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Health & Spirit

Giving up bread produces a mysterious cholesterol drop

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Something's been puzzling me. I'm a 71-year-old female, and my cholesterol tends to hover around the 240 mark. However, I had to give up bread for several weeks due to oral surgery, and my next blood test results showed my cholesterol had plummeted 40 points, to 206. (I actually had them double-check, since I thought they had ...Read more

Is there a safe dose of long-term steroids for back pain?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last April, I had back surgery to enlarge the disc openings. Some of my problems were corrected with the surgery, but one major problem still exists: After I sit upright in a chair or drive a car for a period of time, when I attempt to get up, I struggle and have to wait a bit before I can walk away. It's like a nerve is pinched ...Read more

Heart attack symptoms vary, not always classic angina

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My very healthy husband collapsed and died on the way to the hospital. They worked on him for a long time but could not revive him. They didn't do an autopsy, and they declared his death as "atherosclerotic vascular disease." He was 79 years old and had no health problems. He came into the house and said that something was in his...Read more

False positive from mammogram provokes anxiety in reader

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 42-year-old, completely healthy woman. I recently went for my first mammogram. I delayed it, despite being told I should start at 40, because I did not think I really needed it. After the initial screening mammogram, I was called back for additional mammogram pictures and two breast ultrasounds. During the process, I was ...Read more

Small upfront benefit of keto diet doesn't warrant extended use

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What is your opinion of the keto diet? I have been doing it for a few weeks now and lost a few pounds, but it goes against everything I usually eat -- high quantities of red meat, lots of full-fat foods and dairy. Since I am losing some weight and actually feel better and am sleeping better, I like the short-term results, but I ...Read more

Don't let bad online reviews delay osteoporosis treatment

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 63-year-old woman with osteoporosis. A few years ago, I had osteopenia, and my doctor put me on an oral medication that I was unable to tolerate. Since then I have tried to eat many calcium-rich foods, do weight-bearing exercises and walk. But now she wants me to try Reclast or Boniva. I went online to find reviews about ...Read more

Huntington's disease a progressive loss of function

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My sister was diagnosed with Huntington's disease. What are the symptoms she might be experiencing? -- R.G.

ANSWER: I am very sorry to hear about your sister. Huntington's disease is a terrible disease with no cure.

Huntington's disease is an inherited condition causing progressive loss of neurological function. It is caused by...Read more

Shockwave therapy for ED not living up to hype

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently heard about a new treatment for erectile dysfunction using shockwave therapy. Has there been enough research to know if it works? Can you comment on this and any other treatments besides pills? -- D.P.

ANSWER: Male erectile function relies on multiple systems. First, the man must have interest and be stimulated. ...Read more

When specialists disagree

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a snowbird who uses two different cardiologists for my health, and I am devoted to both of them. However, they have conflicting advice. I have coronary artery disease and had three stents placed in New York. I am an active 86-year-old woman who walks at least a mile daily and does light weights. My lab results are all normal...Read more

Are personal sanitary habits the key to good health?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband and I are both 74 and in general good health. He never washes his hands when he comes in from working as a public accountant. He doesn't wash his hands when he sneezes, or after touching meat and poultry when he cooks. He smokes and is a functioning alcoholic. He says it's not necessary to wash fruit before you eat it ...Read more

Any new treatments for essential tremor?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: About five years ago, I came down with essential tremor. I have tried many medicines. Currently, I'm taking propranolol and primidone, but nothing seems to help. The only thing that stops the shaking is a glass of wine. I have inquired about a laser procedure, but I found out that it's a risky procedure. An MRI was normal. I am ...Read more

Crohn's disease creates challenges to healthy diet

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 61 years old and in good shape. I have Crohn's disease, which makes eating a good diet difficult. Fruit and fresh vegetables go right through me. I can digest a banana. My doctor just told me that my total cholesterol is 215, HDL 45 and LDL 146. Should I consider medication? He also said that I need to watch my sugar and not...Read more

Meningioma is a tumor of the brain's lining

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In January 2014, I was diagnosed with a benign neoplasm of my cerebral meninges (meningioma). I am a healthy 64-year-old Caucasian woman. I do not take any medications. The finding was incidental. I have no symptoms from the meningioma. I sometimes feel as if my mental capacity has declined somewhat (such as memory), but I ...Read more

Could 'beaver fever' be the source of digestive trouble?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last summer I went camping and ran out of clean water. I had to boil water and drink it without any treatment tablets. That evening, I had painful cramps in my stomach, and in my upper abdomen, under my ribcage. Since then, my digestion has been horrific. I have constant rank gas and bloating when eating foods I've never had a ...Read more

Flesh-eating bacteria: terrifying, but rare condition

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What do you know about flesh-eating bacteria? After going to a hospital to get a mole checked, I developed an itchy rash that won't go away. I am worried. -- H.W.

ANSWER: Let me reassure you that this isn't flesh-eating bacteria. Itchy rash around a mole can be due to eczema, or it might be a fungal infection or one of several ...Read more

Muscle aches, not joint pain, are a usual statin side effect

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old white male. I take one 20-mg pravastatin per day to manage my cholesterol. One of the side effects is joint pain. Are you aware of a substitute that does not have this joint pain side effect? -- H.L.

ANSWER: Statins are one of the most common medicines used, and although they have relatively few side effects, ...Read more

Watch-and-wait policy for hernia has reader concerned

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 84-year-old female with a protruding stomach bulge. My surgeon confirmed that it's a hernia, which I got while taking care of my handicapped husband (who recently passed away). Since I had two abdominal surgeries two years ago, he does not want to do surgery again. The hernia is located on the right side, next to the ...Read more

There's been a thought shift on antibiotics before dental work

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a stent, but also a knee replacement, for which I take four 500-mg capsules of amoxicillin each time I go to the dentist, including just for cleaning. This is per my surgeon's orders. Do you have any information that would question the necessity of this? -- M.W.

ANSWER: Bacteria can get into the bloodstream occasionally ...Read more

At 90 pounds, chemo patient should skip fasting regimen

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter-in-law has stage 1 breast cancer and has just started her chemotherapy. I am concerned about her decision to fast for two days before and one day after each treatment. She weighs only 90 pounds, and fasting while you are trying to fight cancer does not sound like a good idea. What is your opinion of fasting during ...Read more

Can the HPV vaccine be used to treat warts?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My dermatologist suggested that I get the HPV vaccine, as it will help my body fight warts of various kinds. I've had plantar warts and warts on my fingers and hands. They go away with treatment, but seem to come back in a different spot over time. I am a 62-year-old male in good health otherwise. Is getting the vaccine a good ...Read more

 
 

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