Health Advice



Steroid rage ruined 17-year marriage

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: After five years, I still have questions after my husband (at the time) started getting more and more critical, until culminating in a few weeks where he started ranting, calling me profane names and leaving me emotionally depleted and confused. We had been married for 17 years, and I had never seen this type of behavior from him...Read more

Chest soreness in teen may be 'chest wall syndrome'

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: About five months ago, my 16-year-old son complained of soreness in the chest area. His doctor took X-rays and an EKG, and found everything to be normal, including blood pressure and oxygen level. However, he still has episodes of sharp pain on the left side of his breastbone. He says it hurts one day and then two or three days ...Read more

N95 masks should be reserved for hospital use

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: With all the misinformation flying around, can you comment on whether it's a good idea to wear N95 masks if you have them on hand? -- F.C.

ANSWER: N95 masks are the standard for personal protective equipment for most health care providers in the hospital. Ideally, health care workers would have enough N95 masks to use them with ...Read more

Change in BP meds caused loud, pounding pulse

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old woman on medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol. For 15 years, I took atenolol, 25 mg twice daily. I developed hair loss, and my doctor said to stop the atenolol immediately, that hair loss was a known side effect. He put me instead on 120 mg of extended release diltiazem and upped my morning ...Read more

Better safe than sorry when it comes to potential COVID exposure

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am scheduled to play tennis with my friend tonight. His son tested positive for COVID-19 and is symptomatic as of yesterday. He has not seen his son for at least one week before the diagnosis. Is my friend safe, and would it therefore be safe for me to play tennis with him? He seems to think he would have needed to see him ...Read more

There is help for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 78 and have some difficulty swallowing. I must take calcium and magnesium tablets, and they are very large. I have to chew them to get them down properly. I have actually choked on pills in the past. But chewing some tablets gives a terrible taste. Any suggestions? -- P.P.L.

ANSWER: Older people often have difficulty ...Read more

Would significant weight loss change need for HBP meds?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A friend was diagnosed with high blood pressure several years ago and has been on a hypertensive drug since then. However, over the past years, he has lost over 50 pounds and is no longer overweight. He works out every day. He never exercised prior to his diagnosis. He seems to be eating healthier foods now, too. Shouldn't he be ...Read more

Arterial-brachial index measures artery blockage

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm an 88-year-old woman in good health except that I have had a lot of leg and back pain in the past two or so years. I had spinal stenosis, and I have arthritis as well. A vascular surgeon performed a lower extremity duplex Doppler test last month. It showed an ankle-brachial index of 0.76 on the right and 0.57 on the left. The...Read more

Postnasal drip is a symptom of allergies

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Would you explain what postnasal drip is? How damaging is it, and can it be cured? My wife has it and coughs a lot. Her eyes water, and she always feels poorly. -- M.G.

ANSWER: Postnasal drip isn't a diagnosis, it's a symptom. The nasal passages have an opening in the front (the nostrils) as well as in the back, to the ...Read more

Must son wait until he's 50 to get shingles vaccine?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In your recent column referring to the shingles vaccine, you do not mention younger adults. My son had a very bad case of chickenpox when he was only 6 months old. He is now 40 years old, and earlier this year had an attack of shingles that affected the area behind his ear. He wanted to get the shingles vaccine to hopefully avoid...Read more

Physicians must use best practices in COVID treatment

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Is there a difference between COVID-19 treatment in academia vs. the real world? I had a telemedicine appointment the other day to see my internist, and he said to call right away if I developed symptoms consistent with COVID. He would order tests for me and start me right away on hydroxychloroquine, doxycycline and zinc. I told ...Read more

Is there a stroke link to Fosamax?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Why don't you inform your patients about Fosamax causing a stroke? This is well studied, and my mother is currently hospitalized from stroke, most likely from Fosamax. Doctors need to learn how to be doctors and stop handing out medication. Doctor incompetence killed my father and now is working on killing my mother. -- J.Q.

...Read more

Sudden onset of appendicitis reveals potential cancer

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently I had a sudden onset of appendicitis and was operated on the following day laparoscopically. The surgeon explained to me that the surgery took longer than usual because of scar tissue from a total hysterectomy 10 months earlier. He said my appendix was enlarged and inflamed around the site and had some samples sent for ...Read more

Dust, wind and sun exposure may be cause of eye lesion

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am under the care of an ophthalmologist, and on a routine exam I was told that I have pinguecula of the eyes. What does this mean? I was given artificial tears and am to follow up regularly. The eye doctor is going to reevaluate in three months. I am very worried. -- V.P.

ANSWER: A pinguecula is a benign lesion made of fat and...Read more

The truth about 'brain supplements'

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to know what you think about brain supplements and whether you would recommend any. My age is 84 and I am in good health, but my memory is getting bad. -- B.S.

ANSWER: I see advertisements daily for supplements touted to have benefits in preventing or slowing progression of dementia. A careful review of the ...Read more

Surgery for torn hip joint cartilage requires lengthy recovery

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 55-year-old woman. I recently went to see a surgeon for a torn hip labrum. I learned that labrums do not heal on their own, and injections and physical therapy can only mitigate pain. I'm leaning toward surgery, because it makes more sense to have surgery at 55 and increase my quality of life rather than wait until 75 and ...Read more

Acne is not typically itchy

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: How do pimples form? Why do they itch? How can I remove them? -- B.B.

ANSWER: Acne is caused by plugged hair follicles, which are associated with sebaceous (oil-producing) glands. These are more likely to be plugged under control of androgenic hormones; with increased oil production; in the presence of the bacteria Cutibacterium...Read more

Reader worries about his very low cholesterol level

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 67-year-old male who had a major heart attack 19 years ago. I am very active. Prior to the pandemic I was going to the gym five days a week and then came home and spent a few hours doing yardwork and gardening. I still spend two to four hours a day in my yard. This past week I had lab work done with a full lipid panel. I ...Read more

Shingles shot at 50? Yes, please!

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm writing in regard to your recent column about a 56-year-old person, recommending he or she wait till 60 for the shingles shot. In 2010 I was 56 and was told by my insurance company that they would not cover the shot till I was 60. Unfortunately, that year I suffered a shingles attack that started on the back of my head and ...Read more

There are treatments beyond CPAP for obstructive sleep apnea

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you share as much information as you know about a procedure called Inspire that supposedly helps reduce the serious issues of sleep apnea?

What are the benefits, and how does it work? What are the risks, since the procedure does involve surgically installing a tiny motor and wiring in the chest with the wiring connected to ...Read more



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