Dear Dr. Roach: Please advise: Do our bodies "reject" certain foods as we get older? I am a healthy, slender 70-year-old woman on no medications. For several years now, I can't eat anything made of corn or oats (to name a couple). I get an irritation in my throat and mucus buildup, which drives me crazy! This is not an allergy. I have no other problems. I've always been able to eat anything, but there's a lot that I can't enjoy anymore. How does this happen? It is me, or is it the food? -- J.B.

Answer: I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of food allergies so quickly. Food allergies have highly variable symptoms, depending on the person and the food they are allergic to. It is possible to have a food allergy with upper airway symptoms, such as throat irritation or nose and sinus symptoms, like nasal mucus without other food allergy symptoms, such as wheezing, skin rash, swelling around the mouth and face, or the most dangerous of all, anaphylaxis. However, it is not common at all to have just the symptoms you describe.

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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu or send mail to 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803.

Editor

I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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