Polycystic ovary syndrome is linked to autism in offspring

Cambridge University Autism Research Centre has found that compared to women who do not have polycystic ovary syndrome, women who do have this have about double the risk of having a child with autism.  The risk was slightly higher in male children compared to female children.

Cherskov A et al. Polycystic ovary syndrome and autism: At test of the prenatal sex steroid theory. Transl Psychiatry. Aug 1 2018. doi:10.1038/s41398-018-01867.

The UK and US are the only western countries where life expectancy is falling

Researchers looked at 17 high income countries to evaluate trends in national mortality.

In the UK there has been a drop of a few months in life expectancy for both men and women over the age of 65. Degenerative diseases were the main cause such as respiratory disease, circulatory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous system disease and mental disorders.

In the USA drug overdoses were responsible for the decline in life expectancy.

The study looked at mortality between 2014 and 2015. A sixty five year old in the UK at that time would have been born in 1950, after the start of the NHS.

We will need to wait to see if this trend will reverse or not.

British Medical Journal. UK life expectancy drops while other western countries improve. National Health Services. 2018 August 16.

Younger age at diagnosis predicts earlier death in type one diabetes (on standard treatment)

Researchers in Sweden have found that the earlier children are diagnosed with type one diabetes, the less their life expectancy is. Matters are worse for women than men. They think that adults diagnosed in childhood need increased input to deal with cardiovascular risk factors as they get older. Currently age of onset is ignored when it comes to stratifying risk.

Those diagnosed under the age of 10 had 4 times the hazard ratio for all cause mortality, over 7 times the risk of cardiovascular disease, 4 times the risk for non cardiovascular mortality,  over 11 times the risk of cardiovascular disease, 31 times the risk of having a myocardial infarction, over 6 times the risk for stroke, 13 times the risk of heart failure, but almost the same risk as controls for atrial fibrillation.

There is a better outlook for those diagnosed in their late twenties. The risk was almost 3 times the background rate for total mortality and the most prominent risk was again for cardiovascular mortality coming in at 6 times the background rate.

What this means is that if you are a girl diagnosed with type one under the age of ten, you may expect to live almost 18 years fewer than your classmates and if you are a boy, 14 years fewer.

My comment: More effort could also be given to youngsters on diagnosis achieving normal blood sugars by advising parents about the easiest ways to control blood sugars such as the adoption of a low carb diet and advanced insulin techniques. Although these statistics are shocking to see, it doesn’t have to be like this at all. Many diabetics have changed their life expectancy around and reverse some complications by adopting practices that improve glycaemic control and metabolic factors such as we describe on this site.

Rawshani A et al. Excess mortality and cardiovascular disease in young adults with type 1 diabetes in relation to age at onset: a nationwide, register-based cohort study. Lancet 2018;392:477-86;doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31506-X

 

Public Health Collaboration Conference 2018: Achieving your optimal blood sugar target

Videos of the lectures given at the Public Health Collaboration conference 2018 which was held in May over the royal wedding weekend have now been released on You Tube.

You can see my talk, Achieving your optimal blood sugar target, as well as others, on the link below. There are a wide variety of lifestyle topics discussed. Happy viewing.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=public+health+collaboration+conference+2018

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Diabetes

olive oil pic taken by Emma Baird, author of the Diabetes DietWe’re just back from Crete and enthused with the joys of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). Yes, readers, splash it everywhere with gay abandon just as the Cretans do.

The island’s average inhabitant consumes 36 litres of the stuff every year—more than any other nation in the world. Even the Italians, also fond of the EVOO, manage only ten litres of it and they are the third highest consumers.

Does it have implications for we sugar-challenged folks? The factory I visited while there had a sign claiming health benefits for sufferers of all kinds of things, including type 2 diabetes. The Cretans produce mainly EVOO (and they harvest the olives by hand rather than machine), and they don’t bother with the ‘rule’ that you only use it for salads or to dress vegetables. They stick it in marinades, cook with it and even use it to deep-fry chips.

Positive benefits

In the Mediterranean region where olive oil is the main dietary fat, there are lower levels of deaths from cardiovascular disease. A Medicine News Today article also claimed positive benefits for stroke risk, breast cancer, liver protection, Alzheimer’s, ulcerative colitis, acute pancreatitis, maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels and even depression. [The article quoted from different studies, all of which used the words ‘appear to’.]

Anyone with diabetes has an increased risk of all the above conditions. The so-called Mediterranean ‘diet’ isn’t that dissimilar from the low-carb diet we promote. Broadly, eat tonnes of vegetables, some fruits preferably berries, plenty of fish, full-fat dairy, some beans and pulses if you can tolerate them and dress your salad and veggies with plenty of olive oil*.

Apart from the health benefits, a decent splash of EVOO does miraculous things. Steam some broccoli and then finish it off in the pan frying it with olive oil, thin slices of garlic and sea salt and you get to eat something that is three hundred times nicer than the boiled stuff.

The best Greek salad

And naturally a Greek salad needs the stuff… the best ones are simple. Large chunks of cucumber (peeled for purists) and tomatoes, black olives, thin slices of red onion and topped with a slab of feta cheese, plenty of salt and pepper and a generous drizzle of EVOO.

