DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is tired all the time. He functions but frequently has to sit to recoup his energy, even after a shower.
He is diabetic and has been for over 10 years. He does not take insulin and manages to keep his A1C within 7.1 to 6.9. He weighs 207 pounds, and he's 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 75 years old.
His bloodwork always ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column stating that the HPV vaccine is recommended up to age 45. Are people older than 45 years no longer susceptible to HPV? Asking for a 52-year-old friend (who thinks he's Wolverine). -- C.F.
ANSWER: Wolverine has a mutant healing ability (that's how he was able to survive having his bones replaced with ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Every year, I used to get a physical, which included a prostate exam as well as blood tests with PSA. When my doctor retired, I had a hard time finding a new one I liked. It has been three or four years since my prostate was checked, but my new doctor doesn't do the prostate exams (I am 63). He says that recent studies do not ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: What is the difference between eccentric LVH and concentric LVH? Which one is more dangerous and needs more attention? My mother was diagnosed with severe eccentric LVH for body surface area with adequate systolic and diastolic functions. What does that mean? -- C.F.
ANSWER: The left ventricle is the chamber of the heart that ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a 67-year-old sister who has several medical issues. One of the more uncommon is called tardive dyskinesia. Most people have never heard of this, myself included, until my sister came down with it. I wonder if you could write about this and explain the different medications that would help. The medications she is on are ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column from the woman with vaginal atrophy. I am experiencing the same problem. The next problem is that a small tube of Premarin cream is $250. I'm wondering if progesterone cream applied topically can do any good. I'm currently using an OTC moisturizer. I can't afford the $250 Premarin, and there is no ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My son, who is 30 years old, was recently diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea and currently uses a CPAP machine. He says does not want to use this for the rest of his life, therefore, he has researched surgery to correct his OSA. Recently he consulted with a sleep expert, and now has surgery scheduled with that doctor. ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old woman who takes no medications. I have had two cases of diverticulitis, neither of which required hospitalization. I tend toward constipation. For years I have taken psyllium capsules -- five in the morning and five in the afternoon. This has helped me a lot. Do you feel there is any reason to be concerned ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a female in my 60s and have always had trouble sustaining my weight. I have frequent thorough checkups because I had cancer in the past, but no problems have been identified. Since I have a history of cancer, I am very careful about what I eat -- mostly whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and only small amounts...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a dilemma. I'm a 68-year-old, sexually active woman just diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer (1.2 cm, tumor grade 1, ER and PR positive, HER2 negative, Ki67 at 5%-10%). I am planning to get a lumpectomy, no problem. No exam yet of lymph nodes. But I am very concerned about follow-up treatment. Now, I understand that ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 83-year-old female with bladder problems. I get up two or three times a night and usually make it to the bathroom. I thought it would be good to see a doctor in case the problem got worse. An operation was mentioned, which I am not interested in, so they gave me a pessary, which has been good and bad.
It is comfortable ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 67-year-old male in excellent physical health. The only issue I have is occasional bouts of vertigo. These episodes started when I was about 44 years old. My symptoms are varying degrees of dizziness and, with extreme episodes, nausea. The frequency has increased the past couple of years to about every two weeks.
I do the...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you made a point about antibiotic overuse that I hadn't heard before: "The antibiotics will be more effective when you do choose to use them." I thought the argument against overuse was strictly altruistic, that overuse increases the prevalence of drug resistant disease strains in the general population. I'd ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old female who has suffered from acid reflux for many years and has been taking Prilosec (omeprazole) for at least 15 years. I have heard that it is not meant for longtime use. If I don't take it, I have such heartburn I can't sleep and am in misery all day and night. I recently attended a seminar on the new LINX ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I suffer from depression. It comes and goes, but I've been feeling sad, worried and angry at the world, as well as irritable, for the past four months or so. I force myself to function. My family doctor prescribed Effexor. He prescribed a 37.5 mg dose once a day to start and after one week, twice a day. I looked up the side ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: You mentioned in a recent column that there is no single-dose measles vaccine. I understand that there are people who object to the MMR combo in the belief that it exposes the child to too many antigens at once. Here is a quote from the cdc.gov website: "Each vaccine in the childhood vaccination schedule has between 1-69 antigens...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you said that using peroxide in the ear is a bad home remedy. Would you please expand on this subject? My children grew up with me using peroxide to clean excessive wax from their ears, and they now use the same remedy on my grandchildren.
ANSWER: Most earwax does not need to be removed. It should be removed ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is 75. I am 68. Our family doctor says that our blood pressure average is fine at 140/80 with no medicine. We thought it should be 120/70, but he says the limit is higher for seniors in order to decrease falls. This is pretty confusing. Do you think it's OK? -- S.M.
ANSWER: The best goal for blood pressure has been ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 75-year-old male in excellent health who is sexually active. During my thirties, I was exposed to the herpes virus 2, but recurrences now are extremely rare and mild. Even so, I use a condom during sexual intercourse and also take acyclovir beforehand. How long before intercourse should acyclovir be taken so that it is at ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I was diagnosed with high LDL cholesterol 20 years ago. I have been taking higher statin doses and now take Crestor 20 mg. Due to muscle pain, my cardiologist prescribed Praluent injections of 75 mg every two weeks to lower my LDL to below 77. I am 74 and have two heart stents in my right coronary artery, but have never had a ...Read more