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Wed, 30th April 2014
 

Food doesn't taste like it was when I was a child. Everything seems like cardboard. I do not enjoy my meals, and eat because I must to stay alive. Have you ever made these comments? Heaps have, and deplore the way in which food is mass produced, sold and prepared these days. But there is some good news, some light at the end of the tunnel, so do not despair.

Today, food is certainly mass produced in world wide markets, frozen, thawed, stored for months and carried in boats and planes. But the cause of personal food dissatisfaction is often us, the individuals. The food is often OK but our senses and appreciation of taste and smell have dulled. Why? There are many reasons. Aerial pollution is probably one. This is inhaled by the system, and reacts adversely on our nervous system, the part of the body that lets us appreciate sense of smell, taste, touch, and other sensations. Knock these out, and we are off to a bad start, whatever is in the food.

Second comes infection, often unrecognized. There may be an acute episode, say a viral or bacterial throat, nasal or tonsillar infection, or it may linger on in a sub acute unrecognized form for months. Germs produce toxins which adversely affect nerves. Taste and smell sensory end-organs are located in the lining of the mouth and nose. These are the common ones, but there are heaps of others, some very complex, and potentially dangerous.

So what to do? See your doctor for an evaluation. A diagnosis may lead to a management plan which may help. Now remember, the body constantly strives to keep everything normal and in balance, so is working in your favour.

Here are some simple tips. Gargle the throat with warm salty water three times a day. Drink lots of water to swish germs and toxins from the system. Eat sensible foods. Smoking and too much booze dull nerve receptors, so be sensible. But also, the body may lack adequate amounts of zinc. So a 40 mg tablet of zinc a day is often valuable. These are available from pharmacists and health food shops. If there is inadequate zinc in the soil in which food is grown, food will be deficient, and so will the body. Adequate zinc, may lead to better taste and smell receptor sensitivity. A long time patient of mine awoke one day after five years of tastlesness. Cured! Do not give up.

 
SWEATY PALMS

Q: 

An enormous amount of sweat pours down my arms and hands making it difficult to carry out normal paper work.

A: 

Armpits and hands are abundant with sweat glands. Cervical sympathectomy, cutting a nerve in the neck, inactivates nerves going to sweat glands, but the arms become very dry which maybe worse. Surgically removing the big gland in the armpit (plastic surgery) often brings relief. Botox has jumped onto the bandwaggon, and may bring temporary relief. Some find relaxation therapy helpful, for this reduces stress a common cause.

 
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HEARING AID BITS

Q: 

Mum has a hearing aid, but the tiny components keep coming adrift. We spend half our lives searching for them in pockets, the floor, and dressing table.

A: 

Some hearing aids have thin tubes leading into the ear. And these may come adrift and get lost. Changing the little batteries is also a delicate task, specially with knobbly fingers and poor vision. Constant care and awareness is essential. That's why so many hearing aids sit unused in draws. Constant encouragement is essential.

 
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PLASTIC BAGS

Q: 

Some councils are trying to ban plastic shopping bags. How do we replace them? Cutting down more trees for paper bags and boxes, thereby further depleting the oxygen eco-system.

A: 

We are fast depleting the worlds natural resources when everything will come to a crashing halt. Probably an alternative is to have a big bundle of fabric bags you cart along to the supermarket. There is an inevitable price we all pay for our very high standard of living which few wish to diminish. There is no simple answer.

 
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CHIPPED TOOTH

Q: 

My son fell and struck his mouth on the pavement guttering and chipped a front tooth. Is this forever?

A: 

If this is the secondary tooth, the answer is yes, and it will not heal itself. However, dentists today have a wide range of tools and resources. Patchwork can produce an excellent outcome but it comes with a hefty price tag.

 
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BODY HEALING

Q: 

I am a constantly amazed at how the body automatically heals itself. If there is an injury or inflammation, within a few days it starts to get right again. How much credit should be given to nature, as opposed to throwing down a heap of pills.

A: 

Nature is forever trying to get the body back to its normal healthy state. It is an incredible picture, and part of the amazing world in which we live. The same applies to animals, and even plants. Many people today believe in natural healing techniques, and in simple cases, I am inclined to agree, but being foolish and ignoring serious symptoms is also unnecessary.

 
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This health advice is general in nature. You are advised to seek medical attention from your doctor or health care provider for your own specific symptoms and circumstances.

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