Sadly, because we’d opted for the hand luggage only flight, we could only bring back a 100ml bottle. One of the big issues with olive oil, and especially the extra virgin variety, is fraud. Most olive oil distribution is done through Italy, including the Cretan stuff. Investigations in recent years have uncovered wide-scale issues where virgin olive oil is passed off as extra virgin. There have even been cases where the oil was blended with sunflower oil and others..

The Guardian has a useful article that contains advice about buying genuine EVOO. Basically, it’s best to buy it in small quantities and if you think that stuff in supermarkets is too cheap to be the real thing, you’re probably right.

Olive oil recipes

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for olive oil recipes here are some suggestions from our blog:

What’s your favourite olive oil recipe or use?

*If you are overweight, you might want to be a little more cautious with your use of it, as it is calorie dense.

 

 

 

Angela Coleby: Rosemary Goats Cheese crackers

Goats Cheese Rosemary Crackers – 2 Net Carbs
Published on July 13, 2017 at Shirley Yates low carb food blog.

These delicious goats cheese crackers are flavoured with fresh rosemary and make a great gluten free and low carb cracker to have alongside with a dip.

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 12 Crackers
Author: Angela Coleby
Ingredients
1/2 cup (56g) coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Rosemary, fresh
6oz (168g) Goats cheese.

Instructions
Put all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth.
Spoon the mixture onto a piece of parchment paper, then place another piece on top. Gently roll out the dough until about 1 cm thick.
Cut out with a cookie cutter or shape by hand.
Place onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until firm and golden.
Allow to cool or place in the fridge overnight for best results.
Recipe Notes
Makes 12 crackers
Nutritional Info per cracker – 99 Calories, 8g Fat. 4g Protein, 4g Total Carbs, 2g Fibre, 2g Net Carbs

The FreeStyle Libre—a two-week report

a sensor and reader on a post on the Diabetes DietYou find me, un-sensored and sad… Yes, I’ve completed two weeks on the FreeStyle Libre sensor and reader system, and now I’m back to finger pricks, at least temporarily.

At my last diabetes clinic appointment, my consultant* agreed that I’m a candidate for flash glucose monitoring (which is different from blood glucose testing, but more on that later) and sent me off with a 14-day sensor while I wait for bureaucracy to kick in.

So, what’s flash glucose monitoring like? For the uninitiated, the system comprises a sensor you wear on the back of your arm and a reader that can be used any time. Type 1 diabetes tends to encourage obsessive compulsive behaviour, and the FreeStyle Libre system facilitates that, though it’s no bad thing.

Where flash glucose monitoring differs from blood testing is that the sensor reads levels from interstitial fluid, so it lags about four and a half minutes behind blood glucose readings. If you drive, the DVLA requires you to do blood tests, rather than scans beforehand to avoid the risk of hypos while driving.

Parents love them because they can check children with type 1 diabetes while they sleep, able to work out if they are risk of a hypo, and they are also routinely prescribed for pregnant women who have diabetes as frequent testing makes it easier to maintain the tight control you need while growing a baby.

The accompanying app can be downloaded by others, who can gain access to your information if you give them permission. Again, something that is useful for parents although such scrutiny would have horrified the teenage diabetic me.

Here’s what I found:

Frequency of testing

After a day or so of overcoming the hesitation—I can’t do another test, I just did one an hour ago… Oh. Yes, I can—I averaged 11 scans a day, and about two blood tests usually at the same time to check accuracy and a few times because I was hypo.

Ease of testing

Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! You can use the reader through clothing, it only takes a few seconds. It’s much easier than pulling out a meter, sticks and finger-pricker—especially when you’re out and about.

Accuracy of readings

I had the odd bit of disparity—usually if my blood sugar was low, as the sensor lags behind blood glucose readings. However, most of the blood tests I did at the same time varied only by 0.1 o 0.2 mmol, and I did get hypo readings that registered at the same time.

Sensor adhesion

No issues there. That thing stuck to me for the two weeks. I didn’t do any swimming in that time, so I can’t attest to how well it works in that setting. Nor did I try it out in the sauna/steam room as threatened—though one suggestion a fellow user came up with was using cling film to bind it onto your arm. The reader lasted on the battery charge for the full two weeks too.

Most useful bits

There are lots of things that sell flash glucose monitoring to me—ease and frequency of testing two of them—but there are other super-useful components. One is the pattern tool. You can see where you have the most glucose variability and when you tend to have hypos. In the two-week period, I had (ahem) 17 low glucose events, most of them between 11am and 5pm and that corresponded with the time of day I have most glucose variability.

I’ve never been good at logging my blood tests. It just feels too much like hard work. I know you can download from your meter, but the checks I made on the flash glucose monitor gave me a clear idea of what happens. And, more importantly, some ideas of how to fix it.

The excess hypos may have been because of the half-marathon, which happened not long after I started my 14-day sensor and because I’ve been eating more carbs. As we say in the Diabetes Diet, more carbs mean more insulin. Bigger amounts of insulin mean bigger mistakes. A salutary reminder, then, that it’s back on the low-carb for me.

Thanks too, to Steven Morrison—my blog and book co-author’s son—who emailed me in detail about his own experiences using the FreeStyle Libre. He’s a convert too, and the cling-film tip came from him.

So when does my prescription come in? I’m now on a list for a short course at the hospital and once I’ve taken part in that, the organisers write to my doctor recommending she add sensors to my list of prescribed diabetes medications and gear. Fingers crossed, it doesn’t take too long.

 

* #LovetheNHS