Health & Spirit

Blockage in intestinal blood vessel causes pain when eating

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife, age 65, has been suffering from abdominal pain for over a year. The pain comes within minutes of eating a meal. She was diagnosed with abdominal angina, and had a stent placed to open the vessel that showed blockage. We were told that she'd get immediate relief if successful, but she did not get relief. We contacted the ...Read more

Regular Pap tests and HPV vaccine are keys to cervical health

Health / Keith Roach /

CORRECTION: In graf 3, sentence 1, "precancerous calls" was corrected to "precancerous cells."

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last year, I had an abnormal Pap smear. My follow-up colposcopy did not show anything. Two weeks ago, I had another abnormal Pap smear, and I am scheduled for another colposcopy next month. I am scared and nervous that precancerous ...Read more

CoolSculpting not a health solution, just an aesthetic one

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to know your opinion regarding "cool sculpting." Does it really work? Are there any bad consequences that a person should know about it? Is it advisable for a person in her 80s who is in good health and is not overweight but is beginning to add fat around her middle? -- L.S.

ANSWER: CoolSculpting is a branded ...Read more

Destruction of part of adrenal gland influences cortisone levels

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Our 37-year-old daughter has Addison's disease. We have had some difficulty trying to regulate her electrolytes and her blood pressure, which is always low, sometimes extremely so. She has known about it for 10 years now. What can one do besides try to stay hydrated to keep the pressure up? Last evening, her blood pressure was 95...Read more

No waiting period after tetanus shot to hold a newborn baby

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: About 40 years ago, I was given a tetanus shot after a large cut to my hand. Hours later, I developed a severe case of lockjaw. My lockjaw occurred around midnight. I phoned my doctor immediately and was told to take some aspirin. This worked, and I have not had any tetanus shots since. When is it safe for me to be close to a ...Read more

Confusing myeloma diagnosis needs more communication

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My son (early 40s) has been romantically involved with a woman (early 30s) for the past two years. She has always been underweight, but seems to be in good health. She has a past history of endometrial cancer, and has had no recurrence since treatment. Now she has been diagnosed with myeloma. Her treatment consists of blood ...Read more

Want to try a new supplement? Check with your pharmacist

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 95 years old, and have been suffering from a very painful case of shingles. I take many medicines for pain, and for high blood pressure and glaucoma. My health-food store advertises a natural cure for shingles, and I wonder if it would interact with the medications I take. -- J.H.

ANSWER: As far as I know, there is no cure ...Read more

Gastroparesis is a stomach that is too slow to empty

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been diagnosed with gastroparesis and am waiting to see a doctor who treats it. Do you have any suggestions as to a good diet website, or even suggestions on how best this is treated? I'm female, in my late 70s and never had anything like this before -- a sudden episode sent me to the hospital, and a gastric emptying scan ...Read more

Aftereffects of anesthesia during surgery can include delirium

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife, who is 72 years of age, has had a horrendous number of surgeries in her life. After one surgery, she had her first complication, delirium and hallucinations that lasted for days. Not knowing the cause, I was under the impression that it was possibly an overdose of morphine from the pain management not kicking in fast ...Read more

Pros and cons of finasteride treatment for enlarged prostate

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have an enlarged prostate but no diagnosed prostate cancer, having had a prostate MRI.

My most recent exam showed an enlarged prostate. My PSA is still below 4, and I have been taking two tamsulosin pills daily, but from time to time I get up more than several times during the night. My doctor is recommending adding ...Read more

A primer on the 2017 flu season vaccines

Health / Keith Roach /

DR. ROACH WRITES: It is nearly flu season, and I want to discuss the options for vaccines available this year in North America. I do not recommend the nasal vaccine, as expert groups have questioned its effectiveness. There are seven influenza vaccines available.

For most people, any vaccine is acceptable. The usual flu shot offered at your ...Read more

Blood tests don't support parathyroid disease diagnosis

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 78-year-old woman with many symptoms of parathyroid disease (chronic fatigue, feel "ill," need naps, less concentration, memory "hesitation," blurred vision), yet the blood tests are not at the confirmation level. My blood tests showed: PTH (parathyroid hormone) 71, calcium 9.5, calcium (ionized) 3.94, vitamin D 29. I have ...Read more

Cause of disruptive bad taste in mouth is hard to pin down

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have talked to numerous doctors about my problem, but no one has an answer, and most don't take it seriously. I have a terrible taste in my mouth all the time. Sometimes it is bearable, but often it is so bad that it makes me gag and choke. The only way I can stand it is by sucking on sugar-free mints, but that also makes me ...Read more

Chiropractic is a valid form of therapy for low-back pain

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I've been going to chiropractors for 30 years. They help me when I have a pinched nerve, but they always want me to keep coming back. How do I know whether that exacerbates the problem? It seems to me that it may loosen things up so I have to keep coming back. -- S.B.

ANSWER: Chiropractic spinal manipulation is considered a ...Read more

Daily visits to the steam room won't sweat out excess salt

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I love salt, although I know it is dangerous to eat a lot of it. To compensate, I visit the steam room for a half-hour every day and sweat, which also causes me to drink plenty of water. Is this sufficient to nullify the negative effects of eating salt? -- C.J.

ANSWER: Salt increases blood pressure a little bit in most people ...Read more

Most cases of sinusitis don't require antibiotics to clear up

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Every year and a half to two years, someone in our house gets a sinus infection. We are in our mid-60s, and it is always a fight with our doctor to get antibiotics to cure it. We go through at least two weeks of misery with nasal sprays, Tylenol, etc., before he finally decides that it is bacterial and prescribes the antibiotics....Read more

Hair loss on legs has reader puzzled

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 65-year-old male. For the past five years or so, I have been losing the hair on my legs. At this point, I seem to have stabilized, with virtually no hair from my toes to the tops of my thighs; however, from my groin to my neck, I am perfectly normal. I have a full head of rather thick hair for someone my age. My doctor has ...Read more

It's OK to discuss sexual health with your doctor, no matter who your partner is

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What are the chances of picking up a disease if I engage in homosexual sex? What are the types of diseases I might encounter and their consequences? I don't think you have ever discussed the medical implications of this important subject. Has it become taboo in the medical profession? -- D.A.

ANSWER: Many people feel ...Read more

Chronic pelvic pain not suffered exclusively by women

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 46-year-old son has suffered for nearly five years with what seems to be CPPS (chronic pelvic pain syndrome). Being the mother, I am involved only to a limited extent, as my son, of course, is embarrassed to go into details with me. Although after he read an article delineating the symptoms of CPPS, he said, "Yes, that's ...Read more

Doctors must rule out heart problem by monitoring heart

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old male who is generally in good health. I take medication for high blood pressure, but nothing else. I have periodic episodes of heart palpitations where my heart will beat noticeably and rapidly for about four or five beats, after which there is a longer pause and a final hard beat, then the beats become regular...Read more


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