Health Advice



MMR vaccine is critical, but not to help with COVID

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: We have friends who got the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine believing it will help with exposure to COVID-19. What are your thoughts on their thinking? -- P.H.

ANSWER: The World Health Organization has reported an increase in measles deaths since 2016, and that trend has accelerated in the past year. The COVID-19 pandemic ...Read more

Hiatal hernia surgery called for if meds fail to help

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old female with MGUS. I was just diagnosed with an ulcer, Barrett's esophagus, GERD and a hiatal hernia of 8 cm. My surgeon has put me on high-dose Prilosec and Carafate before bed. My oncologist has given the OK for surgery for the hernia, but friends have told me that the surgery is really dangerous. My surgeon ...Read more

Statins are important heart treatment, but so is change in diet

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 64 and thin, on no medications and had my bloodwork done. Cholesterol showed 226 total, HDL 77, triglycerides 79, LDL 131, glucose 94. My blood pressure is usually about 90/60, and I have never smoked.

My doctor wants me to go on a statin, which I know is not good. I want to try adjusting my diet. Are these levels so high ...Read more

Arthritis treatment needed for pain in hands

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to know how to treat arthritis. I have been using Voltaren per my doctor's orders, but it does not seem to be helping much. I have also been taking ibuprofen, but I am afraid of stomach bleeding. The arthritis is in my wrists and thumb. I can hardly open a doorknob or lift any small objects. Does turmeric help?

I ...Read more

COVID-19 vaccine review

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DR. ROACH WRITES: In a previous column, I deferred making a recommendation about a COVID-19 vaccine until more data were available. The Food and Drug Administration has now made the safety and efficacy data publicly available for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It has been approved and already given in the U.K, and is approved for use in the U.S., ...Read more

Another look at supplements

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent response to a question about the efficacy of brain supplements. You note there is a paucity of published data, and that there is "no consistent evidence" that supplements help, except perhaps vitamin E.

Fair enough. However, the lack of data may indicate simply that there is too little information, rather than...Read more

The kidneys perform a necessary life function

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 83-year-old white male. I am overweight and have high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. I recently have been diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure. I'm told that I have three strikes against me with these health issues, and there is not much hope in saving my kidneys from further damage. I'm told its inevitable that I ...Read more

Medication and lifestyle changes are first treatment for heart

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: About a month ago, I had pain in my chest, so I went to the emergency room, where I was admitted. My blood pressure was in the 200 range, and they did an echocardiogram and a stress test. Both came out negative, but the cardiologist did an angiogram, and they found out that I have clogged arteries. They told me they couldn't put...Read more

Two habits this husband must stop right away

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: There is much information about the spread of COVID germs from coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc. However, I have not seen anything about two other ways that could also spread the germs. Could you please address these in your column?

1. Spitting: My husband (and many others) spits on the ground frequently, especially during ...Read more

Don't recall having chickenpox? Get shingles vaccine anyway

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am almost 88 years old. All seven of my children came down with chickenpox at different times. I took care of them all, and never contracted the virus. I didn't have it as a child or as an adult. Should I get the shingles vaccine? I have lupus and thyroid disease. I don't need to take medication for either of them anymore. I ...Read more

Incorrect vaccine administration can cause bursa injury

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Two years ago, I received the high-dose flu vaccine at my doctor's office. It resulted in a severe case of SIRVA bursitis in my shoulder. I suffered for three months, taking Tylenol after getting two shots of steroid from my orthopedic surgeon and physical therapy. Since then I have been afraid to get another vaccine. However, ...Read more

Couch potato seeks assistance for all-over arthritis pain

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old male disabled veteran. I started work out of high school in a factory where I did hard but not brutal work. Then went to Vietnam, where I injured my knee and had to be operated on. Next, I worked for an airline as a baggage handler then became a licensed aircraft mechanic, both of which were hard physical labor...Read more

A single word can have several medical meanings

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What's the difference between a tubal pregnancy and an abortion? Are they the same thing? -- J.K.S.

ANSWER: The term "abortion" has several meanings medically, but most people think of only one type, the elective abortion. A "spontaneous abortion" is another term for a miscarriage. A "missed abortion" is when the fetus is no ...Read more

A strategy for the pneumonia vaccines

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Whenever I go to my local VA clinic for a checkup, I'm asked if I want the pneumonia vaccine. I'm 70, and I wonder if that vaccine has proven to be beneficial. Thank you. -- L.B.

ANSWER: There are two pneumonia vaccines. One is the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine, often called by its brand name, Pneumovax. The ...Read more

Time and effort needed to treat intermittent explosive disorder

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently, you wrote about intermittent explosive disorder. I have this condition and would like your help dealing with it. I can lose my self-control and get so upset that I swear. I have attempted to control myself, but if I do not watch myself, I get very angry and then feel guilty when I say things I don't mean to ones I love....Read more

Blood thinners are critical in first year after stent placement

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 75-year-old wife had two third generation medicine-eluting stents inserted into a branch of the left anterior coronary artery in January 2020. On 75 mg of clopidogrel and 81 mg of aspirin for nine and a half months, she has endured several serious nosebleeds, one of which required hospitalization for three days. She just had ...Read more

For many OTC drugs, listed dose covers most people

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In the majority of over-the-counter medication, the dosing references "adults 12 years and older" and then gives a maximum dose. I'm 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weigh 220 pounds. The average 12-year-old is 125-ish pounds. I don't get it. Are we overdosing the 12-year-olds or limiting effectiveness for the older (or much heavier) ...Read more

Hyperhidrosis is too much sweating

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Anytime I work -- outside or in the house, in any season -- my head sweats the whole time. A lot of sweat comes off my head. I have to cool off inside under a fan every half hour, even if air conditioning is on. I put ice on my head, and I don't sweat anywhere else.

If I am sitting in the house and not working, I am freezing. I ...Read more

Is turmeric the cause of stomach upset?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been using turmeric on my food for quite a while. I've noticed I've started having bouts of diarrhea. I found others' reports of this when searching on the internet. I might quit taking it to see if the diarrhea ceases. Do you have any other information on contracting diarrhea with turmeric? -- W.T.

ANSWER: Yes, I have ...Read more

Yes, you should wear a mask

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A recent column advised readers to wear masks. Please print a study that shows masks work. I can show you 10 studies from the CDC that say they don't. You should not encourage your readers to do something without proof. -- C.W.

ANSWER: Although some authorities were hesitant to recommend masks at the beginning of the pandemic, ...Read more



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