DEAR DR. ROACH: In all the warnings you see for prescription drugs on TV and in print, it seems like a disproportionally high number of them have some tie-in to tuberculosis. They say to get tested for it and don't take the medicine if you've had it or if you know someone who had it. Regular over-the-counter drugs don't seem to have this ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 65-year-old female who does not take any medication. During my latest exam, the eye doctor said I may have a dry-eye issue and recommended using some lubricating eyedrops. I have no problem with that, but he also suggested taking a 1,000-mg omega-3 (fish oil) capsule twice a day. I would appreciate your opinion if there is...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can taking a 325-mg aspirin daily cause a normal person to become anemic through slow internal bleeding? If so, will stopping the aspirin resolve the bleeding problem? -- L.K.
ANSWER: Aspirin does increase risk of bleeding, and there have been many people who have had the exact scenario you describe, with slow bleeding (slow ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Like many men, I have been taking 81-mg aspirin for decades. I recently saw a report indicating that not only is it not helpful, but that it actually can increase the risk of internal bleeding and the likelihood of death from cancer. What is your advice on the wisdom of continuing to take the aspirin? -- T.M.
ANSWER: Aspirin has...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you described symptoms of malabsorption as weight loss, diarrhea and abdominal discomfort. My doctors have never mentioned this as a possible diagnosis. Is there anything to do for it other than avoiding high FODMAP foods (which I have been trying to do)? At times, I fear that I am not getting proper ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am writing to you on behalf of my cousin, an 83-year-old female, 5 feet tall, weighing 100 pounds. She takes only vitamin D. Her blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., all are within the normal ranges. However, she has osteoarthritis in her knees and lower back. Ibuprofen sometimes helps a bit, but she would like more relief during...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you please address the benefits and safety of taking an oral collagen supplement. I am confused, as there are so many collagen products on the market professing miraculous results with regard to diminishing or preventing wrinkles, strengthening the nails and hair, and helping with joint pain. I have been taking a ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 70, Caucasian and slim. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis five years ago. Before that, I took Fosamax for five years. The only things I take are 1,000 mg calcium citrate, 3 mg boron and a multivitamin containing 2,000 IU vitamin D. An X-ray showed three compression fractured vertebra. I read that taking more than 1,000 IU of ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have allergies and am congested a lot at night. I have read about over-the-counter clips and adhesive tapes. Would they help me breathe better? Are they safe for the long term? -- M.V.M.
ANSWER: There are many different types of external devices that are designed to open the nasal passages during sleep to make breathing easier...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old male in good health with a 3.3-centimeter aneurysm in my internal iliac artery. I have no symptoms. It was 1.9 cm eight years ago.
My physician says that an aneurysm measuring over 3 cm requires surgical intervention. I have looked at recent studies that say an aneurysm measuring less than 4 cm can be safely ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently have been diagnosed with early prostate cancer. My Gleason score is 7. My urologist has informed me that he doesn't think I am a good candidate for surgery, due to having atrial fibrillation. My radiation oncologist has recommended traditional radiation therapy. However, I am worried about the possible side effects. I ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter has been dating a man who is diabetic but is not diligent about his diet. He is outwardly in good health, in that he runs competitively and bicycles in races, but sometimes he has blood sugar readings of 300 plus. He loves a diet of meat, sauces, and rich and sugary foods, and is trying to cut back, but not very hard....Read more
DEAR DR ROACH: I recently had my yearly physical with my primary care doctor of 10 years. I am a male, 75, who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 152 pounds.
He sent me my lab results and commented: "Your A1c (5.8) was in the prediabetic range of 5.8-6.4. Please remove all grains/breads/carbs/sugars and processed food from your diet and ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I had polio when I was 11 years old, many years ago, and miraculously, recovered enough to live a normal life. When I was in my 40s, I developed constant back pain and visited a renowned orthopedist in Stamford, Connecticut. When I told him I'd had polio, he rolled up a paper towel and placed it under my right heel. He told me ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I wonder if you could comment on the negative side effects of various blood pressure medications for those over 65 -- particularly folks who are 80-plus.
Should a person be on more than two medications if one's blood pressure is generally 150-160/70-80? Does the answer change if the person also has chronic atrial fibrillation?
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 82-year-old husband was diagnosed with H. pylori and was treated with two antibiotics and omeprazole. Would you please expand on what exactly H. pylori is? -- T.R.
ANSWER: Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria species that is able to live in the stomach. It was identified in a paper from 1984 and is now recognized as a major ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My teens keep smoking all these flavored, ethereal wand vapors. They claim it tastes good and even try tricks with the vapor. I'm a concerned parent as I hear these are dangerous magic cigarettes. I would like to know more about them and get your advice on how to deal with these unruly teens. -- H.R.
ANSWER: Vaping has become ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I've read mixed reviews as to whether the flu shot can contribute to Alzheimer's disease. I'm anxious to see your input. -- J.W.
ANSWER: There is no reliable evidence, nor any good biological plausibility, that influenza vaccination increases the risk of either Alzheimer's disease or other types of dementia. In fact, there are ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Should people with Lyme disease avoid the flu shot? -- L.A.
ANSWER: Lyme disease is a potentially serious infection caused by the bacteria Borrellia burgorferi, passed on by a tick bite. Lyme disease can go unrecognized for a period of time, especially when the classic rash is not present, which is not uncommon. Without prompt ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: Is there such a thing as male menopause, with the associated hot flashes? My problem is hot flashes. I am a 93-year-old male in fairly good health; I am active, but not enough, though I maintain a year-round garden. I've beaten prostate cancer with a cryogenic procedure at the turn of the century and had a couple of hernia ...Read more