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  #346   ^
Old Thu, Mar-11-21, 10:37
Bonnie OFS Bonnie OFS is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,568
Plan: Dr. Bernstein
Stats: 188/150/135 Female 5 ft 4 inches
Progress: 72%
Location: NE WA

I get my 2nd dose April 1. Found out that it's good to be a veteran - I got my 1st dose before my husband (he's still waiting) & he's 18 years older & has a heart condition. I did have to drive to Spokane (70 miles) but I wanted to do some shopping anyway.

Being overweight (no longer obese! yay!) & diabetic, I haven't taken many chances. Now that my general health is better I'm back to exercising daily. It sure does feel good!
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  #347   ^
Old Sat, Mar-13-21, 06:09
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 11,823
Plan: P:E/DDF/LC-DrWestman
Stats: 225/157/169 Female 5' 9"
Progress: 121%
Location: NC

Dr Georgia Ede:
Nutrition Can Strengthen the Immune System to Fight COVID-19
Dietary changes can help bolster your natural immunity against viruses.
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  #348   ^
Old Sat, Mar-13-21, 06:20
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
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Posts: 13,337
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/123/150 Female 67
Progress: 139%
Location: USA

Recent report of anti-depressants being effective against COVID. But don't rush to the psychiatrist yet... same mechanism as Vitamin D, turns out.

Unless that medicine works for me (and side note: IT DOES NOT) I'd stick with the D3/K2
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  #349   ^
Old Sat, Mar-13-21, 19:33
s93uv3h's Avatar
s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,654
Plan: Atkins & IF / TRE
Stats: 000/000/000 Male 5' 10"
Progress: 97%

Originally Posted by Bonnie OFS
I get my 2nd dose April 1.
Same here. Got shot one (pfizer) Thursday morning. A small rash developed in a small area on the outside of my left wrist (left are shot). That's about it.

I like that they scheduled your second shot appointment in the 15 min. waiting room.

My wife got her second March 3rd.
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  #350   ^
Old Fri, Mar-19-21, 12:01
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
Posts: 23,492
Plan: Low Carb
Stats: 217/203/160 Female 5'10"
Progress: 25%
Location: UK

I thought this article might be of interest for those taking part in and following this thread.

I am also a user of the Covid Symptom Study app.

The ‘long Covid’ time bomb: an interview with Tim Spector

It sometimes seems as if Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, was conjured up especially to be a walking, talking rebuke to Public Health England.

Where PHE has been lumbering, slow to respond to the fast-moving virus, Spector has been nimble, quick to see opportunity and adapt. This time last year, as Boris was preoccupied with the defining question of his premiership — who could possibly have leaked a disobliging story about his girlfriend’s dog — Tim Spector was concocting a plan for how to collect data about Covid from around the country. His Covid Symptom Study app (CSS), a year old this week, has been a triumph. There are now 4.5 million users, logging their symptoms daily.

‘I had the idea for the app about 18 March last year when the university told us all to go home and stop our clinical studies,’ he says. ‘I’d been working with twins for the past 28 years. There were 14,000 twins we were studying so my first thought was: how can we keep in contact with them during this?’ Spector sounds busy and energetic on the phone, and he looks busy and energetic when I stalk through his photos online: slim and wiry, almost permanently tanned and twice pictured in full cycling Lycra.

Spector is a professor of genetic epidemiology, but he’s also an expert on gut bacteria, and co-founder of a company called Zoe which aims, it says, ‘to analyse your unique gut, blood fat and blood sugar responses’. It was the Zoe app that paved the way for CSS. ‘The Zoe app was pretty much repurposed overnight,’ he says. ‘There was nothing else really like it at the time. Amazingly, we managed to launch within a week from starting, and all that without any official backing or help.’ Spector is 62, but, as he shared on Twitter recently, he has the gut microbiome of a man of 40. And oddly, this might well be relevant to the fightback against Covid.

Anyway, Spector’s full of vim and just the man to lead a war effort, which is, in a way, what he’s done. ‘People had just been told go home, shut the door and don’t annoy the hospitals or your GP,’ he says. ‘But a lot of people really wanted to help, and they saw the app as a way of doing that.’ And the app users really did help. At a time when the NHS was only accepting two symptoms — a fever and a cough — data from Spector’s CSS app showed that anosmia (loss of smell) was a significant symptom — not that PHE was listening. Spector told the BMJ: ‘I had dealt with six different government bodies; nobody knew who was in charge… I was sceptical that they [PHE] had public health interests at heart: they didn’t seem to want to engage with the public, speak to doctors.’ As it happens, Duncan Selbie, head of PHE, was even in May telling No. 10 that he was more interested in obesity than the coronavirus, and though there was talk about removing Selbie, the Cabinet Office felt it would be ‘too disruptive’. You’d have thought Covid was pretty ‘disruptive’ too. Never mind.

