Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Season's Greetings!

 And if you're celebrating Christmas I hope you get turkey stuffed with leek and shallot and basted in soy sauce, served with rich red cabbage and peas. For pudding may you have Christmas pud made from chopped Golden Delicious and peeled pear. Failing that, may someone who loves you rustle up a trifle made from chocolate log roll, custard and whisky whipped into a rich, pure cream. All this followed by a platter of Brie, Camembert and other cheeses untainted by herbs or fruit. And may your Christmas presents, if you are of age, include the best whisky, including a savoury Jura or Jack Daniels to enrich your lunch. If you are under age, I wish you a great many chocolate bars, none of them with nuts or fruit and not so dark chocolate you feel the caffeine content. Happy Christmas!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Peppers and tomatoes

 I've got a feeling this piece of research into Parkinson's and tomatoes and peppers may miss the point.
Let me declare an interest - a close relative has just died from Parkinson's; and then a second interest, a very personal one. There has been evidence in the past linking Parkinson's to a history of allergic conditions. I'm a little worried.

The researchers here set out to show that tomatoes and peppers help to "protect" against Parkinson's. Their thesis is that these two fruits contain nicotine - which is thought to protect against Parkinson's. So they find that people who get Parkinson's don't eat many tomatoes and peppers.

As it happens my relative did not eat many tomatoes. Neither do I, nor many peppers - because I am allergic to them. My relative never had an allergy diagnosed - but he did not like tomatoes and I watched once when he ate one. Shortly after he reached for his hanky as his nose began running. Yes, I am concerned we may share genes.

This piece of research may be what's known as a failure of causation. It may well be that tomatoes and peppers do not "protect" against Parkinson's but help cause it - but because they cause it through allergic reactions, susceptible people actively avoid them, thereby eating less of the substance. Or it may be a bit of both.

What continues to be frustrating is the way a whole range of medical research simply fails to display joined up thinking. There are some people who recognise that allergic syndromes cause general inflammation - but they are few and far between. I know there are some in medicine who recognise that super-specialisation is the wrong way forward - it means that researchers and doctors simply fail to make connections. 


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Euro-pollen map

 A Euro-pollen map from the University of Vienna could eventually be helpful if you are travelling the continent over the next few months. However you may need to use a translator as it is in German.

There is an app available at  www.polleninfo.org covering several countries.

Details at  http://www.meduniwien.ac.at/homepage/news-und-topstories/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3354&cHash=ab4e3683aa


Sunday, April 07, 2013

World Allergy Week

 There's been no need to keep ice on the go in the fridge as our tap water has come through at freezing temperatures for the last two months.

Meanwhile here is news of World Allergy Week, starting tomorrow. It's all about food allergies so it will be interesting to see if anyone discusses salicylate.

Milwaukee, WI. The World Allergy Organization (WAO) will host its annual World Allergy Week from 8-14 April, 2013, together with its 93 national Member Societies, to address the topic of “Food Allergy – A Rising Global Health Problem,” and its growing burden on children.

Globally, 220-250 million people may suffer from food allergy [1], and the occurrence of food allergies continues to rise in both developed and developing countries, especially in children. This year WAO plans to highlight the need for greater awareness and understanding of food allergy as well as the exchange of ideas and collaboration in order to address a variety of safety and quality-of-life issues related to the care of patients with food sensitivity. Activities will include international teleconferences with experts presenting information about global food allergy concerns and answering questions immediately afterward.

According to Professor Ruby Pawankar, President of the World Allergy Organization, “There are problems that need to be addressed in many countries throughout the world such as the lack of awareness of food allergies, lack of standardized national anaphylaxis action plans for food allergy, limited or no access to adrenaline autoinjectors, and the lack of food labeling laws. Moreover, some countries have standardized action plans but no ready access to autoinjectors; others have autoinjectors but no standardized action plans. These circumstances can be improved with the distribution of information and resources for physicians, patients, parents, schools, health ministries, and throughout communities and by a call to action to
policy makers.”

“As in previous years, many of the national Member Societies of WAO will organize local events and programs around food allergy issues that specifically affect their communities,” said Professor Motohiro Ebisawa, WAO Board of Director and Chair of the Communications Council. WAO is providing information about food allergy online at www.worldallergyweek.org and will track activities of its Member Societies. “Everyone with an interest in food allergy can participate by contacting their national allergy societies and food allergy advocacy groups,” said Professor Ebisawa. A list of organizations is also available on the website.
[1] Fiocchi A, Sampson HA et al. “Food Allergy”, Section 2.5 in WAO White Book on Allergy, Editors: R Pawankar, GW Canonica, ST Holgate, RF
Lockey (Milwaukee, Wisconsin: World Allergy Organization, 2011), pp 47-53.

About the World Allergy Organization
The World Allergy Organization (WAO) is an international alliance of 93 regional and national allergy, asthma and immunology societies. Through
collaboration with its Member Societies WAO provides a wide range of educational and outreach programs, symposia and lectureships to allergists
and clinical immunologists around the world and conducts initiatives related to clinical practice, service provision, and physical training in order to
better understand and address the challenges facing allergy and immunology professionals worldwide. For more information, visit www.worldallergy.org.


Thursday, January 17, 2013


 Three, small, fillings at the dentist today - the first I've had for a long time.

That's not bad considering I haven't used toothpaste for six years. But three fillings in one day is too many and expensive also.

So I've resolved to do better.This will be my belated New Year resolution. I had a think about things and realised I'm not drinking as much water as before. I used to alternate it with my half-pints of decaf coffee and I've stopped doing it. I just drink decaf by the pint.

So even though I was eating a lot of cheap chocolate the water, which is fluoridated here, must have swilled my mouth out.

And here's how I'm going to make this happen. We are going to keep the freezer stocked with ice cubes, just like we do on holiday. This will have another great spin-off. For while instant decaf does nothing to keep me awake when I'm working, iced water surely will.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Kill or cure!

Sometimes silence here simply means I haven't got a clue what the h... is happening.

So I thought I shook off my cold in December by drinking redbush tea. And I kept to my resolution not to drink wine over Christmas. Quite a lot of whisky was consumed.

And then I came out of Christmas with a chronic stuffy nose. I thought maybe I had overdone the redbush tea and small things seemed to be causing reactions. For instance at the weekend I had nachos at the cinema but I did have them with cheese sauce. That definitely made my throat a little sore.

Now I am not so convinced. I woke up the other day and my left wrist was sore. In fact today my throat is sore on the left side and so is my eye and my leg is starting to feel sore. I am feeling hard done by because it is exactly why I didn't touch wine over Christmas to avoid these sort of symptoms.

Nevertheless I am beginning to think the problem is a lingering virus, maybe even .... flu. In fact I am feeling quite run down. This may be aggravated by the British freeze. Temperatures plunging to at least minus three have caused power cuts and put our central heating off. No wonder I'm a little shivery.

So I'm back on the redbush tea. Kill or cure!