Salty food send me running to the tap
If I eat anything slightly salty, I need to drink so much water I'm up all night going to the loo. A bought sandwich for lunch - with salt content of 1.5 grams - is enough to leave me dehydrated. I'm 33 and female, and I don't drink alcohol or smoke. Any ideas?
Your query is a real puzzle as salt is a normal constituent of both food and your body. Your kidneys and adrenal glands work together to deal with salt by secreting hormones that will make you excrete any excess in your urine. If you have such a severe problem with salt, you may need your salt-control mechanisms checked. That means seeing your doctor.
Will a laptop make my partner less fertile
My partner spends a couple of hours every evening with his laptop on his lap. Am I right to worry that this could have an effect on his fertility? He's 37 and we're hoping to start a family soon.
I assume you are worrying about radiation from the laptop to his testes. That doesn't seem to be a problem. However, the weight on his thigh muscles could be a problem, by blocking the venous return of blood from his legs to his body. On the front of the thigh that's not likely to cause varicosities, but it may provoke a clot in a vein (thrombus) and muscle cramps. Can he not put the laptop on an occasional table at a suitable height? I feel strongly that the name "laptop" is a misnomer - we shouldn't put heavy objects on our laps for hours, especially as it means sitting in the same position with hips and knees bent for long periods.
Tonsils: Better in than out
My nine-year-old daughter seems stuck in a cycle of repeated tonsillitis. It's distressing for her and she misses lots of school. I would like her to have her tonsils removed (as my husband and I did when we were kids) but this no longer seems an option. Why has this operation fallen out of favour?
It's partly because many children who had them removed went on to have more deep-seated throat infections, partly because no operation is without risk, partly because we usually have better ways of managing it with medicines now, and partly because many children grow out of the tonsillitis cycle. Nevertheless you have a point. As a rule of thumb, GPs like myself have set six attacks of tonsillitis in a year, or six weeks off school in a year, as the boundary beyond which we refer children for tonsillectomy. If your daughter is approaching those levels, she'd qualify in our area for surgery.
Should I eat nuts while pregnant
I have been rigorously avoiding peanuts during my pregnancy in line with what I have read, but now find there is an argument about whether this is detrimental. Could I be more likely to bring about an allergy by not exposing the foetus to traces in the womb?
It is crucial to accept that nut allergies are still rare, despite all the publicity about them. It's also true that the latest view is that avoiding peanuts during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and in the first two years of life seems to increase the possibility of a child developing an allergy to them later. So we don't advise women to avoid eating peanuts in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. You have time to change, and you certainly have not put your baby at risk.
• Do you have a question for Dr Smith? Email email@example.com