Something's afoot: cures for smell

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

August 30, 1998|By Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon | Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon,SPECIAL TO THE SUN King Features Syndicate

Q. My daughter exercises almost every day. She's very athletic and she takes great care with her appearance and her hygiene, showering after every workout and every evening as well. Unfortunately, her feet smell. Her brother teases her mercilessly if she takes her shoes off to watch television. Is there any home remedy that would help control the foot odor?

A. Lots of folks are plagued with smelly feet. Over the years we have accumulated lots of home remedies, including:

* Dusting feet and shoes with baking soda before putting on socks

* Soaking smelly feet in a warm Epsom salt solution several nights in a row

* Soaking feet in a baking soda solution 30 minutes a night for a month

* Using an antiperspirant on the feet

* Steeping five tea bags five minutes in a quart of boiling water, letting it cool, then soaking feet 30 minutes

* Wearing shoes of leather, not synthetics

* Spraying feet and shoes with rubbing alcohol

* Asking the pharmacist to make a foot powder of equal parts fluffy tannic acid, talc and bentonite.

Q. I hate having my blood pressure taken at the doctor's office. The numbers are always a lot higher than the measurements I get at home. For example, last week the nurse got a reading of 170/86, but when the doctor came and took it again with the same instrument, the blood pressure was 154/82 in my right arm and 130/80 in my left arm. At home the measurement usually ranges from 125 to 140 over about 80.

I take Norvasc, Zestril and hydrochlorothiazide. They make me feel dizzy and tired. Are there any natural remedies for lowering blood pressure?

A. You may be suffering "white coat hypertension." Many people react to having blood pressure taken in the doctor's office. Measurements may be 20 points or more higher than the normal reading. Home blood-pressure measurements can be helpful for such individuals.

There are many approaches to blood-pressure control. Exercise, weight loss, relaxation and minerals such as magnesium can be useful.

Don't stop your pills, but let your doctor know you are not feeling well. The right medications in the right dose should control blood pressure with minimal side effects.

Q. I've been told to get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. What exactly does that mean? Tums has 500 milligrams of calcium carbonate. Do I take two tablets?

A. Only 40 percent of a calcium carbonate pill is made of calcium. To get 1,000 milligrams of elemental calcium, you would need five regular Tums tablets.

Write to the Graedons in care of The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or e-mail to pharmacindspring.com.

Pub Date: 8/30/98

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