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LIVING: HEALTH: DOCTOR DAVID - Dinner makes my skin turn smelly.

QWHATEVER I eat or drink seems to come out of my skin a few hours later with a very strong smell. This causes me a lot of embarrassment but my doctor has told me that I just have to live with it.

PW, Stourbridge

A WHAT you describe is quite unusual and there are various causes. If only you can smell these odours, you may be suffering from what are known as olfactory hallucinations.

This is a state of mind in which your brain genuinely believes that there are abnormal smells due to the wrong message being transmitted.

They're not, in fact, there.

When some people eat certain foods - particularly asparagus, garlic or exotic spices - they find that the odour comes out in the urine or sweat a few hours later.

There is unfortunately no treatment for this so it is prudent to avoid foods proven to cause these symptoms.

QOVER the last three months I have noticed that my left heel has become increasingly painful to bear weight on. It seems to be getting worse. I do not recall injuring it. Could I have arthritis?

GH, Birmingham

A PAIN specifically in the heel and related to weight-bearing is typical of either plantar fasciti or a calcaneal spur.

The former is an inflammation of the sole of the foot and the latter is a bony outgrowth of the heel growing down into the pad of the foot, which causes pain when you walk on it.

The advice of a chiropodist is often useful and in many cases stretching exercises of the heels and calves can be beneficial. Sometimes a steroid injection is required into the painful area and occasionally surgical removal of a spur is necessary.

QMY five-year-old daughter has developed a lump under her upper eyelid about the size of a pea. It has been there for a few weeks now and does not seem to trouble her but it is still growing and people are commenting on it. Is this serious and what can be done?

SP, Halesowen

A IN this age group, a lump under the eyelid is usually caused by a chalazion - a cyst in the lubricating glands of the eye.

They are caused by a blockage, allowing a waxy substance to build up. They can resolve spontaneously or a simple operation will remove them.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Jan 12, 2003
Next Article:LIVING: EATING OUT: Savour a feast of health on a plate.

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