Health Advice



X-rays are the best bet for an exact diagnosis of arthritis

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: How do I know if I have arthritis? My left leg makes a slight cracking noise in my knee when I walk down the stairs, but no pain. However, when I go for a long drive, I limp when getting out of the car, which kind of goes away and does not hurt my knee. Long walks also bother me. When I went to a specialist, he said I needed ...Read more

Positive T-SPOT blood test brings result of latent tuberculosis

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a tuberculosis (TB) skin test for my new job in May, and it was negative. They did a blood test in July. I have a question about a positive T-SPOT blood test for TB. They did a chest X-ray, and it shows nothing wrong. Is there any treatment necessary? I haven't been told of any, but from what I read, it could be latent TB, ...Read more

Antigens after COVID remain in system, but aren't infectious

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Will I continue to test positive for COVID-19 antigens even after I recover from the virus? I tested positive using the free, at-home COVID-19 antigen self-test a week ago, and I tested positive again yesterday. Once you have the antigens in your system, don't they stay there for a while? -- R.L.M.

ANSWER: It is frequent that ...Read more

Psychiatrist won't give up a patient's list of medications

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My sister has asked her psychiatrist for a list of the medications she has been on during the past few years. She would like to try a new one, as she is crying constantly and seems disoriented. He won't explore changing meds and also won't give her the list, claiming he hasn't got the time. Isn't it illegal not to give her this ...Read more

Family history of breast cancer prompts man to get examined

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My mother and both of her sisters had breast cancer in their 30s, with my mother eventually passing after her third bout at age 43. They all grew up in the same house that I grew up in. I'm now a 34-year-old father of three small children. I don't want to die early because of them, but the generalized advice I'm seeing is that I ...Read more

Breast implants might be correlated to extremely rare cancers

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently caught a quick news headline on breast cancer stating that there are now findings of cancer in women who have had breast implants. What can you tell us about these new findings and studies?

Any updated information about breast cancer for women with implants would be appreciated by many who have implants themselves and...Read more

A previous restriction on donating blood is now lifted

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I used to give blood regularly. While in the Air Force, I was stationed in England for four years in the early 1980s. Sometime in the 1990s, I was told that due to concern about mad cow disease, I would no longer be able to donate. Is that still true? If so, what do people in the United Kingdom do, since it would seem no one ...Read more

Know the history behind the use of PSA tests for the prostate

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column concerning the fellow who was reluctant to go to a doctor regarding his prostate. I'm very curious why the PSA is now considered a legitimate test for prostate problems. I distinctly recall a discussion on the radio with a doctor about 25 or 30 years ago, in which it was carefully explained why the PSA ...Read more

COVID vaccine unrelated to sudden loss of hearing

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My friend lost hearing in one of her ears after a vertigo and dizziness spell a few months ago, when she also noted tinnitus. Her hearing issues have not resolved, unfortunately. Given some anecdotal reports of issues like this happening after receiving a COVID vaccine, she is wondering whether to get the new booster or not. She ...Read more

Immunological therapy more reasonable for case of lymphoma

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 86-year-old woman who was recently diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, stage 3A. It was discovered on a CAT scan when I went to the ER for diverticulitis. I have no symptoms. The doctor did a biopsy to confirm, and I had a PET scan as well. I feel good otherwise. I am only on blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

...Read more

AREDS vitamins do not have any effect on glaucoma

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old male in good health who was told this week that my eyes have shown the beginning of glaucoma. There is no change in my 20/20 vision yet. In 2014, I had cataract surgery in both eyes. Is there any evidence that AREDS 2 vitamins (special eye vitamins) will do anything to moderate the effects of glaucoma? -- R.C. ...Read more

Nitric oxide nasal spray might be effective for avoiding COVID

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A doctor friend suggested I purchase a nitric oxide nasal spray from Israel. She suggested using it when eating out or hanging out with friends maskless. Do you have an opinion about its efficacy? I got the most recent booster and a flu shot. The reason I'm concerned is that I see an uptick in people around me getting COVID for ...Read more

Blood thinner used during surgery causes a fatal reaction

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A good friend of mine experienced what appeared to be a mild heart attack and went to his physician to have it checked out immediately. The tests found acute blockages in the arteries around his heart, and his doctors performed a triple-bypass heart surgery two days later.

My friend came through the procedure just fine, but by ...Read more

Cholesterol medications produce rare side effect of nightmares

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 64. I started taking statins to lower my cholesterol about two years ago. My cholesterol level sometimes went over 200, and after seesawing results, my doctor advised that I was unable to maintain a low cholesterol by diet alone and prescribed a statin. I took 10 mg of atorvastatin. I noticed I started having very detailed ...Read more

Supplements taken at lower doses won't adversely affect health

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a healthy 46-year-old woman who exercises daily for health, strength and stress relief. I also want to stay relatively lean. In order to maintain muscle mass and control fat, I've been advised consistently (by a Ph.D. nutritionist and a couple of "nutrition coach" trainers) to take one gram of protein per pound of body ...Read more

Osteoporosis meds must be paused before oral surgery

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Help! I am caught in a feud between my primary care doctor and my oral surgeon. For a number of years, I have been on Prolia for osteopenia. About a year ago, I had to have a tooth pulled; my oral surgeon said I must be off Prolia for at least four months; my doctor disagreed, saying it is more risky to stop the Prolia. I feel a ...Read more

Price of Restasis eye drops jumps 200% in just one year

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife, who's 72, has had very dry eyes for a long time, so she uses Restasis (cyclosporine emulsion 0.05%) eye drops. Her co-pay (after meeting the deductible) last year was around $150 for a three-month supply. This year, it is around $450 (only a small change in the deductible with the same part D insurance provider), and she...Read more

How to handle a trigger finger diagnosis

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My healthy 91-year-old mother recently discovered that she has a diagnosis of trigger finger. She is hesitant to do surgery, but is hoping for more mobility in her hand. What are some of the best options for an independent woman at her age? -- M.B.

ANSWER: Stenosing flexor tenosynovitis, more commonly known as "trigger finger," ...Read more

Boogie boarding is OK in moderation after knee surgery

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have arthritis in both knees, but otherwise, I'm in good health (I'm 5'6" and weigh 130 pounds). My Fitbit indicates I get about 9,000 steps per day. I am ready for knee replacement, but I'm concerned about one activity I do. We usually spend two consecutive weeks at the beach, and I love to boogie board. When the tide is ...Read more

Radiofrequency ablation considerably lessens back pain

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I suffered a lower back injury in 2001, with crushed and bulging discs in the L2, L3, L4 and L5 vertebras. After over a year of physical therapy and drugs, my pain doctor tried an epidural injection, which did not work, and then suggested I try something new at that time called a radiofrequency ablation, also called a lumbar ...Read more



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