Health & Spirit

Vaccines are recommended for patients with no spleen

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had surgery last year to remove my spleen and three-fourths of my pancreas. I had numerous vaccines before and after the surgery. Now I've been told that I need the pneumonia vaccine and the flu shot, neither of which I want after all the other things that I have been given. I'm really torn, as I am trying to put only safe ...Read more

Though rare, medication can be cause of ED

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 77-year-old man who has had erectile dysfunction for eight years. I have been on the following medications for over 12 years: atenolol, lisinopril and amlodipine for high blood pressure; metformin and glipizide for Type 2 diabetes. Recent lab results have shown normal testosterone level, A1C reading of 6 and BP of 128/78. ...Read more

Decongestion therapy for lymphatic drainage is best practice

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have lymphedema in my right leg. From the knee to the bottom of my foot, my leg is swollen and red, and always in pain. I've had it for over two years. I've seen several different doctors, with no help. They say that if they knew what is causing it, maybe they could do something. Help. -- S.G.

ANSWER: Lymphedema is a condition...Read more

Sandfly bites cause big trouble for newly married couple

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Two months after our daughter and son-in-law came back from their honeymoon in Belize, they have sores that still will not heal. She has two sores on her hand; he has three on the right side of his body. After a biopsy, they have been diagnosed with Leishmaniasis. Their dermatologist is referring them to an infectious disease ...Read more

When starting a new medication, watch for new symptoms

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 47-year-old male taking the following prescriptions: venlafaxine, buspirone and gemfibrozil. I am in excellent health with no other issues. I started all the meds at the same time, approximately six years ago. My concern is that my short-term memory is horrible. It started at about the same time. I forget things quickly, ...Read more

Marijuana itself not an ideal anxiety treatment option

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am hoping you can weigh in on the use of cannibidiol (hemp-derived) for managing anxiety. My son has diagnoses of major depression and ADD. He has done a lot of online research and is interested in using CBD to manage periods where his anxiety is elevated, as he does not like the side effects of the typical pharma meds. We were...Read more

Without pancreas, fat passes all the way through the body

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 57 and generally in good health. My doctor diagnosed me with chronic pancreatitis, after I had weight loss with diarrhea, and was found to have fat in my stool. The CT scan showed that I have a 12-mm stone blocking my pancreatic duct. He said I have chronic pancreatitis. My doctor says I need surgery to remove the stone.

Is...Read more

Even excessive calorie intake can't help reader regain weight

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 66 and have always been in good health. I walk four or five times a week and do mild weight training two or three times a week. I eat a very healthy diet.

I have low testosterone (339). My symptoms are insomnia, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction, anxiety and weight loss. I cannot maintain my weight. My normal weight is ...Read more

Patients must understand test results in order to take action

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old woman in good health. In July 2015, I experienced some short-term confusion and muddled thinking after several days of a high fever (102 degrees). I went to a neurologist, thinking I might have had a TIA.

The doctor ordered an MRI, and told me that the results were normal, and that my symptoms likely were due ...Read more

Goal of therapy for tinnitus is to lessen symptoms

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My son has had tinnitus for many years now, probably from listening to loud music. He is now 47. Can you recommend any natural ways to lessen symptoms? -- E.M.

ANSWER: Tinnitus is a sensation of sound when there is no external source of sound. It usually is perceived as being in the head, and is often described as a ringing, ...Read more

A high antibody count for chickenpox doesn't equal shingles immunity

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a female and 66 years of age. I had a varicella zoster blood test a couple of years ago to see if I had ever had chickenpox, because I had concerns about getting the shingles shot. (I had my first-ever flu shot quite a few years ago, and am convinced that I reacted badly, coming down with a severe case of the flu within a ...Read more

A pill may not always be the solution to medical woes

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I love my doctor. He is very caring. But why do doctors feel they must always give you a prescription if you visit? When I go to see my doctor, it is because something in my body isn't right and I want to know what it is. If he has a diagnosis and has medicine to "cure" me, fine. If he doesn't know, that's OK; I'll deal with the ...Read more

Rhabdomyolysis is an uncommon peril of extreme workouts

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last night, I was watching a reality show on TV. A 20-something woman was at the hospital complaining of sore muscles and an inability to lift her arms. She reported that she had previously worked out two days in a row at a gym. It was her first time at a gym. The ER doc ran some blood tests and told her that, on a particular ...Read more

Living with a thoracic aneurism

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 81-year-old woman and have had high blood pressure and high cholesterol for 30 years (I have a strong family history). I had a stroke in 2015 and, fortunately, I am still independent in my life. I take medication on time, walk one hour every day and eat a healthy diet. I've tried everything to be "good." However, recently...Read more

Is it better to treat based on symptoms or test results?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 57 and just starting menopause. I was on birth-control pills for 40 years. I currently take no medications. My TSH level is slightly elevated (5.50) under the new standards. T3 and T4 are both normal. My doctor wants to put me on thyroid medication. He asked me about all the symptoms, and I have none except for the high ...Read more

Salt and water regulation in the body derailed by SIADH

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 75-year-old male who is 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighs 195 pounds. I had a heart attack 20 years ago, and I was warned to cut down my salt intake. From that time on, I stopped using table salt and carefully selected foods with low salt content.

Eighteen months ago, I had an incident where I had confusion and passed out. ...Read more

Rapid changes in balance should prompt swift doctor visit

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old white male. I work full time as a veterinarian, teach two aerobics classes and take a weekly class for strength training. In the past three weeks, I have fallen twice -- once just walking in the airport. It was sudden and scary. Over the past five to six months I have noticed a loss of balance greater than what...Read more

Hereditary lung blebs won't multiply and take over

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an active 68-year-old man in good health. I am thin, but not very tall. I am 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weigh about 170 pounds.

In the past five years, I have had three recurrences of spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung); the first happened when I was in my 20s. None was very serious, and they all reinflated without ...Read more

Look to physician, not nutrition, for cause of low blood cell count

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 90 years old and in good health. I recently saw my doctor and had abnormal blood test results. My white cell count was 2.1, my hemoglobin 9.5 and my hematocrit was 29 percent. Is there any kind of vitamin or food I can take to raise these levels? -- M.A.

ANSWER: Both your white blood cells and red blood cells are abnormally...Read more

New baby? Yes, family members' vaccinations matter

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm expecting a baby in a few months, and my doctor told me that everyone who will come into contact with her must get the Tdap vaccine. If some family members don't get it, should I keep them from meeting the baby until she's old enough to be fully vaccinated? -- H.C.

ANSWER: Hope and congratulations are in order. May your baby...Read more

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