The Anonymous Widower

High Risk Of Coeliac Disease In Punjabis. Epidemiological Study In The South Asian And European Populations Of Leicestershire

The title of this post, is the same as that of this peer-reviewed paper on PubMed.gov.

This is the abstract of the paper.

The purpose of this study was to measure the incidence of coeliac disease in different ethnic communities and investigate the hypothesis that the incidence is decreasing in most European countries and the role incomplete retrieval of data may play. In a retrospective study of histologically confirmed cases of coeliac disease between 1975 and 1989 in the City of Leicester, 106 patients with coeliac disease were identified. Of these 86 were European and 20 Asian. The overall incidence of coeliac disease in Europeans was 2.5/10(5)/year (95% CI 2-3.2), in Gujaratis 0.9/10(5)/year (95% CI 0.4-1.8), and in Punjabis 6.9 (95% CI 3.2-12.3). These differences were independent of religious belief. The relative risk to Punjabis compared with Europeans is 2.9 (95% CI 1.5-5.3; chi 2 = 12.5, p < 0.01) and to Gujaratis 8.1 (95% CI 3-22.4; chi 2 = 25; p < 0.001). Gujaratis were at 0.4 risk of Europeans (90% CI 0.2-0.8; chi 2 = 6.7; p < 0.01). The incidence in the urban populations of Leicester was 6/10(5)/year (95% CI 1.3-1.9) which was significantly lower than the 3.2/10(5)/year (95% CI 2.7-3.8; chi 2 = 5.6; p < 0.001) in surrounding rural areas. This study shows that the incidence of coeliac disease in Punjabis (Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims) is 8 times higher than in Gujaratis (Hindus and Muslims) and 4 times higher than in Europeans in Leicester.

I find the last sentence in particular very significant.

I’m no medic, but I think it is reasonable to assume, that in a particular community for every diagnosed coeliac, there will be several undiagnosed coeliacs out there.

In this overview of coeliac disease on the NHS web site, this is said about the incidence of coeliac disease.

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.

The one-in-100 figure is often used in web pages in European countries or Australia, Canada and the United States, so I’ll go along with that.

So does that mean that Punjabis living in Leicester, have a one-in-twenty-five  likelihood of being coeliac?

Whether you have been diagnosed though, is a matter of pure luck.

I had been having gut problems for years and then one Autumn, I didn’t see my GP, but a very elderly locum, who as I had recently had my fiftieth birthday, gave me a present of my first blood test.

It turned out my B12 levels were very low and after several months of B12 injections, which made little difference to my B12, my GP decided to send me to a consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

My appointment was on a Monday morning and consultant took about ten minutes to ask a few questions, after which he said they would take a few bloods.

On the Wednesday morning, I received a letter that said, that I was probably suffering from coeliac disease and this would be confirmed by endoscopy.

Was I diagnosed solely by analysis of my blood? This was in 1997, which is after the date of the Leicester study.

Two endoscopies without sedative or anaesthetic were performed and I was confirmed as coeliac.

The first was performed by Dr. Richard Hardwick and the second by Dr. Rebecca Fitzgerald.

Both doctors feature in this story on the Cambridge University Hospitals web site, which is entitled Familial Gastric Cancer – Case Study.

My problems have been minor compared to the two sisters in the story.

My luck had been good and I recommend that everyone who feels they could be coeliac should get themselves tested.

Cases Of Covid-19 In Leicestershire

This article on the Leicester Mercury is entitled 11 Areas Of Leicestershire Have Among Worst Infection Rates in the UK.

In Coeliac Disease: Can We Avert The Impending Epidemic In India?, I started like this.

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Indian Journal Of Research Medicine.

With the high levels of COVID-19 in Leicester and an Indian population who make up 28.3 % of the population of the city, I was searching the internet to see if there was any connection between those of Indian heritage and coeliac disease.

I know you should not try to prove a theory. But as a coeliac, I’m very interested to see how the millions of diagnosed coeliacs on a gluten-free diet like me, are faring in this pandemic.

I then talk about some extracts from the Indian research.

In a section entitled, which is entitled All Wheats Are Not Equal, I say this.

The other dimension to this problem is that not all wheat is alike when it comes to inducing celiac disease. The ancient or diploid wheats (e.g. Triticum monococcum) are poorly antigenic, while the modern hexaploid wheats e.g. Triticum aestivum) have highly antigenic glutens, more capable of inducing celiac disease in India, for centuries, grew diploid and later tetraploid wheat which is less antigenic, while hexaploid wheat used in making bread is recently introduced. Thus a change back to older varieties of wheat may have public health consequences.

So did all these factors come together to create the high levels of Covid-19 in Leicestershire?

Conclusion

I am getting bored with saying this. More research needs to be done!

 

December 27, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rescued By A B12 Injection

Last week, I wasn’t feeling too well, as I wrote in The Hour Change Has Completely Knocked Me Out.

I had a whole raft of symptoms.

  • Not being able to get dressed.
  • Sleeping all the time.
  • Poor hand-eye co-ordination.
  • Dizziness, which got me to hospital.

Then on Tuesday, this week, I had my three-monthly B12 injection.

And all the symptoms disappeared.

November 10, 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

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 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