QI am 70 years old and have diabetes and blood pressure. Both are under perfect control with medication. However, from last year I have lost my sense of smell. May I know the cause, effect and remedy?

AThere are certain side effects which will surface as time goes on. Researchers suspect that the loss of smell (olfactory function) is related to the marcovascular (large blood vessels) complications of diabetes. Specifically, such blood vessel damage can cause decreased blood flow to different parts of the body. So when the nose gets less oxygen and/or blood flow, it often doesn’t work as well. These losses tend to be more pronounced in older individuals, males, and those who smoke.

As per remedies, it is advisable to continue eating healthy, being physically active and having a positive frame of mind. Physical activity is important. A 30-minute, brisk walk every day will help increase the flow of blood in the body, which will in turn increase oxygen delivery, and hopefully minimise the loss of smell sensation.

Parul Dube

QMy elbows are dark and rough. Can you suggest a few remedies to lighten the colour of my elbows?

ATake lemon halves and rub them daily on the elbows. Wash it off and then apply sesame seed (til) oil and massage it into the skin. Make a paste of gram flour (besan), curd, lemon juice and a little turmeric (haldi). Apply the paste on these areas at least thrice a week. Wash it off after half an hour. You can also apply almond paste, as almond has a mild bleaching effect on the skin. You can also apply a cream containing lemon and turmeric daily.

Shahnaz Husain