Health & Spirit

Lip inflammation causes unending irritation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: For over two years, my wife has been having a problem with her lower lip. From morning on, it swells, irritating her and causing her to lick her lips constantly. She has seen doctors, dentists and specialists, all of whom have no answer and have no one to refer her to. It causes her no end of irritation. Do you have a reason, a ...Read more

High pulse rate may be side effect of blood pressure meds

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been on blood pressure medicine (nifedipine) and cholesterol medicine for approximately 30 years. I am 72. Over the past two years, an average of my readings (morning and night) is 135/85, and my pulse is 103.

I exercise 20-25 minutes every day, farm, play golf, work in my wood shop and stay active. Why is my pulse so ...Read more

It's time for a more thorough examination of nipple pain

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy 94-year-old woman. Over the past four months, I have had pain in the nipple of my left breast. I went to my doctor and was told to put hydrocortisone on it twice a day. I did and it didn't help, but the doctor told me to continue. I saw a gynecologist, who ordered a mammogram, which was negative. I had an ...Read more

When bladder doesn't empty, urinary-tract infection is likely

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old male. In 2013, I experienced an episode of total urinary retention. My urologist's diagnosis was enlarged prostate, and he tried treating me, unsuccessfully, with drugs, after which I underwent a TURP operation. Six months later, I experienced another episode of urinary retention, which resulted in a ...Read more

Who owns medical records: patient or physician?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: On three different occasions, I have had to change doctors: once when I moved out of state, once when my doctor moved out of state and just recently when my doctor sold his private practice. The two first times, I asked for my personal medical records and received a complete file, including notes the doctor had written as to ...Read more

Explaining the ethical line between patient and physician

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently, a physician in my area lost his license for having an intimate relationship with several of his patients. I'm just curious why this is considered so unethical if both parties are adults who are sound of mind. Are physicians not allowed to have relationships with patients outside of their practice? If I want to see my ...Read more

What can be done to get off insulin injections?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor placed me on insulin for diabetes because I was not able to bring my glucose below 100. The bloodwork results are now 120 glucose and 6.6 hemoglobin A1C. I have been averaging 6.5 hemoglobin A1C for over two years. I have been taking glucose readings three times a day, with results between 108 and 147 mg/dl. My blood ...Read more

Recurring UTI or reinfection? Treatments differ

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a candidate to have an Interstim implant done in January. My problem is that I have had to do catheterization for a long time, as my bladder does not empty due to a back injury. Over time, the nerves to the bladder have been damaged and have worsened this problem.

During this time, I have had many urinary tract infections ...Read more

Exact doses not always achievable in a natural product

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently in your column, you discussed the need for dosages to be exact in some situations. What about the medical marijuana issue? In our small town, there are four dispensaries. If someone truly felt he or she needed it for medical issues, would that person get the same dosage at each location? If the doctor prescribes aspirin,...Read more

With vitamin D, look to total number, not individual types

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently received my blood test results. My overall vitamin D was 40 (within the target range of 30 to 60 listed), but I noticed that it was broken up into vitamin D-3 (also 40) and vitamin D-2 (less than 4, and presumably 0 based on the overall score). What is vitamin D-2, and should I be taking supplements or eating certain ...Read more

Erratic heart rate episode may be atrial fibrillation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A couple weeks ago, I had a sudden fast heartbeat with a very irregular and erratic pulse (approximately 150-161) for about six hours, along with a very low blood pressure, ranging from 74/59 to 79/52. I first felt a strange thumping in my neck area. I am treated for high blood pressure with amlodipine, losartan and HCTZ. My BP ...Read more

Pumpkin seed oil shows promise for overactive bladder

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm an 81-year-old mother of five, and I have an overactive bladder. My situation was the usual "can't get there in time." I had taken an expensive drug for this, which worked but gave me a "brain fog" feeling that I didn't need or want. My doctor, a female specialist, recommended pumpkin seed oil. I took it for about two months ...Read more

Hemp oil for arthritis treatment bears further investigation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have severe pain from osteoarthritis. I am able to get some relief with one tablet of 5/325 Norco a day. My doctor is trying to wean me off Norco, and some days I can manage with a half-tablet. To help control my pain, I have been using hemp oil with the Norco. I take up to three tablets a day. Hemp oil seems to be a new trend ...Read more

Females experience thinning hair, too

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: After a diagnosis of low thyroid levels, my formerly long, thick hair has thinned out. I'd say 50 to 60 percent over the years since menopause (I am 78). It is especially thin from the front to the middle of my head. All I have found to help my hair look presentable and fuller is a product to increase hair volume, which just ...Read more

Yes, there is a 'virtual colonoscopy'

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a Cologuard test and was told that there is blood in my stool. My doctor tried to do a colonoscopy, but told me he was unable to complete it due to my colon being very twisted. He sent me to the hospital for a "virtual colonoscopy." He assured me that it was not invasive and that I would only get dye in my vein. The ...Read more

Hiatal hernia should be addressed

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Two months after having neck surgery under general anesthesia, I find that I have a partially collapsed lung. A CT scan showed "subsegmental atelectasis." It also showed that I have a hiatal hernia, and that my stomach is in my chest. What can I do about it? -- Anon.

ANSWER: "Atelectasis" (Greek for "imperfect extension") means ...Read more

Physicians may not accept money to prescribe drugs, but promoting them is not off-limits

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Are the drug companies asking you doctors to push their new stuff? I hear all the time from various people that they wonder if doctors get kickbacks for prescribing certain medicines. I think the general public wonders if that is the case. -- C.M.

ANSWER: It is illegal for physicians to accept money or gifts in exchange for ...Read more

Previous spinal surgery may have link to current headaches

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: For several months now, I have been experiencing intermittent headaches, with an extra "shot" of intense pain in the top, front of my head and forehead whenever I sneeze, cough, clear my throat or bend over. I thought it might be my sinuses, but when my ENT ordered a CT scan, it turned out to be negative. He suggested that I go ...Read more

MS and vaccines must have a carefully balanced relationship

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have multiple sclerosis. I have been told NOT to get the shingles vaccine by one doctor, and I have been told TO get the shot by another. I had the shingles twice a long time ago. Does the fact that it is a live culture have an effect on the recommendation? -- D.M.

ANSWER: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that may ...Read more

When does the risk of bleeding overtake the risk of stroke?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you said that there is not yet an antidote for the rare case of a serious bleeding episode in people on some new oral anticoagulants, and if an antidote for apixaban (Eliquis) gets approved, it might end up being the safest choice. Has it been approved yet?

My husband's doctor says that he should go off ...Read more


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