine Early?

Professor Van-Tam, this morning on BBC Breakfast, praised the planning of the drug companies and the various health bodies in charge of certification of the vaccines.

As someone, who was at the heart of the Project Management Revolution in the 1970s and 1980s, this cheers me.

Looking back, my biggest contribution to project management, was to prove that you didn’t need to use a large mainframe computer and software would work on a small desk-sized machine and ultimately on a personal computer, thus bringing project management to everyone.

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Food, Health | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Getting A Flu Jab

Ten days ago, I got a text message from my GP’s surgery, asking me to make an appointment for a flu jab.

I have phoned several times since and have not got through successfully. As I also need a B12 injection and some more Warfarin, for which I might need a quick chat on the phone from my doctor, it is getting increasingly important that I get through.

Dr. Rosemary Leonard on the BBC this morning, said that there were a lot of people wanting flu jabs this year, so I may march in to Boots, as was suggested in the text message.

Incidentally, why can the GP Surgery text me, but they have no simple way I can text or send them an e-mail from a form with Capcha to sort the bad from the good?

Healthcare and computing seem to have a match made in hell!

October 7, 2020 Posted by | Computing, Health | , | 3 Comments

Should The NHS Adopt A Whack-A-Coeliac Policy?

The Wikipedia entry for Whac-a-Mole, says this about the colloquial use of the name of an arcade game.

In late June 2020, Boris Johnson based the UK’s COVID-19 strategy on the game.

Because of the high number of diagnosed coeliacs in the Cambridge area, I believe that I was diagnosed to be coeliac, by possible use of a Whack-a-Coeliac policy at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, in the last years of the Twentieth Century.

  • I was suffering from low B12 levels and my GP sent me to the hospital to see a consultant.
  • It was only a quick visit and all I remember, is the speed with which the nurse took my blood.
  • A couple of days later, I received a letter from the hospital, saying it was likely I was a coeliac and it would be confirmed by an endoscopy.
  • A point to note, is that I had my endoscopy with just a throat spray and this must have increased the efficiency and throughput and reduced the  cost of the procedure.

The only way, I could have been diagnosed so quickly would have been through an analysis of my genes and blood. But I was never told, what method was used.

I have a few further thoughts.

My Health Since Diagnosis

It has undoubtedly improved.

Cancer And Diagnosed Coeliacs On A Gluten-Free Diet

Joe West of Nottingham University has shown, that diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a 25% lower risk of cancer compared to the general population.

That is certainly a collateral benefit of being a coeliac. But is it being a coeliac or the diet?

I’m no medic, but could the reason be, that diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet have a strong immune system?

Coeliac Disease Is A Many-Headed Hydra

I have heard a doctor describe coeliac disease or gluten-sensitivity as a many-headed hydra, as it can turn up in so many other illnesses.

Type “coeliac disease many-headed hydra” into Google and this article on the NCBI , which is entitled Gluten Sensitivity: A Many Headed Hydra, is the first of many.

This is the sub-title of the article.

Heightened responsiveness to gluten is not confined to the gut

My son; George was an undiagnosed coeliac, who had a poor diet consisting mostly of Subways, cigarettes and high-strength cannabis. He died at just thirty-seven of pancreatic cancer.

Did George have a poor immune system, which was useless at fighting the cancer?

Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease In The Over-Sixty-Fives

In A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19, I used data from Age UK and Coeliac UK to estimate the number of coeliacs in the UK over the age of sixty-five. I said this.

Age UK has a figure of twelve million who are over 65 in the UK. If 1-in-100 in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 coeliacs over 65.

But some research shows that the number of coeliacs can be as high as 1-in-50.

If that 120,000 were all diagnosed, I would have several coeliacs amongst my over-65 friends. I have just one and she is self-diagnosed.

Are all these undiagnosed coeliacs out there, easy targets for diseases like cancer and COVID-19?

The Ease Of Testing For Coeliac Disease

I was worried that my granddaughter was coeliac and I asked my GP, how difficult a test is to perform.

He said, that a genetic test is usually quick and correct and only a few borderline cases need to be referred to a consultant.

Diagnosis has moved on a lot in twenty years.

Cambridge, Oxford and Covid-19

Six weeks ago I wrote Oxford And Cambridge Compared On COVID-19, to try to find out why the number of Covid-19 cases are so much lower in Cambridge than Oxford.

Checking today, the rate of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents is as follows.

  • Cambridge 336.6
  • Oxford 449

So why the difference?

In the related post, this was my explanation.

Is the large number of diagnosed coeliacs around Cambridge, the reason the area has a lower COVID-19 rate than Oxford?

It sounds a long shot, but it could be a vindication of a possible Whack-a-Coeliac policy at Addenbrooke’s in the last years of the Twentieth Century.

Conclusion

I think the NHS should seriously look at a Whack-a-Coeliac problem!

  • The health of a large number of people would improve.
  • There would be less cancer in the UK.
  • A better combined National Immune System might help in our fight against the next virus to follow COVID-19.

It would be a very simple testing program, that would be mainly in the hands of the GPs.

 

 

July 6, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Thought On Deaths Of The Elderly From Covid-19

It has been shown, that a lot of the deaths from Covid-19 are over seventy.

I am seventy-two and a coeliac, which was diagnosed when I was fifty.

As my GP practice nurse said at the time of my diagnosis, as we read my doctors notes together, the signs are there of coeliac disease in a lot of my visits to a doctor.

So why wasn’t I diagnosed earlier?

  • There wasn’t a test for young children until 1960, so my early bad health couldn’t be diagnosed.
  • No clue as to my problems was obtained until an elderly but extremely competent locum decided that my blood should be analysed as a fiftieth birthday present. I had no B12 and was running on empty.
  • Eventually, I was sent to Addenbrooke’s and I was diagnosed by a blood test. I suspect it was a trial of a new genetic test, as I got the result by post in two days.

How many undiagnosed coeliacs are there in those over seventy, who because they are coeliacs, have a compromised immune system?

I would be undiagnosed but for that elderly locum!

How many other coeliacs are there in the UK population?

  • Age UK has a figure of twelve million who are over 65 in the UK.
  • If 1-in-100, as stated by Coeliac UK, in the UK are coeliac, that is 120,000 coeliacs over 65.

Note that as of today 177,388 have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Conclusion

Many of those 120,000 coeliacs will have been born before 1960 and have a high probably of not having been diagnosed. for the simple reason, that a childhood test for coeliac disease didn’t exist.

Will these undiagnosed coeliacs have a compromised immune system, that makes them  more susceptible to Covid-19?

It has been said, that a good immune system helps you fight Covid-19!

April 30, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 6 Comments