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Ask Dr. Gott 11/08

Eat imported foods with caution

DEAR DR. GOTT: In the newspaper there was an article about Mexican treats containing extremely high levels of lead making their way across the border into our stores. It named the many serious problems caused by exposure to lead at these levels. Why is it that these products are allowed in our stores? Where is the Food and Drug Administration?
    In a related situation, a couple of years ago, my sister, my daughter and I each bought fresh strawberries from a local independent market. The strawberries were imported from Mexico. On three separate occasions, we ended up with abdominal cramps and diarrhea before we figured out the strawberries were causing it. Again, where are the controls on products entering out country?
    DEAR READER: Imported edibles can lead to health problems that are difficult to avoid — even with FDA controls.
    I advise people with possible reactions to contaminated food to report their symptoms to appropriate public-health authorities. In addition, I agree with you that this problem should be addressed by government agencies, but I am not sure how to proceed with this administrative burden.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have an unusual question. My husband has this cute reaction when beginning to be aroused, and I mean just a kiss or two and only in the bedroom. He will sneeze three times consecutively. Have you ever heard of this or something similar? If so, what is the explanation?
    DEAR READER: I am certain that most people in my generation remember the sex-ed explanation that compared orgasm to sneezing, a politically correct observation that enables adults to forego further embarrassing questions. However, I am not aware of a relation between early sexual arousal and sneezing. So I cannot answer your question, and neither can my urology consultants. Any help out there?
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have a small growth on my right upper eyelid along the lash line. It has grown a little since I first noticed it about five or six years ago, but it is not yet obvious to other people, and it does not bother me other than occasionally some minimal itching. I am 66, in reasonably good health and wear trifocal glasses. Is this growth something I should be concerned about enough to have it removed? And what might be the consequences if it were removed?
    DEAR READER: See an ophthalmologist. Although your "small growth" may be a harmless cyst on your eyelid, it could also be an early sign of cancer. The specialist can diagnose the problem and suggest therapy, if such is necessary.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "An Informed Approach to Surgery."

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