DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old woman in fair health. I had strong bones until I had gastric bypass surgery. Within two years, I developed osteoporosis. In 2016 my parathyroid hormone level was found to be elevated. However, it has come down over the past year or two from 97.76 to 68.95 pg/mL. The endocrinologist now has me on 8,000 IU of ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 7-year-old grandson has a question: "How can I be a science doctor like you? Thank you, Colton Fancher from Florida" -- C.F.
DEAR COLTON: Being a doctor is great -- I wouldn't change it for any other job -- but it isn't right for everyone. It's also a hard road that takes years of dedication.
The first part is the desire, ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband, 79 years old, is getting up five or six times at night to urinate. The urgent care doctor said he doesn't have an infection but doesn't know what's going on. He is taking Flomax, but that doesn't seem to be helping. Who should he see? -- E.L.O.
ANSWER: Urinating at nighttime ("nocturia") is a common problem for men, ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband had his gallbladder removed many years ago. In the past few years, he has had six ERCPs to remove gallstones from his bile duct, as he is still making them. He has been told to drink lots of water but that there is no preventive remedy. Do you have any suggestions for how to prevent these gallstones from forming? -- B....Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My brother got very thin (112 pounds and he is 6 feet tall) from anxiety. When he gets really worked up, he doesn't eat. His doctor put him on medication for this, which she said would help him gain weight. Are there any side effects from gaining weight quickly when he is so thin? -- A.S.
ANSWER: Refeeding syndrome is a serious ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 50-year-old post-menopausal woman, and my first bone density test (DEXA) came back showing osteoporosis in a portion of my spine and osteopenia in an area of my neck. I did a FRAX score, and it indicated my risk for a major osteoporotic fracture is 4.5 percent in 10 years. I'm reading a lot of conflicting information about ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I heard recently someone say that they had an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine many hours after administration, say, 14 hours later. Can anaphylaxis actually happen that long after exposure to an allergen? This is a general question, not vaccine-specific. I've always been under the impression a reaction like this happens much ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have persistent genital arousal disorder. I find it incredibly difficult to talk about with my doctors and I've been openly mocked for it. I find there is a distinct lack of sensitivity in the medical community about this. People like me genuinely suffer in a variety of ways, whether it is from the physical side effects of ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 73-year-old male. My recent bloodwork showed a mild anemia. My doctor ordered a second blood test and a cancer screening kit. The anemia was stable, and the screening was normal with no microscopic blood detected. He is not sure why my bloodwork showed a mild anemia and has me scheduled to repeat testing every three months....Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 92-year-old man in better-than-average health. I have had two episodes of blood in my urine in the past two months. I know this isn't normal. At my age, I'd just like to make believe it didn't happen. What's my future like? -- Anon.
ANSWER: Your future will shortly include, I hope, a visit to your regular doctor. Blood in ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent article on proton pump inhibitors, and I wanted to chime in about my own quest to get off the medications. Over 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and placed on a PPI because of extreme heartburn symptoms. I followed all of the rules: nothing to eat for several hours before bed, avoid trigger ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband was recently diagnosed with mild to moderate pulmonary fibrosis. His mother died from pulmonary fibrosis. From what we have read there is no cure, only palliative care. The thought of doing nothing to try to stop the progression is totally unacceptable when there have been such successes with immunotherapy and stem ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: What can you tell me about fructose intolerance and/or malabsorption? Is there a genetic predisposition to this? Can it develop later in life? What are the symptoms, and how is it diagnosed? What type of doctor can best make a diagnosis? I've read conflicting reports online regarding the breath analysis test. Can it be treated, ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have seen numerous articles extolling the advantages of eating nuts because they are a good fat. I often have wondered if it matters whether the nuts are raw or roasted. Would you please explain the difference and the impact on one's health? -- D.O.
ANSWER: Scientists believe that nuts are healthy for us based on three ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter got the Gardasil shot when she was 16 years old. Now there is a new, more effective vaccine -- Gardasil 9. Is it advisable to get another vaccine? Also, if a young girl has had sexual relations, is it too late to get the vaccine? -- D.J.
ANSWER: Gardasil is a brand of the vaccine for human papillomavirus, and is ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently read about turmeric for osteoarthritis. I'm on a limited income. Please tell me more about it, like how much it costs and where I can get it. -- W.C.
ANSWER: Turmeric, a spice that has been used for millennia, is the source of curcumin, which has been shown to improve symptoms of osteoarthritis, at least in short-term...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Does a person with Eustachian tube dysfunction have to be careful when washing her or his hair? I am concerned that the water that gets into the ear can be felt going down the throat. Or is that another problem? -- K.C.H.
ANSWER: The ear has three compartments: external, middle and inner. The external ear is all of the part you ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: After giving myself allergy shots at home for years, my allergy doctor's group has decided that it's too dangerous for patients to do this anymore. The allergy practice will no longer send a vial unless you can prove the shot will be given in a medical facility. Even if you are a nurse or doctor yourself, you still must prove ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: It seems that eating a healthy diet with an emphasis on nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables and grains is the best choice for anyone. It's been well-documented that omega-6 is inflammatory, whereas foods containing omega-3 are not. It seems to me that we should be consuming foods that have more omega-3 in them. The only problem is...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter was diagnosed with lymphomatoid papulosis. It's not a bad case, but it's enough to make me worry. I know it's rare for this to turn into cancer, but there is always a chance. Doctors often misdiagnose it, but thankfully I have the best pathologist in the world. My daughter is being treated with UVB light, which worked...Read more