Health & Spirit

The problem with playing pharmacist

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife has been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Doctors tried an electrical cardioversion, but it came back after a few days. She is taking metoprolol and Eliquis. We have read about the supplements red clover, turmeric, omega-3 and hawthorn. Should she discontinue the pharmaceuticals and take supplements instead? -- J.C.

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Consistent control is the benchmark for BP drugs

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Short of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, why hasn't the Food and Drug Administration approved sildenafil in a set dosage for blood pressure medication? I saw a decrease from 150/90 to 115/70 in a reading about an hour after taking a 20-mg tablet. That's a far superior result compared with the medications I am on. -- J.I.C.

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Bacteria are to blame for stinky shoes and feet

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My nephew has foot odor. Even after showering, his feet have a bad odor. His shoes smell bad and have to be replaced often. What is the remedy for this problem? -- B.C.

ANSWER: Foot odor is caused mostly by bacteria living on your feet. Bacteria thrive in warm and moist environments, so people who sweat a lot from their feet are...Read more

Pulmonary fibrosis treatment not effective for COPD

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column on pulmonary fibrosis. I especially appreciate knowing that there are medications known to slow progression of lung disease, reduce exacerbations and reduce mortality. With a 20-year-old diagnosis of COPD and having been prescribed medications to reduce exacerbations, you might imagine my interest in ...Read more

Severe exertion intolerance may be chronic fatigue syndrome

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is tired all the time. He functions but frequently has to sit to recoup his energy, even after a shower.

He is diabetic and has been for over 10 years. He does not take insulin and manages to keep his A1C within 7.1 to 6.9. He weighs 207 pounds, and he's 6 feet, 1 inch tall and 75 years old.

His bloodwork always ...Read more

People of all ages are susceptible to HPV infection

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column stating that the HPV vaccine is recommended up to age 45. Are people older than 45 years no longer susceptible to HPV? Asking for a 52-year-old friend (who thinks he's Wolverine). -- C.F.

ANSWER: Wolverine has a mutant healing ability (that's how he was able to survive having his bones replaced with ...Read more

How do you find prostate cancer without screening for it?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Every year, I used to get a physical, which included a prostate exam as well as blood tests with PSA. When my doctor retired, I had a hard time finding a new one I liked. It has been three or four years since my prostate was checked, but my new doctor doesn't do the prostate exams (I am 63). He says that recent studies do not ...Read more

Heart wall can thicken in response to high blood pressure

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What is the difference between eccentric LVH and concentric LVH? Which one is more dangerous and needs more attention? My mother was diagnosed with severe eccentric LVH for body surface area with adequate systolic and diastolic functions. What does that mean? -- C.F.

ANSWER: The left ventricle is the chamber of the heart that ...Read more

Tardive dyskinesia involves uncontrolled facial movements

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a 67-year-old sister who has several medical issues. One of the more uncommon is called tardive dyskinesia. Most people have never heard of this, myself included, until my sister came down with it. I wonder if you could write about this and explain the different medications that would help. The medications she is on are ...Read more

High cost of Premarin has reader looking for cheaper solution

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column from the woman with vaginal atrophy. I am experiencing the same problem. The next problem is that a small tube of Premarin cream is $250. I'm wondering if progesterone cream applied topically can do any good. I'm currently using an OTC moisturizer. I can't afford the $250 Premarin, and there is no ...Read more

Surgery is a valid treatment for obstructive sleep apnea

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My son, who is 30 years old, was recently diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea and currently uses a CPAP machine. He says does not want to use this for the rest of his life, therefore, he has researched surgery to correct his OSA. Recently he consulted with a sleep expert, and now has surgery scheduled with that doctor. ...Read more

Dietary fiber is a safe long-term treatment for constipation

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old woman who takes no medications. I have had two cases of diverticulitis, neither of which required hospitalization. I tend toward constipation. For years I have taken psyllium capsules -- five in the morning and five in the afternoon. This has helped me a lot. Do you feel there is any reason to be concerned ...Read more

Dietitian is the ideal resource for nutritional assessment

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a female in my 60s and have always had trouble sustaining my weight. I have frequent thorough checkups because I had cancer in the past, but no problems have been identified. Since I have a history of cancer, I am very careful about what I eat -- mostly whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and only small amounts...Read more

Consider sexual health when weighing cancer treatment options

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a dilemma. I'm a 68-year-old, sexually active woman just diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer (1.2 cm, tumor grade 1, ER and PR positive, HER2 negative, Ki67 at 5%-10%). I am planning to get a lumpectomy, no problem. No exam yet of lymph nodes. But I am very concerned about follow-up treatment. Now, I understand that ...Read more

Estrogen insert may help loss of urine from stress and urgency

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 83-year-old female with bladder problems. I get up two or three times a night and usually make it to the bathroom. I thought it would be good to see a doctor in case the problem got worse. An operation was mentioned, which I am not interested in, so they gave me a pessary, which has been good and bad.

It is comfortable ...Read more

Epley maneuver repositions ear crystals, alleviating vertigo

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 67-year-old male in excellent physical health. The only issue I have is occasional bouts of vertigo. These episodes started when I was about 44 years old. My symptoms are varying degrees of dizziness and, with extreme episodes, nausea. The frequency has increased the past couple of years to about every two weeks.

I do the...Read more

Avoiding unnecessary antibiotics benefits individual and community

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you made a point about antibiotic overuse that I hadn't heard before: "The antibiotics will be more effective when you do choose to use them." I thought the argument against overuse was strictly altruistic, that overuse increases the prevalence of drug resistant disease strains in the general population. I'd ...Read more

For unrelenting acid reflux, there are surgical alternatives

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old female who has suffered from acid reflux for many years and has been taking Prilosec (omeprazole) for at least 15 years. I have heard that it is not meant for longtime use. If I don't take it, I have such heartburn I can't sleep and am in misery all day and night. I recently attended a seminar on the new LINX ...Read more

Reader looking for alternative to prescription antidepressant

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I suffer from depression. It comes and goes, but I've been feeling sad, worried and angry at the world, as well as irritable, for the past four months or so. I force myself to function. My family doctor prescribed Effexor. He prescribed a 37.5 mg dose once a day to start and after one week, twice a day. I looked up the side ...Read more

Concerns about number of antigens in vaccines is unwarranted

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: You mentioned in a recent column that there is no single-dose measles vaccine. I understand that there are people who object to the MMR combo in the belief that it exposes the child to too many antigens at once. Here is a quote from the website: "Each vaccine in the childhood vaccination schedule has between 1-69 antigens...Read more


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