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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
DEAR DR. ROACH: My friend had a biopsy on his prostate three weeks ago. During the biopsy, he was crying and in excruciating pain. They took four samples, and the doctor said: "I need a total of eight samples. Do you want me to continue?" He replied "no," and the doctor stormed out.
Is it normal to have that kind of horrible pain? Two nurses ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 78-year-old mother has taken compounded estrogen since menopause. She swears that it has kept her from getting Alzheimer's disease and other brain diseases.
I am 54 and have been in menopause for about a year. I've tried hormone replacement therapy, but I've had weight gain and other side effects. Eventually I decided that ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a kidney removed eight months ago due to a kidney tumor, and since then have had bloodwork done numerous times. My GFR fluctuates from 38-44, and my creatinine and BUN levels are high (creatinine level is about 1.7 and BUN around 27; before surgery, my creatinine was 1.2). As of this date, there is no cancer, as I have had ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am having a "push endoscope," or forced endoscope, tomorrow. They said they found a lesion in a CT scan and want to look into it further. Is "lesion" a fancy name for cancer? -- B.E.
ANSWER: The word "lesion" is a Latin word for "injury." In medical parlance, it means pretty much anything that is abnormal. While it is true ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: You recently discussed Pap smears. What is the root meaning of the term? Is it a medical test invented by a Dr. Pap, or an acronym for some long and complex medical term, or a smear taken from a woman's "pap"? -- D.W.B.
ANSWER: "Pap" is for Dr. George Papanicolaou, a Greek-born physician/scientist who worked at Cornell ...Read more