In early June, Spector warned that Covid patients were experiencing strange rashes. Had PHE learnt from the anosmia debacle? Nope. Spector told a newspaper at the time: ‘GPs are unaware of it, so they are sending people away, or NHS 111 is not recognising it as a possible symptom.’

Spotting anosmia was the app’s first great insight, but the second, says Spector, was that a great many people didn’t get better after two weeks as expected. As CSS app users kept logging symptoms, the next challenge became clear: long Covid, the mysterious set of symptoms that persist beyond the acute illness. ‘The long-haulers could turn out to be a bigger public health problem than excess deaths from Covid-19, which mainly affect the susceptible elderly,’ wrote Spector recently. ‘This is the other side of Covid.’

I ask him now, how big a problem is it? Isn’t it just a very small percentage who don’t recover? ‘I think most estimates are now that with post-Covid-19 viral syndrome, as it’s now called, 10 per cent of people are still going to have some symptoms after three months, even if they are very mild, so that’s 400,000 people minimum,’ says Spector. ‘What we’re seeing is that half of those tend to get better every three months so those numbers do go down, but even if that’s a quarter of the year, that’s 100,000 in a year’s time still with symptoms, and that’s a lot of people for a chronic condition. That’s more than many autoimmune diseases. Other viruses can do it but not on this scale.’

This is unsettling. Spector is using the official figures for confirmed cases — 4.2 million in the UK. But the true number of infections is without doubt much, much higher. Modelling from Edge Health suggested in January that one in five people in England have been infected. That’s some 12.4 million just in this country. One and a half million long Covid sufferers is an NHS nightmare. And unsurprisingly there’s already a great angry divide on the subject. There are the long Covid forums full of desperate, exhausted men and women — long-haulers they call themselves — suffering from breathlessness, hair loss, gut pain and crippling headaches. And then there’s the snap-out-of-it crowd, for whom long Covid is just another excuse for malingering. It’s ME all over again, they say.

Is long Covid simply ME? I ask Spector. Is it identical to other post-viral syndromes or is there a set of symptoms specific to it? ‘There are some similarities with the general post-viral thing but there are also some very specific things that set it apart: Covid toes; autoimmune skin rashes… you generally don’t get diarrhoea, you don’t get intermittent fevers,’ he says. ‘Yes, headache, fatigue and shortness of breath and muscle pain might be common to a number of them, but there are significant differences.’ Other disease experts agree. ‘It appears that post-Covid symptoms tend to be more common, severe and longer-lasting than other viral illnesses, such as influenza,’ says Timothy Hendrich, a viral immunologist at the University of California.

Anecdotes make bad evidence, I know, but I have a great friend in his mid-forties who had Covid relatively mildly, about the same time as I did. As I recovered, he went under. At times he has said it’s like breathing hot sand. He has had the distinctive Covid toe rash, pins and needles and still, a year later, has headaches, but the most distinctive symptom — true of most post-viral illness — is exercise intolerance. If he goes for a brisk walk, he’s prone for weeks after. You simply can’t snap out of it.

As with Covid last year, so with long Covid this year — for the most part, so far, we’re in the dark. But thanks to initiatives like Zoe’s CSS app, patterns are beginning to emerge: ‘The greater the number of different symptoms you have in the first week is the best predictor of whether you are still going to have symptoms over a month or two months,’ says Spector. Being a woman is also a risk: ‘Because age is such a strong factor, we don’t see a difference between a 60-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman, but we do see a big difference in 30-year-olds,’ says Spector. There’s evidence that women are twice as likely to feel fatigued up to 11 months after leaving hospital, and six times more likely to experience breathlessness. ‘I suspect it is to do with the immune response to the virus,’ says Spector. ‘Women have a more robust immune defence system than men, so if long Covid is an over-reaction, that might explain it.’

