DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 68-year-old woman in good medical/physical condition. I run three times a week and work out with weights regularly. The only medicine I take is bioidentical hormones. Recently, the side of my foot near my baby toe felt sore as if, when I walked, I was stepping on a small pebble. It's not really painful, but annoying. This ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a highly active 74-year-old female. I walk a mile and a half every morning (my dog insists), then do two step-aerobic classes with weights, two serious weight workouts with a trainer, 1-3 miles on an elliptical walker and 2-4 hours of horseback riding, plus miscellaneous activities and yard work each week. My left hip is ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 70 years old, in good health, with no family history of glaucoma. My optometrist diagnosed me a year ago as having low-pressure glaucoma, early stage. He prescribed brimonidine 0.2% twice daily. I also saw an ophthalmologist for a second opinion. The ophthalmologist diagnosed me as a "glaucoma suspect." He does not ...Read more
DEAR DR ROACH: My husband will be 83 in September and was recently diagnosed with an ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm measuring 4.8 cm. Five centimeters is when they do something. After hearing about the survival rate based on your recent column, along with your comment that "most people do not survive a rupture of the aorta," I'm scared. Why ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 55-year-old male in good health and was diagnosed with a slightly enlarged prostate several years ago. My primary care doctor said he wasn't concerned enough to prescribe any medications. I get an annual physical, and there haven't been any changes. However, in the past couple of years, there have been times when, once I ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: For sleep, my boyfriend (78) takes Ambien when he needs it, a few times each week. The instructions on the bottle says "take as needed." To me, that means if he doesn't need it, he doesn't take it. That's simple logic.
His doctor occasionally will order a urine drug screen looking for metabolites of Ambien -- something about ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Is it true that a person over 55 years of age can have bone density problems? Does drinking milk and taking calcium with vitamin D help with this condition? Also, some people take oral cortisone for arthritis. Doesn't this make the bones more susceptible to bone breakage? Some doctors don't feel men can have bone density problems...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 79 years old and have coronary artery disease. In 2006, I had a heart attack, followed by an angioplasty and a drug-eluting stent in my left anterior descending artery. I had that done again in the same artery in May 2021. I get an irregular heartbeat, and after I wore a heart monitor, they said I had atrial fibrillation from...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My brother has low blood platelets and anemia. He will be 73 this year and has had three back surgeries. What causes low blood platelets? Can anything be done to raise platelet count? He drinks alcohol everyday -- not hard liquor, but canned alcoholic mixed drinks. He is in constant pain from his back. Also, he has osteoporosis. ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: While reading one of your recent columns, I learned that all water, except distilled, contains electrolytes. I wondered if there are differences in the amount of each electrolyte in drinking water in different places in Canada, and if so, whether that might explain why I experience cramping and diarrhea when I am visiting another...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: What is the best medicine for arthritis? My doctor prescribed diclofenac sodium, and another doctor said it will damage my liver and kidney with prolonged usage. As you know, arthritis is a chronic disease. Let me know what medicine I can use for arthritis. -- A.A.
ANSWER: I'm assuming you mean osteoarthritis, the most common ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a candidate for cataract surgery. When discussing this with my doctor, he mentioned that there are new lenses that can be used, which make it possible to correct my vision to 20/20. They are called light-adjustable lenses. There is a cost of $2,400 per eye. It seems to have great success with little risk. He did mention I ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In one of your columns, someone asked if it was helpful to just rest during the night, and how did that compare to sleeping if one is unable to sleep.
You said just resting was not that helpful, that one really needed sleep. I wanted to ask about "restless" minutes as recorded by a fitness watch. Restless minutes are separated ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been trying to increase my upper body strength, but am having difficulties. I am almost 70 and female, and have been moderately active. I exercise daily for 30 minutes using a stationary bike or a treadmill. I injured my rotator cuff last summer playing an exercise video game. There is hardware from a previous surgery for ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH:As a 90-year-old man in mostly good health, I have been taking one Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) pill per day for several years now preventatively for recurrent urinary tract infections. I am very pleased with this successful treatment. However, my urologist has mentioned that I might have to relinquish the Bactrim at ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to ask you a basic question about COVID-19 booster shots, since no health authority seems to answer it directly. Why should I get a booster if the booster is based on the original alpha version of the virus from more than two years ago? Even if the booster shot were based on the delta variant, that variant passed ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: How do pharmaceutical companies arrive at the names of their drugs? -- M.G.
ANSWER: Every new drug starts with three names: a chemical name, a generic name and a brand name. The chemical name can be extremely long and difficult to remember or pronounce, even for experts. A generic name is meant to convey some information about ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column on long-haul effects in COVID compared to the flu. About 14 years ago, a young neighbor caught some kind of virus. His wife said he was never the same after that. He was in his mid-40s. There were several fundraisers in the area to try to raise money for the young family. He needed a heart transplant and...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old woman in good health, but I have been plagued for years with muscle cramps and spasms in my legs. My physical therapist suggested magnesium supplements. I have been taking these supplements for about four years with good results.
About a year ago, I started having very loose bowel movements. To ease that, I ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old man, and I recently had a 30-minute TIA. I spent one day in the hospital and had many tests done, all of which were normal. They found no blockage issues. My total cholesterol has been below 200 for forever. The hospital prescribed 40 mg of Lipitor. I could not tolerate this well -- I had muscle aches -- so I ...Read more