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Ice cream can be a headache

Human beings face a lot of physical issues every passing day, there are body parts that keep going against the human body

Dr Gita Mathai Published 22.05.24, 05:41 AM naumova naumova

q I develop a headache every time I eat ice cream.

When cold ice cream touches the roof of the mouth, nerves get triggered and the blood vessels swell. This can cause a throbbing headache. It is not an unusual problem. The best thing to do is to eat the ice cream very slowly or not eat it at all. The same problem may also occur if you drink very cold juice or water rapidly.


Rest not the answer q I have pain in my right hip and I have been advised to rest. It is more difficult and painful to walk after sleeping all day.

The muscles supporting the hip joint will become weak with rest and disuse. Once that occurs, the pain will only increase. In addition to your pain relieving tablets, try to get a qualified physiotherapist to teach you hip exercises. They will work with you and slowly increase your range of motion, keeping in mind that you have also been inactive. Also, try to do exercises that are not weight-bearing, like cycling, swimming or even just walking in water. Wear well-cushioned shoes to protect your joints if you are walking.

Sleep medication q I had surgery and was prescribed sleeping tablets for five days. I slept so well after taking the tablet that I started buying them OTC. Now, I cannot sleep without it. Also, the dose prescribed is no longer sufficient. I have been taking two tablets.

Sleeping tablets are habituating, meaning you eventually need higher doses to get the same effect. You should consult your physician and wean yourself off the tablets under medical guidance.

Smelly feet q I have unbearable, embarrassingly smelly feet.

The feet smell because of the bacterial breakdown of the sweat. People whose feet sweat more are likely to have smelly feet. To tackle this, soak your feet in water to which salt and soda bicarbonate (baking soda) has been added. Wash your feet with an antibacterial soap twice a day. Wear open-toed shoes, slippers or sandals. Alternate your shoes daily. Change your socks daily. Also, try and wear cotton socks as these absorb sweat.

Parrot allergy? q I keep parrots in a cage in my bedroom. I developed a non-productive cough. My doctor says that I have to get rid of the parrots.

Parrots can cause coughs. Psittacosis, also known as parrot fever or ornithosis, is a lung infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia psittaci. It commonly spreads to humans through breathing in dust from dried bird droppings or nasal secretions, mouth-to-beak contact, or handling infected birds. If your doctor feels that that is your problem, it is probably better to set the parrots free or gift them to someone else.

Fish tank q I maintain a fish tank, and I also have a lot of mosquitoes in my house. Is it because of the water in the fish tank?

Perhaps the mosquitoes are breeding there, but you can put a couple of guppies into the tank. Guppies eat mosquito lava.

Constipation q I have constipation. I went for a check-up, and they said there was nothing wrong with me. How can I tackle it naturally?

Increase the fibre in your diet by having 4 -6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and drink 3-4 litres of water. This will help the food move through your intestine. Keep active because activity makes the intestines move, and it makes your bowel habits regular. You need to aim for 40 minutes of walking or cycling daily.

The writer has a family practice at Vellore and is the author of Staying Healthy in Modern India. If you have any questions on health issues please write to

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