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The Doctor; Doctor Gareth Smith is here to answer all your health queries. Write to him at Dr Gareth, Sunday Mail, One Central Quay, Glasgow G3 8DA. Email g.smith@sundaymail.co.uk.



I am a diabetic and have the start of a corn. I was told to moisturise my feet, but this hasn't helped. What else can I do? Corns can be particularly bad for diabetics as nerve damage can make the foot less sensitive to pain so the corn can become very large and infected without you noticing. You are doing the right thing by moisturising as this will keep the corn soft. Try soaking your feet every night and use a non-medicated corn plaster.

Every morning I wake with a dreadful cough that can last for an hour or so. My nose also streams. What could be causing this? It is possible to develop an allergy to the tiny mites in feather pillows or duvets. Switch to hollow fibre varieties, hoover your mattress and turn it every few weeks or so. If there is no change see your GP. My grandson was born with a turned in ankle which may require surgery. What will this involve as we are all worried sick? Talipes equinivarus or club foot is a congenital deformity of the foot and affects around one child in every 1000. The foot turns in at the ankle and if it is left untreated it can cause major problems later in life. The treatment usually involves plaster casts and manipulation of the foot. Sometimes surgery is required to lengthen the Achilles tendon but this is usually done after the foot is straightened. I am going on holiday to America and my friend said that I can't take my sleeping tablets. I can't sleep without them. There are two problems here, firstly you need to speak to your doctor about coming offyour tablets and finding a natural method of sleeping. Secondly, your friend is half right, most sleeping tablets fall under the controlled medicines act and you may only be allowed to take a certain amount into the US. Make sure you have your prescription with you and speak to your GP about how many you are taking. If you're going for a while you may need to visit the HM revenue and customs website for advice. Can I have my vasectomy reversed on the NHS? My second wife and I would like a baby. These operations are seldom done on the NHS. They can cost thousands of pounds and there is also no guarantee of success. I want to give up smoking and have thought about Champix but my doctor says I can't get them as I am on anti-depressants. Champix works by binding to the nicotine receptors in the brain, fooling it into thinking you have had a cigarette. There have been reports it can cause suicidal behaviour in susceptible people and as a result it is not to be used in people who have a history of depression. Try patches and willpower.

Casebook Insomnia Sleep disorders affect one in three Scots. A good nights sleep is essential to good mental health, so here are some tips: Avoid tea and coffee after 6pm. Get up at the same time every day even if you haven't slept.

Don't get up at night if you can't sleep as this will trick the brain into thinking it is morning.

Read a boring book in bed as this will bore you to sleep.

Put your clock under the bed so you can't keep checking the time.

Avoid alcohol - this stops you getting a restful sleep.

Go to bed when you're tired, not because you think you should.

Don't sleep during the day.

Eat supper as digestion releases hormones that help you sleep.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 30, 2010
Words:600
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