Fingers And Toes Turn Blue, Become Numb When Cold
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm an 83-year-old male. I eat a plant-based diet, and I exercise at my local YMCA at least three times a week. I'm concerned that my toes and fingers will turn blue daily, in response to getting cold. My fingertips also become numb. -- W.H.
ANSWER: Fingers and toes turn blue due to a change in the blood flow to the area. If ...Read more
What Is Considered Proper Hand Hygiene?
DEAR DR. ROACH: Everyone knows that they are supposed to wash their hands after using the toilet, but does that advice only apply when using a public toilet? Since whatever came out of the person is technically theirs, do they need to wash their hands at home if they live alone? And can you also address whether it makes sense to wash your ...Read more
An Extreme Itch Causes Concern For Inflammatory Breast Cancer
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old female who has had four benign breast biopsies/lumpectomies in the last 25 years. I've also been dealing with extreme itching on one side of my breast. I recently had my annual 3D mammogram as well as an ultrasound, which didn't show anything amiss. Could scar tissue from lumpectomies be a cause behind this? ...Read more
High Blood Pressure Results Call For Additional Daytime Meds
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old female who was diagnosed with high blood pressure at 32. I am 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weigh 130 pounds. I've been taking 240 mg of verapamil for all of these years.
A few years back, my medication started coming in 120-mg dosages, so I started taking one in the morning and one at night. My blood pressure ...Read more
Woman Feels Her Rheumatological Symptoms Are Being Ignored
DEAR DR. ROACH: Is there a possibility of having some type of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), even though it doesn't show up clearly in the blood work? (My CRP level was 0.3, rheumatoid factor was 10, anti-CCP result was 15 u/mL, and ANA test came out negative.) I have symptoms that I feel I am not getting treated for because of this. I have other ...Read more
Innovo Shorts Provide Stimulation To Eliminate Incontinence
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have seen news reports of many positive results from people using INNOVO, the FDA-approved shorts that provide electrical pelvic muscle stimulation, to possibly eliminate incontinence entirely. I also have heard that insurance companies may help pay the cost of these shorts. Since this may help many of your readers, can you ...Read more
Electrical Device Used To Stop Migraines Shows Effectiveness
DEAR DR. ROACH: My child has been prescribed a device by their neurologist to treat their migraines. My child is 18 and has suffered migraines since the age of 4. Due to other prescriptions for a neuromuscular disorder, my child's doctor does not want to add another prescription into the mix. After insurance initially paid for the device, we ...Read more
How Does Medicine Know Where To Travel Within The Body?
DEAR DR. ROACH: My older friends and I talk about your column once in a while, and we all read it every day. Thank you. One thing we all wonder is, how do pills work? How does the medicine know where to go? -- D.A.
ANSWER: With a few exceptions, the medicine in the pills goes nearly everywhere in the body, but only "work" in specific ...Read more
A Bad Diet Filled With Fried Foods Counteracts Medication
DEAR DR. ROACH: Do meds for high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes lose their efficacy if the patient is noncompliant with diet? My partner thinks a meal of wings, French fries, cake and ice cream is OK as long as he takes a statin, Glucophage and Norvasc. I think the meds will eventually become ineffective. Your thoughts? -- W.G.
Possible Heart Disease Symptoms Are Written Off Due To Weight
DEAR DR. ROACH: I've been experiencing pain in my chest, dizziness and shortness of breath on exertion. The chest pain lasts for a few hours. At one point, it was so bad that I couldn't walk a hundred feet, had to use a cane and severely limit my physical activity. I've been to the doctor about this before. They take an EKG, which comes back ...Read more
Results From Mesa Calculator Produce Paradoixcal Numbers
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column about the MESA calculator. I found the test myself and input my numbers. But I found that I have a higher 10-year risk when I state that I am using a statin; each time I omit the statin risk, however, my score is actually lower. Common sense tells me that the 10-year risk number would be lower while ...Read more
Rushing To Knee Replacement Surgery Isn't Always Necessary
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 80-year-old semi-retired vet who has been having my knees managed with injections for a number of years. The right knee is bone-on-bone, and last year, I had to get what my doctor referred to as a booster, three months after my usual six-month shot in my right knee. The left knee is stable with six-month shots.
Since ...Read more
Man Suffers From Episode Of Delirium Post-Appendectomy
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 73-year-old husband was just hospitalized for an emergency appendectomy. Pre-surgery, he had a low-grade fever and some stomach tenderness -- symptoms that he thought was a stomachache. He had not eaten or slept very much for a couple of days. The surgeon said he had an abscess on his appendix.
Post-surgery, he was on IV ...Read more
Slower Walking Is One Sign Of Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus
DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you address the issues that come with the diagnosis of normal pressure hydrocephalus? My 82-year-old husband was diagnosed with NPH after experiencing a slow decline in walking and some cognitive decline.
An MRI showed moderately enlarged ventricles, and a lumbar puncture test was done, which gave him about 24 hours of ...Read more
Do Companies Advertise Ineffective Supplements?
DEAR DR. ROACH: I see supplements advertised on television that are supposed to clear "brain fog" and do many other beneficial things. Are these any good, and can they actually do the things that they claim to? If they are effective, why aren't they sold at drugstores? If not, how is it that companies are allowed to make these false claims and...Read more