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Ask doctor Cory.

Dear Dr. Cory:

My aunt, mom, and I were wondering why our tongues get little bumps or sores on them when we eat sweets such as chocolate, or for my mom--tomatoes? How can we stop the bumps besides eating less candy and tomatoes?

Melita, Dorene, and Laura

West Bend, Wisconsin

Dear Melita, Dorene, and Laura:

Your first question is easier to answer than your second one. The problem matches what doctors call canker sores, or apthous (APP-thus) ulcers. These painful but usually harmless sores tend to run in families. They can be caused by food allergies, mouth injuries or irritations (from cheek bites or rough foods, or from eating certain "trigger" foods such as chocolate or acidic foods such as tomatoes or pineapple), menstrual periods, viral infections, immune system problems, poor nutrition, and emotional stress. Canker sores are not contagious so kissing cannot spread them.

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Prevent canker sores by avoiding what causes them. For pain, try ice chips, frozen fruit bars, and cool drinks (not sodas). Over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, Orabase-B, Anbesol and Orajel may also help. Dabbing a small amount of milk of magnesia on the canker sore three to four times a day (with help from your parents) may speed healing. They usually go away on their own in about two weeks. Some mouth sores can be a sign of serious health problems such as cancer. Mouth sores that last for more than two weeks, worsen, are large, or interfere with eating or drinking should be checked by a health-care provider.

Dear Dr. Cory:

Last time I went to the doctor I weighed 108 pounds and my doctor said that I was the perfect weight. I am twelve years old and now I am about 130 pounds. I am gaining weight like crazy. I eat fruits and veggies often. I also like to drink a lot of water. I like to ride my bike but have to wait until the snow melts. What do I do?

Dazed and Confused,

Haden, Idaho

Dear Dazed and Confused:

Your weight is only a piece of the puzzle. Being healthy depends on your age, height, weight, and body type. Put together, that information provides your BMI (Body Mass Index). A standard growth chart will let you decide if your weight is appropriate for your development.

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In general, calories in should equal energy out. And muscles burn more calories. So, when snow keeps you off the bike, try snowshoeing, skating, or cross-country skiing.

Keep making wise food choices, such as drinking a lot of water, eating fruits and veggies, eating a variety of foods but limiting your portion size, and listening to your body cues to help you stop eating when you're full.

Healthy bodies come in lots of sizes and shapes. Schedule a yearly visit with your health-care provider for a checkup. Your weight may be just right for you.

Weight Work

Working hard to enjoy a healthy weight helps you feel better now, and might even help prevent heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, gallstones, high cholesterol, and many other health problems later. Try these tricks:

* Eat slowly and stop when you feel full. You don't have to clean your plate.

* Eat fresh, whole foods low in calories but high in nutrients such, as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains like whole-wheat bread and oatmeal.

* Eat low-fat dairy products (low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and cheese).

* Check food labels carefully for fat and calories.

* Ask your parents to buy only healthy snacks. Help cook, so you can practice making healthy food choices.

* Be physically active at least 60 minutes a day, all at once or all day long. Walk to and from school and take the stairs. Try fast walking, playing in the yard, swimming, skating, jumping rope, biking, basketball, and dancing. And Remember:

* No more than two hours a day of TV, video, and computer time--combined.

* Don't eat in front of the TV or riding in a car; it's too easy to lose track of what you've had.

* Avoid fried foods, high-fat foods, and soft drinks. Also, stay away from fruit "drinks," "cocktails," "punches," "beverages," and "ades." They fill you up with a lot of calories, causing you to feel full and eat less good food.
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Article Details
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Author:Cory
Publication:Children's Digest
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2008
Words:709
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