Health & Spirit

New treatment for kidney disease still has hurdles to jump

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently read an article released by the Broad Institute that claims a breakthrough in the treatment of progressive kidney disease. It states that experiments with rats have resulted in the stoppage of disease progression, and in some cases, reversal. It further states that human trials are the next step. Do you have any ...Read more

DES daughters face an increased cancer risk

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a follow-up question regarding the risk of cervical cancer from HPV and herpes. I have had cervical cancer and exposure to DES. You did not mention if this particular estrogen exposure is a risk factor, but I am wondering. -- M.M.

ANSWER: Diethylstilbestrol, or DES, is a synthetic estrogen, which was used mostly in the ...Read more

Putting workplace safeguards in place for welder

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 35-year-old female welder. I am very fit and live a healthy lifestyle, but I worry about the effects of all the things I am exposed to at work (heavy industrial) and how to monitor them. I do not have a family doctor, and must rely on walk-in clinics. Are there certain tests I should be having done regularly, especially ...Read more

Chronic fatigue syndrome has a new name, possibly a new test

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: For two years, I have had symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Like many of my fellow sufferers, I continually feel bad, but no test can confirm my diagnosis.

Because of this and other factors, I am looking at "psychosomatic illness" as a cause. CFS would lend itself to such a diagnosis. Any information you could offer would be...Read more

Albuterol inhaler does not raise blood pressure

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am wondering if there is a safer inhaler to use in place of an albuterol inhaler. I have high blood pressure that, at times, is very difficult to control. I have not yet tried the albuterol inhaler. I was prepared to, but stopped before doing so after reading the side effects and potential dangers to the heart for someone with ...Read more

Alcohol-induced cirrhosis doesn't preclude a liver transplant

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 52-year-old sister was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol. She has significant financial resources and gold-standard health care. Her liver has failed to bounce back. This month, she was placed on a liver-transplant list. How long can my sister live with alcoholic liver cirrhosis while awaiting a liver ...Read more

Starvation diets are not what the doctor ordered

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a friend who lost weight on a diet designed to speed up metabolism. It seems very complicated and restrictive, and counters a lot of things I always thought to be true about weight loss, including the importance of "calories in/calories out." Is there any research to support this diet, and do you think it is a realistic ...Read more

Complex male anatomy can lead to urinary infection in some men

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 79 years old and have had three separate incidences of epididymitis -- not the same side, but all responding to Cipro. Why do old guys get these infections? -- D.M.

ANSWER: Male genitourinary anatomy is complex. Here's an overview:

Sperm are made in the testes. The epididymis is a structure in the male testicle, sitting on...Read more

What is the real message from Epstein-Barr antibodies?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: After decades of feeling fatigued, I started working with a naturopathic doctor. She ordered a saliva test for my total cortisol output, which was normal at 27. She also ordered a full thyroid panel (also normal) and a test for Epstein-Barr virus antibodies. My levels are: EBV IgM is less than 36, and EBV Nuclear Antigen, IgG is ...Read more

Cough syrup likely a factor in longtime alcoholic's dementia

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 60-year-old husband is a longtime alcoholic. He is also bipolar. His current drug of choice is cough syrup. He drinks a bottle a day or more of generic cough syrup without alcohol. At age 59, he was diagnosed with early dementia, which I attribute to the cough syrup abuse, as he doesn't have the other risk factors of age or ...Read more

The many factors in considering vaccinations

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: How many people must buy the three-part series of HPV vaccine for about $500 to prevent one case of cancer? You easily can find the facts if you bother to check. I am not saying that there are no benefits to the HPV vaccine or that it isn't safe. I am saying that all claims about medicines should be checked; otherwise, we are ...Read more

Anabolic steroids are not studied for benefits in the gym

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am interested in finding out more about steroids in sports, but I am having a hard time finding medical research on anabolic steroids. One source I found even stated: "There has been no scientific research performed to find out the effect of a specific amount of steroid on a weight-training program." I find this hard to believe...Read more

Physician promotion is not direct-to-patient

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you said that companies can pay doctors to promote a product. Can these doctors promote a product in their office when it is to just one patient? If they do, I feel that it would be crossing the line of ethical conduct. -- C.G.

ANSWER: Promoting a product to one or more patients indeed would be unethical. ...Read more

Hashimoto's is no excuse for avoiding the flu shot

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have never gotten the flu vaccine. Years ago, it was believed to be too dangerous for anyone with an autoimmune condition. They said that the body could not handle the vaccine and that it was actually dangerous to receive it. I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

I value your knowledge and opinion. Please tell me if that's true. I ...Read more

Trimethylamine is responsible for that 'fishy smell'

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I love fish and chips. I eat them once a month. I have tuna and other fish throughout the month as well. Quite often, the fishy odors linger for days until all remnants have left my body. Is there anything I can do to counteract the smell? I feel that others can tell when I have eaten fish. The odor comes from my mouth, my urine ...Read more

Mystery of the boot-camp urine collection solved

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Regarding urine collection in boot camp, I had the same experience in the fall of 1962. As I remember the story, after a few weeks in "captivity," our systems were cleaned out and our urine had medical value. A nearby drug company used it.

I often have wondered about this, and would be most interested to know more. The military ...Read more

Some prostate drugs nix blood donation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Is there anything that I could take for an enlarged prostate that would allow me to donate blood? I have been trying saw palmetto and pygeum. Thank you. -- M.J.C.

ANSWER: One class of medicines used to treat an enlarged prostate is called the 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. These work by blocking a type of testosterone called ...Read more

Calling a drug by its name? You have choices

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Why does every article mention the formal name of drugs, and then the popular name? For example, you recently mentioned "apixiban (Eliquis)." Could the world still function with ONLY one name per product? -- G.N.R.

ANSWER: Every drug has not just two, but usually three names: a precise chemical name, which can be very long and ...Read more

Vitamin E is no miracle cure for hot flashes

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: There is a very easy cure for hot flashes -- and it works! Take 400 units of vitamin E twice a day. The flashes will disappear in three days. This has worked for countless women for years. Why don't doctors know about this? -- S.P.B.

ANSWER: Researchers have evaluated vitamin E for the treatment of hot flashes. One study found ...Read more

Does exercise trump a poor diet?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is physically fit and works out daily through biking, elliptical trainer, playing hockey, working outside, etc. He is of appropriate weight, and his cholesterol and sugar numbers are normal, as is his blood pressure. What concerns me is his diet. Every day, he eats meat -- red meat, pork or chicken. He also eats lunch ...Read more


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