Health & Spirit

A question of shrinkage

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm an 81-year-old man. About two years ago, I began to realize that my testicles were shrinking, and they are now about the size of a marble. I have asked my primary care doctor and urologist about this, and the reply is that nothing can be done about it.

I have read that boxer shorts are recommended to keep the testicles ...Read more

Reader looks to mushroom microdose for help with depression

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am battling depression and have a question about psilocybin. I stopped taking Effexor for my depression because I did not like the side effects. I also tried SAM-e, which had only a small effect. So, for the past three months I have been trying cognitive behavioral therapy, using certain tactics. I've cut back my days of work ...Read more

Usual leg swelling protocol applies to chronic DVT symptom

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 47-year-old woman. Five years ago, I developed a blood clot in my left leg after fracturing my ankle and being immobilized for several months. I was put on a blood thinner, and my ankle healed. Recently that leg started swelling again, and I went for an ultrasound. I was told that I have a chronic DVT, but that I don't ...Read more

Most cases of H. pylori infection stem from unknown causes

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you give some additional information about H. pylori infection? I was diagnosed with it recently, via biopsies taken during an endoscopic procedure. I was given instructions on antibiotics to be taken, which I followed through on. When talking to my doctor's physician assistant, I asked what could have caused the infection,...Read more

Advanced lung cancer not likely to be missed by CT scan

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Is it possible for X-rays and a CT scan to miss advanced lung cancer? My brother worked two days before he died. He went to the hospital, was admitted to hospice and died the next day. I wonder if he knew at least a year ago, but didn't tell anyone. He said his scans showed pneumonia. His son was called to the hospital and spent ...Read more

Immigration and vaccinations

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am in my mid-50s and in good health (I don't take any medications). I rarely get sick with colds or flu. I have been vaccinated with all the common vaccinations for our childhood. With all the immigrants coming into our country, I am wondering if any have been given childhood vaccinations in their countries. I fear that ...Read more

Fast heartbeat doesn't show up on EKG

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had symptoms of lightheadedness, so my doctor ordered an EKG and sent me to a cardiologist. They did a heart monitor for a week and said I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia but that I don't need any treatment. I'm still having symptoms. What can I do? -- B.V.

ANSWER: Inappropriate sinus tachycardia is an uncommon diagnosis,...Read more

Pulmonary hypertension is elevated lung blood pressure

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read an article about a study the Mayo Clinic did using 20 mg tablets of sildenafil for pulmonary arterial hypertension and that it improved walking distance by 75%. Is there an upper age limit for a person using this medication for pulmonary hypertension? -- D.L.

ANSWER: Pulmonary hypertension is different from regular or ...Read more

Congenital rubella syndrome one reason vaccines remain critical

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been following all the concerns about exposure to measles but have not seen anything mentioned that it is dangerous for pregnant women to be exposed. In 1966, doctors felt that I was exposed during my third month of pregnancy, and our daughter was born with severe brain damage. The child of another woman in our community ...Read more

No cure, just treatment for girlfriend's rare skin disorder

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My girlfriend has necrobiosis lipoidica. She suffers from this on her shins, as did her mother. She is not diabetic. We cannot find good information on how to rid her of this. The information we find is not about cures, but treatments that mask the symptom, such as steroids. We cannot even find a doctor that specifically treats ...Read more

Post-menopausal discharge is cause for doctor discussion

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 66-year-old woman. I had a hysterectomy and removal of one ovary. For the past six months, I have had brown vaginal discharge. Should I be concerned? -- L.M.

ANSWER: Any change in vaginal symptoms after years is probably worth a discussion with your doctor. Certainly, this one is.

In most post-menopausal women, a new ...Read more

A therapist can help cane users with proper technique

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have Parkinson's disease, and balance is an issue. I have been using a cane on the right side, my weak leg side. I have seen videos that say a cane should be used on a person's uninjured side. I tilt to the right and catch my balance without cane support in most cases. Which side do you suggest I use for better and faster ...Read more

Little 'red bugs' leave lasting itch

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife does a lot of container gardening. I am continually being bitten by chiggers. I have been using an over-the-counter anti-itch cream that helps soothe the bites, but it doesn't eliminate the symptoms. Is there anything to prevent the infestation or end the long-term itching? -- J.F.K.

ANSWER: Never having lived in the ...Read more

Lifestyle changes can benefit heart health of almost everyone

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 70-year-old female who had a stress test, echocardiogram and carotid study. I passed all tests. My cholesterol is 173, with my HDL 56, LDL 95.6 and triglycerides 108. My blood pressure is 110/64. The cardiologist put me on 5 mg of Crestor. He feels this will help my numbers. He also has me taking CoQ10 and vitamin D3 in ...Read more

Vestibular migraines include a balance element

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you shed light on how vestibular migraines are diagnosed and the best treatment? -- J.H.

ANSWER: The vestibule of the ear is where the organ of balance is located, so vestibular symptoms relate to balance issues in general, but most commonly, it means vertigo. The term "vestibular migraine" means vestibular symptoms ...Read more

Is it appropriate to give your physician a personal gift?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: We are very fond of our family doctor. I was in to see him the other day, and it came up in conversation that he was going to be getting married this summer. We would like to acknowledge this event in his life with either a lovely card or a small gift. I know the old-school way of thinking is to never do things that are so ...Read more

Giant cell arteritis is associated with polymyalgia rheumatica

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Your recent column featured polymyalgia rheumatica and prednisone. Would you please elaborate on how polymyalgia rheumatica can be linked to giant cell arteritis, and the consequences of not having a proper diagnosis in this regard? I had polymyalgia rheumatica two years ago with giant cell arteritis following almost immediately....Read more

We all benefit from fully vaccinated communities

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your column on vaccinations and was bothered about one issue that has not been addressed. Who are "anti-vaxxers" -- those who oppose scheduled vaccinations -- putting at risk by not having their kids vaccinated? Primarily others of like minds, it seems to me. Those who are vaccinated are not at risk, right? The only others...Read more

Will prostate-shrinking meds affect low-grade prostate cancer?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I've had low-grade prostate cancer for several years and am presently on "active surveillance." My PSAs have been high but steady, running around 7.8 to 9.2. I have a greatly enlarged prostate, which I believe contributes to the high PSA numbers.

I would like your opinion regarding finasteride (Proscar), as I am considering ...Read more

Office spirometry test alone is not enough to diagnose COPD

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy 70-year-old woman. The only prescription medication I take is for dry eyes. I recently visited my new primary physician for the first time, and she had me do a breathing test, where I exhaled into a tube to measure airflow. I was told to breathe deeply and exhale completely into the tube three times in succession. ...Read more


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