Health Advice

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Health

Cause of UTIs needs to be proven by urine culture

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have chronic urinary tract infections. I am 79 and suffer from it often. I frequently go to the bathroom five to six times per night. If I'm lucky, I'll get two or three hours of sleep. In addition, I feel sharp pains going up my vagina, and I have vaginal dryness.

I have been prescribed estradiol cream, which I use with ...Read more

Medication for low blood pressure not necessary

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband, 75, has low blood pressure. His cardiologist has given us a blood pressure monitor to use at home every morning, and the readings are sent directly to the doctor's office. His readings vary anywhere from 98/62 to more normal readings such as 116/70, but most are on the lower side, closer to 98 to 105 for the top ...Read more

Is high CRP cause for concern?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: For the past six years, every time I have my annual labs done, my CRP has been very high. Normal range is listed as 0-3 mg/L. My results have consistently been 7-10 mg/L or more. When I express concern that this is listed as putting me at high risk for a cardiac event, I am always brushed off and told I just have internal ...Read more

Hyaluronic acid safe to use for vaginal atrophy

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 74-year-old female, currently in good health. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 54, and stage 2B (ER positive, HER-2 negative) breast cancer at age 65, with lumpectomy and radiation. I am six months away from completing 10 years of Arimidex.

Two years ago, my gynecologist prescribed Vagifem for severe vaginal atrophy. ...Read more

Hair loss most likely temporary

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last summer I had two abdominal surgeries, which were very traumatic (total of 17 days in the hospital), as well as severe pain and a very difficult recuperation. Approximately three months later, my hair started falling out. It is now so short and so thin. My doctor said it is "telogen effluvium," and is a result of the trauma ...Read more

Fainting is more likely as we age

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I recently fainted for the first time in my life, requiring a trip to the emergency room. There I was diagnosed with acute syncope. I am 95 years old and in pretty good health, with my numbers being all good. My blood pressure and heart rate are fine. I walk and exercise a little every day, and I have had three cardiac stents. ...Read more

Double tinnitus is not an indication of brain damage

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: Years ago, when I was in combat, there was a very close explosion. The blast hit my left side and I almost immediately noticed hearing a very mild ringing noise in my left ear. Within a short period of time, it became louder and constant. Through research, I deduced that I had tinnitus. My question is this: Sometimes I hear two ...Read more

It is possible to find relief from back pain in a TENS unit

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I have spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease, along with scoliosis from childhood polio. A few weeks ago, I developed sciatica and started a course of physical therapy, but quit halfway through because it seemed to make the pain much worse. The therapist recommended I try a TENS unit. Does a TENS unit help with sciatica? ...Read more

The effectiveness of vaccines is complicated

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I was wondering if you could explain why some vaccinations seem to completely protect against a disease, while others do not. For example, smallpox was completely eradicated by vaccination, and the hepatitis B vaccine is good for life and 98% to 100% effective, according to the World Health Organization. Yet we need to have the ...Read more

Decongestants: a cause and cure for blocked eustachian tubes

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: At a recent visit with my ear, nose and throat doctor, he commented that frequent use of antihistamines with decongestants can lead to blocked eustachian tubes. Is that statement correct?

I live where the humidity is often above 75%, and I use over-the-counter antihistamines with decongestants nearly every day. Otherwise, I ...Read more

You aren't absorbing all the salt in a saltwater hot tub

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am wondering if the claims of the health benefits from the manufacturers of saltwater hot tubs are factual.

My blood pressure reading was high, and it was suggested by my doctor to watch my salt intake. After reading the labels on food products, the sodium was very significant in most items. Since then, I have been able to ...Read more

Here's what happens after a high PSA result

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Doctor Roach: I'm a 91-year-old male who has had excellent health all of my life. I'm very active for my age, as I play golf twice a week, workout at the local gym once or twice a week and walk about 1/2 mile once to twice a week, including a rather steep grade.

At my recent annual physical exam, my blood test showed everything was normal ...Read more

Asthmatic's nasal polyps persist despite surgery

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I have suffered from asthma and nasal polyps for more than 20 years. The asthma is controlled, and I mention it only because it might have some connection with my polyps. The polyps get so bad that both sides of my nose are blocked, and I have to breathe through my mouth. It is miserable. I have had three surgeries to remove ...Read more

Restlessness doesn't count toward your optimal sleep time

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I read that seniors are strongly advised to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. While I am in bed for that time, nature calls once or twice a night, and I have some difficulty getting back to sleep. So if I am resting while trying to get back to sleep -- say, 20% of an eight-hour night -- does that meet the sleep advisory?...Read more

This common steroid can have a big effect on blood sugar

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in March 2020. We recently learned on our own that prednisone greatly affects blood sugar. This needs to be more common knowledge. We found this out when my son's blood sugar was averaging 250 a day, 100 more than usual. We called his endocrinologist, who temporarily increased his pump ...Read more

To replace hormones or not

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I need some guidance on the use of estradiol. I have been taking a low dose (1 mg) for the past 15 years, following a hysterectomy and oophorectomy. My doctor said I needed it to provide the estrogen once provided by my ovaries that he had just removed. At the time I was also suffering from menopause symptoms such as night sweats...Read more

Definitive therapy reasonable for this patient

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: What is the endgame of hyperthyroidism? I am a 54-year-old female, diagnosed in September 2020 with hyperthyroidism due to Graves' disease. My endocrinologist started me on 10 mg of methimazole and 100 mg of metoprolol daily (my heart rate was above 100 beats per minute).

I have bloodwork done quarterly. My thyroid-related ...Read more

Period of increased urination may follow chaotic heartbeats

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I am a woman, 74 years old and in fair health. Eight years ago I had surgery for lung cancer. The first night after, I was told I had atrial fibrillation due to the surgery being so close to the heart. I was started on metoprolol. Every now and then I would feel that my heart skipped a beat. My pulse was usually normal, and my ...Read more

Time to check lungs and blood for cause of shortness of breath

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Dear Dr. Roach: I am an 82-year-old male and started experiencing shortness of breath about 14 months ago. The condition continues to deteriorate. I've had an echo stress test, nuclear stress test, pulmonary test, chest X-ray and CT scans, all coming back negative. Recently, a cardiac CT scan showed blockage in two arteries: 70% in one and 80% ...Read more

 

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