Spector’s colleague at King’s, Dr Claire Steves, points out: ‘The ACE2 receptor that Sars-CoV-2 uses to infect the body is present not only on the surface of the respiratory cells, but also on the cells of many organs that produce hormones, including the thyroid, adrenal glands and ovaries.’ And, as it happens, the ACE2 receptor is found on the amygdala, cerebral cortex and brainstem too, which is why even mild Covid-19 infections may have negative long-term effects on the brain. One expert in neuro-degenerative disorders, Gabriel de Erausquin at the University of Texas, recently told of the ordeal of one of his medical residents, a young mother in her thirties. After coming down with Covid, she had the fever and the usual lack of smell and taste. But as the first symptoms subsided, she was left with a complete emotional detachment from her children. ‘It’s very hard to explain that kind of emotional dissociation without having something going on in the amygdala,’ said de Erausquin.

I think back to the weird haunted feeling of having the bug — the rollcall of symptoms, as if the virus was doing its rounds, checking each defence in turn. What if those of us who have recovered and assume we’re in the clear aren’t necessarily OK? What if, horror--story-style, the baddie can still make a comeback? Scans of 200 recovered patients — seemingly healthy people with a mean age of 44 — found signs of significant damage to hearts, lungs and kidneys. Brain scans of people who have had Covid show unexpected lesions. Might many more of us have damage we aren’t aware of, I ask Spector. Might there be another Covid time bomb, not long Covid so much as sleeping Covid, waiting to emerge as we age? ‘Yes,’ says Professor Spector, in his matter-of-fact way, upbeat as ever. ‘It could be that we’ve got not just the long Covid but anyone who had Covid who had headaches and fever might have had some damage in the brain or the gut, we don’t know.’

But into this gloomy fog of unknowing, there is some light. There is some recent suggestion that the vaccine might itself help dampen long Covid effects, and Inspector Spector is already on the case: ‘We are about to ask that question to all long Covid sufferers on the app,’ he says. ‘But anecdotally we’re hearing of more cases that improve after vaccination, which is hopeful.’

There’s another hopeful area too, which brings us back to where it all began, with the Zoe app, and the microbiome — all the microbes — bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses — that live inside the gut. ‘On average, it looks like Covid affects people on poor diets, and we’ve got some early suggestions that poor diet affects severity, so I think it makes sense that the gut micro-biome is going to be key to this,’ says Spector. Do you see places like America, for example, suffer more forms of long Covid as a result of eating more processed food? I ask. ‘Not just America,’ he says, sharply. ‘Britain too. But we can change our microbiome, and the way to do it is through diet.’

If Professor Spector’s right, perhaps the gut contains the answer to another Covid mystery. Though the infection rate in India has been high, its death rate — even among the elderly — has been bafflingly low, and the last best guess as to why — a milder strain of the disease — looks unlikely after further research. Might the gut microbes play a part? ‘Yes,’ says Spector, ‘I think the lower fatality rates may well be due to gut health in places like Africa and India.’ Only time, and the ongoing Covid Symptom Study tracker app, will tell.
Tim Spector’s Spoon-Fed: Why Almost Everything We’ve Been Told About Food is Wrong

The groundbreaking new book from Tim Spector, bestselling author of The Diet Myth and creator of the COVID Symptom Study app.

We are all bombarded with advice about what we should and shouldn't eat, and new scientific discoveries are announced every day. Yet the more we are told about nutrition, the less we seem to understand.

Through his pioneering scientific research, Tim Spector has been shocked to discover how little good evidence there is for many of our most deep-rooted ideas about food. In a series of short, myth-busting chapters, Spoon-Fed reveals why almost everything we've been told about food is wrong. Spector explores the scandalous lack of good science behind many medical and government food recommendations, and how the food industry holds sway over these policies and our choices.

Spoon-Fed is a groundbreaking book that forces us to question every diet plan, official recommendation, miracle cure or food label we encounter, and encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food. Diet may be the most important medicine we all possess. We urgently need to learn how best to use it, not just for our health as individuals but for the future of the planet.
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  #351   ^
Old Thu, Apr-29-21, 13:34
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
Posts: 11,823
Plan: P:E/DDF/LC-DrWestman
Stats: 225/157/169 Female 5' 9"
Progress: 121%
Location: NC

New report in The Lancet:

At a BMI of more than 23 kg/m2, we found a linear increase in risk of severe COVID-19 leading to admission to hospital and death, and a linear increase in admission to an ICU across the whole BMI range, which is not attributable to excess risks of related diseases. The relative risk due to increasing BMI is particularly notable people younger than 40 years and of Black ethnicity."

