Dear Dr. Roach: I'm trying to find the best high blood pressure drug with the least side effects for a Hispanic male, 77 years old, with swollen ankles at the end of the day and readings of 160/76 with a pulse of 64.
Of all the drugs in the market for treating high blood pressure, which one is the best with the least side effects? Some ...Read more
Dear Dr. Roach: What is dissociative identity disorder? There are a lot of movies and TV shows about it. -- Anon.
Answer: Most people will be more familiar with dissociative identity disorder's former name: multiple personality disorder. DID is a complex psychiatric disorder that has been frequently mischaracterized in the media. The hallmarks ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old male in fairly good health. I recently was prescribed Bactrim (a sulfa drug) for an ear infection but didn't know I am allergic to sulfa. I had a severe reaction to the drug: a raging, very itchy rash on most of my body. It made my life miserable. I was given prednisone, which did not help a great deal. I was ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have had bad experiences with my local trauma center. Mainly, they will not consult with my doctor or my hospital, and vice versa. Things would move more quickly and safely if they got my medical history rather than starting from scratch. As a result, I ask the EMTs or paramedics to take me to MY hospital, which is not that ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old with O-negative blood type. When I was 40, the Red Cross notified me that antibodies of hepatitis C had been detected in my blood and they would no longer accept blood donations from me.
Following this discovery, I was lucky to enroll in a two-year study at my local Veterans Affairs hospital that tracked my ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I heard that air fresheners and fabric softener sheets may cause lung cancer. Is this true? -- P.G.
ANSWER: What is true is that these products release volatile organic compounds, according to a 2011 study. VOCs encompass a large group of chemicals, some of which will increase the risk of cancer if ingested at high-enough ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I work with a group for people with a type of cancer resistant to chemo or radiation, and many of the members have had to have numerous, life-altering surgeries, including amputations. A member asked whether others had symptoms of PTSD and said two therapists told her that PTSD could not be caused by medical issues. But I have ...Read more
Dear Dr. Roach: What is an ectopic pregnancy? -- SA
Answer: "Ectopic" comes from the Greek roots meaning "out of place," and that's just what it is. A normal pregnancy is in the uterus (also called "womb"). The most common places for an ectopic pregnancy are along the path the ovum (egg) travels, meaning from the ovary, through the fallopian ...Read more
Dear Dr. Roach: I am a 65-year-old woman and have had pain in my right hip for more than a year. I have a normal body mass index. My general practitioner diagnosed trochanteric bursitis and recommended stretches plus Voltaren cream to reduce the pain. The stretching helped control the pain, but Voltaren cream did nothing for me.
At my last ...Read more
Dear Dr. Roach: What are some natural ways to reduce blood pressure? -- JW
Answer: Too often, physicians jump to medication treatment to control blood pressure, when there are non-drug ways of reducing blood pressure that are often overlooked.
Not every person with high blood pressure is salt-sensitive, but overall, reducing salt can make a ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have struggled with IBS and GERD since I was a small child. I have had multiple gastroscopies and have been on countless medications over the years for my issues. I've followed every diet and lifestyle change that my doctor has suggested, with, at best, moderate results.
Recently, a friend of mine suggested having my gut flora...Read more
Editor's note: In the second graf of the first answer (first sentence) the 12% and 8% were transposed.
Dear Dr. Roach: Would you comment on some information I discovered about statin drugs, which I think reveals some nefarious numbers on behalf of the drug companies?
So far I have found two reports that say the actual number of people who have...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife and I are both in our late 60s. She has gotten three doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and I have gotten three doses of the Moderna, only because that was what was available when we got our first dose. Because of our age, we are considering getting a second booster dose. I know the recommendation is that either vaccine would ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: For several months I was having constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps, dizziness and a general feeling of unwellness. It got so bad that my gastroenterologist sent me for a CT scan and colonoscopy, which both turned out negative. Finally, my daughter said, "Mom, I'm sure it is gluten intolerance." Sure enough, in just a few days...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: After not having a mammogram for about 10 years, I developed soreness in one breast. I was recently examined by my doctor, and a lump was detected in my breast at "10 o'clock," about 7 centimeters from the nipple. I had a standard mammogram that showed a 2.5 cm mass, and I was recalled for follow-up for a spot compression ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 62-year-old female. After about two weeks (sometimes less) of taking water-soluble vitamin supplements, I experience severe abdominal discomfort or a burning sensation. It feels like I either have a UTI or a vaginal infection. I also experienced the same symptoms taking collagen. It doesn't matter which form or brand of ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have started a long-term treatment taking a "cocktail" of four different antibiotics (Bactrim, Rifadin, Zithromax and Myambutol). I have been advised that I may suffer gastrointestinal side effects because this group of antibiotics will not only be killing bacteria related to my MAC (mycobacterium avium complex) infection, but ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Would you please offer your take on this situation regarding pain management and opioid use? I suffer from chronic pain due in part to degenerative disc disease and stenosis. Combined with neuropathy, severe arthritis and fibromyalgia, this has rendered me unable to work or to even perform the most basic tasks like walking, ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently I didn't take my blood pressure meds for a few days, which I know was foolish. All of a sudden, my vision went sideways. By this, I mean I was seeing differently out of each eye. I don't know if you'd call it double vision, but I was driving when this happened. It was a short distance and traffic was light, so I tried ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 75-year-old female. In 2012, I broke my ankle and they put in a plate and six screws on one side, and one screw on the other side. I've been reading that one should not leave the screws in for the rest of their life, because it can cause problems with the bones, causing arthritis. I can touch and feel the screw heads. The ...Read more