Health & Spirit

The hierarchy of oil

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Please write about the increasing use of "fashionable" coconut oil and coconut milk. I am on a plant-based diet, approaching vegan, and I see more products with high amounts of saturated fat, which seems to be due to increased use of coconut. I see this used in yogurts (where soy used to be more common), frozen vegan meals (where...Read more

Physical prostate exam not always part of annual physical

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 66-year-old male and was a patient of the same doctor for over 30 years. He recently retired. Part of my annual physical for as long as I can remember included a prostate exam. I now have a young, new doctor and at my recent physical, he did not give me a prostate exam. While the exam isn't something I looked forward to, I...Read more

Gilbert syndrome, thalassemia and gallstone formation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am blessed to be a very healthy 63-year-old woman. I am a vegetarian who eats fish occasionally. I take 600 mg of calcium a day, along with 1 mg folic acid for thalassemia minor. I exercise every day. I sleep well. I feel great and full of energy.

I have diverticulosis due to pockets in my colon, but I have never had an attack...Read more

Nobel or no, vitamins don't treat the common cold

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I cannot believe you would talk people out of vitamins as the flu season is approaching. You have some nerve to not quote studies to back up your false premises. Have you never heard of Dr. Linus Pauling? He got the Nobel Prize. -- H.R.

ANSWER: Dr. Linus Pauling won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954 for his work on the nature...Read more

Are patient portals secure?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What are your thoughts about the security and integrity of patient portals? Almost all of the physicians we see offer them now; some of them pushing their patients to sign up. While we understand that they offer advantages for both the patient and the physician's office, we have been very reluctant to use them. The main reason is...Read more

Cannabis and its effect on motor vehicle accidents

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you mentioned that "Cannabis adversely affects driving ability." Yet, further on in the article, you state that, "Early data from areas that legalized recreational marijuana suggest reduced rates of motor vehicle accidents."

These two statements seem to contradict each other. I believe I've read several ...Read more

There's no upper age limit on donating blood

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been a pretty regular blood donor for decades. At times, I'm rejected because I just miss the minimum iron count necessary. My question at this time is if I should continue to be a blood donor, as I am 84 years of age. My health is excellent, and I'm not taking any medications for any ailments. I have no blood pressure ...Read more

Diet, medication not influential in kidney cyst development

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a female in my mid-60s and recently have been diagnosed with a cyst on my left kidney. I do not have diabetes nor a heart condition, never smoked nor used drugs, don't drink and take over-the-counter or prescription medicines only when absolutely necessary, which is rare. I also don't like, thus never eat, spicy foods, nor ...Read more

Is cataract surgery safe for a 95-year-old?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 95 years old and was wondering if it would be advisable to have cataract surgery at my age. I had a cataract removed from my left eye, and it was very successful. My eye doctor said I have a condition known as pseudoexfoliation in my right eye, in addition to the cataract. -- S.D.

ANSWER: Surgery shouldn't be undertaken ...Read more

Excessive sweating can bring significant social problems

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have hyperhidrosis and want to know what, if anything, I can do to alleviate this condition. I am 71 and physically active. I exercise almost every day for an hour. I sweat profusely, mainly from my torso, but it's not only when I work out; it's also if I exert even a modest amount of energy or am anxious about an upcoming ...Read more

Tactile hypersensitivity is aversion to scratchy clothes on skin

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 75-year-old man with an arthritic back, urinary tract problems and, worst of all, highly sensitive skin! There are few items of clothing that I can tolerate. I turn tank top shirts inside out, preventing seams from irritating my skin. This has been a progressive problem since birth, worsening significantly over time. I've ...Read more

Avoiding an outbreak of HIV infection

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My local news outlet here in Saskatchewan published a story on mutated strains of HIV present in my province being a concern to the medical community. As a sexually active adult, but not a user of injectable recreational drugs, what does this mean for me and other citizens in my area? How are these strains different from regular ...Read more

Scoliosis is treated with medicine, physical therapy or surgery

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 65-year-old male. I've had scoliosis since childhood. I experience stiffness, discomfort and some soreness. What is the best treatment for my scoliosis? Chiropractic was not helpful, and although I had only mixed results with physical therapy, I still do those exercises. What other treatments are available? I would like to ...Read more

Could butterfly rash be the start of systemic lupus?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 65-year-old woman, very active and in good health, my only medication being a daily 5-mg tablet of Exforge to control high blood pressure. My mother had systemic lupus erythematosus and passed away when I was 13 years old.

For the past three weeks I have had a smooth, bright-red butterfly-shaped blush over my upper cheeks...Read more

Significant weight loss requires a support system

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My grandson, age 26, was diagnosed with aortic stenosis at birth. He has had two surgeries to temporarily fix the problem.

He recently saw his doctor and was told that he must reduce his weight (311 pounds) within a few months in order to undergo his final surgery (valve replacement). He was told how to do this -- more exercise ...Read more

Hemochromatosis causes overabsorption of iron

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Why aren't all people screened for genetic hemochromatosis? It is the most common inherited disease. The tests are simple and would save so much suffering and massive payments for care. I know people who suffer from cardiac, liver or lung problems; diabetes; severe joint pain; fatigue; and many other problems. Early treatment is ...Read more

Does diet affect a woman's chance of post-partum depression?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I've heard that there are issues with the enzymes, proteins and chemicals that are found in animal meat and plant matter. Somehow, I'm told, it affects a woman's brain and makes her go crazy when they're mixed together. Somehow, this mixture possibly causes postpartum depression. I'm told it's better to eat either plant matter or...Read more

Back surgery complicated by post-op pain management

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old with severe back pain due to compression of the nerve. My activities of daily life are more and more limited, and my quality of life is suffering. I am told I need a back operation, and I agree that it is necessary. However, when I consult with the anesthesiologist or pain management doctor about post-operative...Read more

Atrial fibrillation is a common heart-rhythm disturbance

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm writing about atrial fibrillation. In April I had a one-time 17-hour stint of it. I was not aware of anything happening at the time. When I had a device check (heart pacemaker), I was told of this occurrence, and it was recommended that I see my heart specialist. As a result, I was given the choice of taking Eliquis. It was ...Read more

Statins are meant to lower heart attack risk, not just cholesterol number

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: You have written many times about elevated cholesterol, but I have never seen anything about low cholesterol. I am an 86-year-old man with Type 2 diabetes that has been treated with moderate success using oral medication. I am 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weigh 160 pounds. I exercise regularly. My total cholesterol has always been ...Read more

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