23 BMI !. A "healthy" BMI of 25 is a bridge too far for many in the US. I haven't dug into these numbers and unlikely I will ever be able to understand the statistical modeling done. But always impressed by the size and range of UK observational data when they have access to NHS records. Almost 7 million in the data set. i5OmA

The report addresses the genetic tendency for Asians to have metabolic disease/T2 at lower BMIs.

Male sex, Black and Asian ethnicity, and type 2 diabetes have been found to be associated with an increased risk of adverse outcomes from severe SARS-CoV-2 infection.7, 8, 9, 10, 11 One factor that links these groups is a tendency to store fat in the abdominal region (visceral fat) and also in tissues other than adipose tissue, such as the liver, heart, or skeletal muscle (ie, ectopic fat).21 Three small studies of patients admitted to hospital due to COVID-19 have found that a tendency for visceral fat accumulation, measured using CT, was independently associated with adverse COVID-19-related outcomes.22, 23, 24 The risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes attributable to excess weight (ie, ≥23 kg/m2) has been proposed to be a consequence of metabolic impairment of organ functioning, leading to insulin resistance.25 We found little evidence of a difference in the association between BMI and severe COVID-19 outcomes in people with and without type 2 diabetes (a condition strongly associated with accumulation of ectopic fat) to support this hypothesis. In fact, we found that people with type 2 diabetes were at lower risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes per unit increase in BMI than those without type 2 diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes are only a subset of people with increased likelihood of ectopic fat deposition. Central fat accumulation could contribute to the increased risk associated with unit increase in BMI in the younger age group, since previous reports suggest a disproportionate increase in waist circumference relative to BMI among English adults.26 Direct measurements of ectopic fat, or proxy measures such as waist circumference, are rarely done in routine care and accurate data were not available for our analysis so we were unable to test this hypothesis, as was originally specified in our protocol.

Last edited by JEY100 : Thu, Apr-29-21 at 13:43.
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  #352   ^
Old Thu, Apr-29-21, 18:49
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 15,438
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/232/200 Female 5'8"
Progress: 42%
Location: Massachusetts

The issues at lower BMI reminds me of when DR Atkins wrote about the thin man who suffered a heart attack.......the thin people are at risk too if eating a poor diet. Aka carb loaded. Those of that are plump get a visual reminder to get healthy. The TOFI get no notice.

This story is my reminder to always pick foods wisely......even when I reach goal.
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  #353   ^
Old Fri, Apr-30-21, 08:54
khrussva's Avatar
khrussva khrussva is offline
Posts: 8,271
Plan: My own - < 30 net carbs
Stats: 440/231/210 Male 5' 11"
BF:Energy Unleashed
Progress: 91%
Location: Central Virginia - USA

Originally Posted by Ms Arielle
...Those of that are plump get a visual reminder to get healthy. The TOFI get no notice.

Those who are plump, but metabolically healthy get lost in the wash, too. My life-long plump grandmother lived to the age of 102 - still living on her own until age 98. She never had dementia. I remember her reading aloud her birthday cards at her 100th birthday - no eye glasses. She was mobile and still taking care of her normal daily activities (dressing, bathing, bathroom, etc.) unassisted until the day she died. She was clearly fat, but healthy.

I'd love to see this data stratified for "Fat on the inside" vs "Thin on the inside", regardless of BMI. I'd bet that we would see a completely different picture of who is really at the highest risk.

Last edited by khrussva : Fri, Apr-30-21 at 13:41. Reason: Added photo & comments
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  #354   ^
Old Fri, Apr-30-21, 11:07
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,662
Plan: Very LC, Higher Protein
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA

It's hard for me to believe that BMI alone can be isolated as the reason for an increasing trend of "excess risks" for related diseases. As BMI increases above what is considered healthy, it's likely that metabolic dysfunction accompanies it in some (many?) people. I find it more likely that the metabolic dysfunction at any BMI is the risk factor where inflammation and other unhealthy conditions increase vulnerability.
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  #355   ^
Old Fri, Apr-30-21, 12:43
Zei Zei is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 1,587
Plan: Carb reduction in general
Stats: 230/185/180 Female 5 ft 9 in
Progress: 90%
Location: Texas

My grandma was very slender and lived to 95 but with diabetes and apparent dementia in a care facility. I think high BMI when caused by excess fat is very often but not always associated as a symptom of worsening metabolic health, which is the real problem whether clearly high body fat is present or not.
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