QUESTION: I can always tell when my blood sugar is up. I spend more time in the bathroom than at my desk. Need I add that I have diabetes. I know how to handle things. I am just curious, as I know others are, about the connection between blood sugar and urine production. - A.W.

ANSWER: The connection has to do, first of all, with the fact that some of the excess blood sugar finds its way into the urine. The kidneys, which excrete urine, detect the excess sugar concentration and react by signaling immediate withdrawal of fluid from body cells to dilute things. In such circumstances, the amount of water lost in urine can be astronomical, necessitating great frequency of urination.I'm glad you are able to correct things, but I'm left to wonder why you are letting your blood sugar get out of control in the first place? Are you checking it often enough? If you don't have a home blood sugar monitor, you should get one.

QUESTION: You mentioned a drug for sweaty palms and feet. I lost the item. My doctor says he'll give it to me if you tell me. I'm not talking about a little sweating. My hands actually drip. I constantly carry a paper towel. My feet are the same. If I were to go shoeless, there would be puddles there. - D.C.

ANSWER: I'll review briefly the three methods available to us to control such excessive perspiration.

You can try a 20 percent solution of aluminum chloride (Drysol). You apply it nightly, then wash it off when you wake up in the morning. You do this for 14 days or so, and then use it on an as-needed basis.

The second approach involves use of a battery powered device, called the Drionic. Pads are attached to the palms or soles. The batteries deliver a low voltage poke that diminishes sweating.

The third method involves surgery, which is reserved for only the most extreme cases of excess perspiration. In it, the surgeon severs the particular nerve that controls sweating locally. You can talk to your doctor about that possibility. Your case does sound extreme.

QUESTION: Alcoholism runs in our family, affecting men mostly. I noticed that they all were extremely nervous types. Which comes first, the anxiety or the alcoholism? I am sure you have the answer, since you always do. - Mrs. J.Y.

ANSWER: There are many dark corners to alcoholism that leave me and even the experts with more questions than answers. Certainly, alcohol can be a kind of short span anti-anxiety drug, and it may be true that many alcoholics use it for precisely that effect. What they may not realize is that alcohol is a Jekyll-Hyde substance with its own rebound depressive effects. Some alcoholics are on a merry-go-round, with one effect of the drug chasing the other in circles. Family links to alcoholism have been verified by discovery of a genetic factor.

1991 North America Syndicate Inc.