Embarrassing health questions, answered

If you've ever been curious about some of the strange things your body does, you're not alone. Best Health turned to Dr. David Greenberg to find the answers to some of your most embarrassing health questions

swine flu sneeze

Q: Why does eating hot soup or spicy food cause a runny nose?

Dr. Dave says: It’s called vasomotor rhinitis, which is actually very common, and for a lot of people very annoying. Just as an FYI, the vasomotor refers to what in this case is a bit of an overreaction of the lining of your nostrils to some kind of irritation. And any time you see “itis” on the end of a word, it refers to inflammation. So basically, when the lining of your nose is exposed to something that irritates it-and some people’s nostrils are more sensitive than others-you get an inflammatory response that starts with the tiny blood vessels inside your nose dilating and the cells in your nostrils secreting mucus. What you often wind up with is “rhinorrhea,” i.e. watery or “mucousy” drainage, congestion, sneezing, and itching.


What’s interesting is that lots of things can cause this, including odours (such as perfume, scented candles), alcoholic beverages, irritants (secondhand smoke, diesel exhaust), environmental factors (exposure to air conditioning or changes in air temperature), stress (emotional or physical), hormone changes (during menstruation, for example) and certain medications, many of which are in common use, among others.

    <<   ...   2   ...   >>    

Related content:

  • Tough health questions answeredTough health questions answered Is sugar as addictive as cocaine? Does laser hair removal really work? Find the answers to these and more tough health questions Posted in Health
  • 4 health quirks explained4 health quirks explained Have you ever wondered what causes spontaneous itches or why you sometimes wake up with a headache? Find out the reasons behind four of your body's mysterious itches and twitches Posted in Health
  • 10 things doctors secretly wish they could tell you10 things doctors secretly wish they could tell you Have you ever wondered what your doctor is really thinking during an appointment? Here are 10 things they want you to know'and how they can benefit your health Posted in Health

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy


The Pigeon Pose

It’s said that the yogis do 108 sun salutations each day. That must make them feel beyond great. But I’m guessing that they’re also not driving to the mall to exchange clothes at the Gap, making 3 separate lunches, taking their kids to the dentist’and do they even fill out tax forms?Anyway, last week in […]


Your healthy Valentine’s Day menu

Turn up the heat on Valentine’s Day with a romantic dinner featuring this menu of healthy, delicious foods to share with your special someone