DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy man in my late 40s. I was married for 18 years to my first sexual partner. Since my divorce three years ago, I have had two additional partners. These were casual flings. I used condoms and did not catch anything. I was happy to meet a woman who stated she is not into casual sex. I see relationship potential. The ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: A friend is not getting vaccinated for COVID-19 because she thinks the vaccines could cause permanent fertility issues. Would you please comment on this? -- M.S.
ANSWER: I can understand why a woman would be concerned about losing fertility. However, this is just not a concern that is borne out by the science. One theoretical ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I ruptured my Achilles tendon playing basketball seven years ago at the age of 49. I was able to recover and continue playing. My question has to do with others who have suffered from this: Why do so many young people appear to tear their Achilles? I can think of a handful of guys I know who have recently done this, and all of ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a recently diagnosed diabetic. Can you please give me advice on how to reverse it if possible? -- H.M.
ANSWER: I'm assuming you have been newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which is caused by resistance to insulin. Type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, is an autoimmune disease caused by ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you tell me about food poisoning? I often hear the term, but it seems to mean different things to different people. -- V.A.
ANSWER: Foodborne illnesses are indeed a very large and diverse group. Although the term may refer to toxins in food, such as poisonous mushrooms or heavy metal contamination, it most often refers to ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you comment on the lack of a test that truly demonstrates the effective level of immunity an individual has from receiving the COVID vaccine? My wife has lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, and had both doses of the Pfizer vaccine over a month ago. Now we learn that her immune system may not have created any antibodies against ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 74 and in good health except for osteoporosis. I'm 5 foot, 3 inches tall and weigh 106 pounds, and have followed a plant-based diet for eight years. I take no medications, walk briskly daily and still work, but my calcium score was 640. What's happening here? -- D.H.
ANSWER: Regular exercise and a plant-based diet are very ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: About two or three months ago, I got a cracking sound in my right ear, and it hurts off and on. This happens several times a day, both day and night. I saw my doctor, who said it was nothing. He told me to take Sudafed two times every 24 hours. It does let up when I take it. Can you help ease my mind? -- M.M.
ANSWER: The two ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I've started using coconut oil instead of milk and sweetener in my coffee. I find that a quarter teaspoon of coconut oil blended with 12 ounces coffee is pretty yummy. But I want to make sure I'm not doing any harm, since my own LDL has risen and my HDL has fallen since December. I have heard that coconut oil is healthy, but also...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Are medical advances going backward? If not, why are so many people dying in their 50s and 60s? Just look at the obituaries. By now, we all should be living into our 80s and 90s. What's your take on this subject? -- R.S.
ANSWER: Medicine has made incremental benefits on many fronts. There have also been dramatic, life-changing ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you get long COVID from symptomless post-vaccine infection? -- L.B.
ANSWER: "Long COVID" refers to long-term symptoms following an infection with the novel coronavirus. These symptoms, which may persist for months (at least), include fatigue, difficulty concentrating often called "brain fog," persistent loss of smell or ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Two days ago, I was bitten by a tick, which drew blood. Yesterday I was given just two 100-mg doxycycline caps to be taken together with a meal and instructions to "continue the observation of any symptoms." It does not seem sufficient to me. Last year, when I was bitten, I received a two-week course of the antibiotic. I am ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am very concerned about an issue with my husband that is getting worse quickly. He is 76 years old, has some heart problems and has had artery and heart surgery and pulmonary problems primarily caused by toxic exposures to pesticides in the past.
The situation is that at night, after we have been asleep for a little while, he ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: A year ago, I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. A colonoscopy found no problems. An endoscopy found a small raw spot on my stomach lining; it was not bleeding. My iron count was 7. Two months earlier it was 102. I was told to take an iron supplement twice a day. Now a year later, it is back up to 78. Up until my ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently watched a TV program about vaccines. I've always thought that vaccines dated to Jenner and his cowpox vaccine. The program pointed out that before Jenner started experimenting, some countries (the program mentioned Africa, India and China) had a tradition of cutting the arm of a healthy person and then smearing the cut...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 80-year-old female in good health except for a diagnosis of osteopenia. My primary care doctor has prescribed medication for my osteopenia. I have periodontal disease and have been advised by my periodontal specialist not to take medication for osteopenia due to deterioration of the jawbone. I think I am in a lose-lose ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have recently been diagnosed with a cholesteatoma in one ear, which has resulted in significant hearing loss. How common is this condition? I have been advised that surgery is my only treatment option. They anticipate the more extensive surgery requiring "drilling a hole in my head" versus going through the ear drum. How ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: During my annual wellness visits to the doctor, my blood pressure is always taken. But it is done differently depending on the person taking it. How many times should the pump be used, and does it make a difference in the reading?
My readings are coming out hugely different. This last reading was 120/82. Last year it was 160/94,...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently donated blood to our local blood bank, which I have done many times in the past. Three weeks later, I received a letter stating that my blood was not accepted, and would never be accepted, due to being reactive to HTLV-1 and -2. I had my blood rechecked and all came back as negative, so why am I not allowed to donate ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My sister-in-law believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will cause side effects that aren't known yet. She won't get the vaccine, and she has persuaded my brother not to as well. Although he doesn't agree with her beliefs, he won't go against her wishes. My wife and I are fully vaccinated, but I am uncomfortable allowing them to ...Read more