DEAR DR. ROACH: There is an extensive history of ADHD in my family. My son, who was formally diagnosed at 8 and is now 14, has just started taking meds. His transition to high school was difficult to manage. In looking at my own history, I can see the same patterns in my behavior (poor grades in school although identified as very intelligent, ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife, age 67, has been under treatment for Hashimoto's thyroiditis for 18 years now. The diagnosis was confirmed by antibody tests, and she has been taking some form of thyroid medication ever since. She has been treated by four different doctors, including two endocrinologists. She has tried both synthetic and natural ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I happened to come across your recent article on the placebo effect.
As a professor of physiology, I understand perfectly your advice. And I sort of feel that the placebo effect can be a good one. If someone feels "relief" from taking a harmless substance, what's the matter with that? I'm talking here about non-life-threatening ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In 1973, I was hospitalized for three days in an Air Force hospital in Thailand with an unknown viral illness. I quickly recovered and went back to my duties.
In 1992, I started having one problem after another for about six months, culminating in losing my ability to walk in about 10 minutes. My bowels and bladder were ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In 1966, my husband was in the military, assigned to artillery for a period of three months' training. During this time, he and his fellow soldiers were exposed to close-range cannon fire. At the end of and during each operation, his ears would be buzzing. Ear protection was not provided.
My husband was 19 years old at that time...Read more
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DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband was diagnosed with congestive heart failure a year ago. His ejection fraction was 15-20. Now it is 25-30, but he's worse! For the past few months, he's been admitted to the hospital at least once a week. It started with an overload of 13 liters; he came home, and within a few days was unable to keep his blood pressure ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My blood type is O-negative. I am well aware that O is the universal donor blood type. I have tried to donate every eight weeks since I was 16. I am now turning 49 in a few weeks, and wonder how many people I've helped over the years and if there are any health benefits or problems with me donating so much. I do have scars on my ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: What is the cause of and treatment for hammertoe? -- A.
ANSWER: Hammertoes have many possible causes, including a variety of muscle and nerve diseases, but the biggest cause I see is improperly fitted (or designed) shoes. They occur most commonly in the second, third or fourth toe. Toes are permanently bent and curled, ...Read more
The Caregiver WithinAmy Mcleary
A Caregiver Within was written with the intention of helping people tasked with caring for their loved ones. This book will detail my journey, my struggles, my hopes, and my victories while caring for my daughter with the help of Spirit, Angels, and my family. You will ...
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a 53-year-old daughter who is troubled by muscle twitches. They occur on various parts of her body, some lasting for several minutes, and others much longer. No pain is associated with these mysterious twitches, but recently their frequency seems to be increasing, along with the severity.
She has seen several neurologists...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In late spring of 2016, I had a sinus infection and was prescribed both an antibiotic and prednisone. I was told that the steroid would increase the effectiveness of the antibiotic. After reading the patient insert for prednisone, I elected to take only the antibiotic, with excellent results.
Since that time, three of my friends...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My son was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. The doctor prescribed sertraline (Zoloft). When I inquired about a blood test to determine his serotonin levels, the doctor told me it wasn't necessary. How could a medication be prescribed without knowing what his levels are? My wife has her levels checked each year for ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old woman with lichen planopilaris. While I know that this is rare and not life-threatening, it is nonetheless extremely upsetting to me. Are there any promising treatments, and what side effects do they have? I was told that with one drug you must have your eyes checked regularly, and I would not want to put my ...Read more
Correction: In final sentence, changed "it still" to "is still."
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a healthy female in my mid-70s. I've taken the recommended calcium citrate with vitamin D for years, until about three months ago, when test results showed I have slightly higher than normal calcium levels. I stopped the calcium, but testing results were the ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 54-year-old female. In the past year, I have developed difficulty swallowing. I usually do not have this in the early morning, but as the day goes on, especially in the evening, I find that when I eat, I have to labor to swallow. This occurs mostly with harder foods such as meat, salad, apples. Every so often, it feels ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your column on a regular basis, and on occasion your response to those seeking advice on the benefits of some particular medication or treatment includes the comment that the trials were not large enough or powerful enough to show any significant benefit.
Are there any medical guidelines for setting up expensive and time-...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband has stage 4 prostate cancer with a Gleason score of 9. He has metastatic disease to multiple sites in his spine, pelvis and shoulder. He was diagnosed January 2015. His PSA was 85.3. He is receiving the standard care with androgen deprivation therapy (Lupron, Zytiga and infusions of taxotere). His prognosis is grim.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 86-year-old white male. I am currently taking tamsulosin 0.4 mg and finasteride 5 mg. What benefits do these bring to me, and what are their side effects? -- B.B.
ANSWER: These medicines almost always are prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate.
Tamsulosin (Flomax) is what is called an alpha blocker. It works by ...Read more
DEAR DR ROACH: For a 40-hour period last weekend, I experienced approximately 200 very sharp stabs of pain at the junction of my left thigh and my torso at the very front of the thigh. They began as I was sleeping and continued at various frequencies, varying from three in 20 seconds to one an hour throughout the following 40 hours. They ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 84-year-old woman in relatively good health, with a concern about diverticulitis. I had my first attack 10 years ago. The second attack was two months ago, and I had a CT scan that showed an apparent infection. I took one course of antibiotics, but the pain persisted, followed by a second attack and more antibiotics. ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been suffering from cold urticaria for about nine years. It manifests itself in itchy skin or hives, generally from skin contact with the cold -- anything below 68 degrees brings mild itching, and hives appear with lower temperatures.
I have tried a few different allergy medications, with 24-hour fexofenadine having the ...Read more