DEAR DR. ROACH: What do you recommend to reduce healing time for cold sores on the lip? These flare-ups are so frustrating because they can take so long to heal. Is anything available that is better than oral acyclovir? Is there any difference between topical and oral meds? Are there any supplements that help? -- R.L.
ANSWER: For cold sores ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: While most aspects of modern medical care don't bother me, I despise blood draws from either arm. I always faint when it's done, and I feel awful afterward for what seems like a long time. It's a visceral response I can't control.
There are many noninvasive medical technologies now, so why are doctors still relying on this ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I was recently diagnosed with alpha-gal syndrome (AGS). I live in the country, but I do not remember having a tick on me. My husband and I are very cautious and always check for them. I am struggling to understand what exactly are my symptoms and what I can and cannot eat. I don't know if I am someone who can have dairy or not....Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My mother is 86 years old. She is in relatively good health. She recently saw her primary care physician for her routine checkup. Prior to her visit, she had developed cold symptoms. When her physician listened to her lungs, she heard some mild crackles at the base of her lungs. As a result, she was sent in for a chest X-ray. ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Three years ago (at age 79), I had a mild stroke. I was in and out of the hospital during the same day, but I soon reverted to normal. However, two mysterious side effects did remain:
First, although my right shoulder still works well (I can do weight lifting and pushups), it feels as if I am continuously being tightly grasped...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: What's the best medication for Type 2 diabetes? -- P.H.
ANSWER: If I asked one of the students or residents I teach to answer that question, I would warn them that it's a trick. The best medicine is none.
In most cases, Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and treated with a lifestyle that includes regular moderate exercise as ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My urologist prescribed Elmiron for my interstitial cystitis (IC), and it worked well. But the cost became prohibitive, so he suggested Zyrtec at bedtime. While it's not quite as good as Elmiron, Zyrtec is working for me. My question is, how safe is it to stay on Zyrtec indefinitely? -- Anon.
ANSWER: IC is a chronic pain ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband had a small stroke last spring, causing a small loss of vision in his left eye. He is 81 and an otherwise active man. He has even been told by several doctors that he can drive.
One doctor told him to stop using meclizine and Viagra. Another physician said that he didn't see a problem with taking the meds. Both ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My spouse is still suffering from chest congestion, coughing and some laryngitis. She has never completely recovered from the cold she got in early November. She also had a bad case of COVID last April. Her symptoms have waxed and waned, but now she is wheezing in bed. (Interestingly and maybe relatedly, she got much worse the ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been taking 20 mg of teneligliptin with metformin to control my Type 2 diabetes. It has been much better than taking 5 mg of glipizide or other combinations with metformin, and there have been no side effects. Teneligliptin is prescribed in most countries, including Japan and Europe. Why it is not yet approved by the ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a knee replacement about six years ago. At the time, I was in considerable pain, and it dissipated slowly after the operation. After about six months, I still had some pain, but the surgical doctor I used had retired. So, he just gave me my medical history and closed his office. He was a one-man operation.
I still had ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a kidney transplant nine years ago. Other than a bout with COVID that landed me in the hospital a couple of months ago, I have been rather healthy and lead a normal life. I take a handful of pills each day that are mainly aimed at suppressing my immune system so I do not reject my new kidney.
My question is, after nine ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a retired male over 65 and a former occasional cigar smoker (I quit 15 years ago) as well as a former drinker (I quit seven years ago). About 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. I regularly did all the biopsies as required and took my proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) daily as instructed.
This year, I read ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have an immunoglobulion A (IgA) deficiency and have had to take many antibiotics over the years. But I have never contracted Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) until I took clindamycin recently. It was horrible!
What could I have done to prevent this? And is disinfecting the bathroom with bleach enough to keep my family safe...Read more