Health Advice



Dysplasic mole increases future risk of melanoma

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently went to my dermatologist because I noticed a dark mole I hadn't seen before. He did a biopsy, and it was called a "moderately dysplastic nevus." He recommended removal, which was done right away. During the appointment he mentioned that I am now at greater risk for melanoma, even though I have no family history of ...Read more

Long COVID refers to symptoms, not transmission of virus

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

Long COVID refers to symptoms, not transmission of virus

DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you elaborate on "long COVID"? Specifically, do people experiencing long COVID carry the virus for an extended period? Are they contagious during long COVID, or does the term refer to lingering symptoms but not necessarily testing positive? -- S.E.

ANSWER: People with...Read more

COVID vaccine OK for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter is still nursing her 10-month-old son. She decided to get the Pfizer vaccine and continue breastfeeding. Her doctor did not advise her against it. Do you have an opinion or more information about this matter? I've read that COVID antibodies are present in breastmilk. -- B.H.

ANSWER: COVID-19 vaccination is ...Read more

Excessive alcohol consumption negatively impacts COVID risks

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently, in the middle of all the news about the newly circulating delta COVID-19 variant, a friend of mine flew to Mexico with her husband and teenage daughter for a five-day resort vacation. After she returned, she went to an outdoor concert with a group of friends, and the following day went to an indoor event with several ...Read more

Drooling in older people has many causes

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DR. ROACH: My friend is taking care of his 89-year-old mother. She has been drooling for the past two years or so. I read that aging causes muscles used for swallowing to become weaker and causes dysphagia, which in turn causes drooling. Is this true? -- G.P.

ANSWER: Drooling in older people is a common problem that, in addition to being ...Read more

What could be the cause of sudden osteonecrosis in knee?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old Caucasian woman with newly found necrosis of the knee bone, along with a fracture. I do not have diabetes, but I received a month of steroids last November when I had COVID. I also use Adair daily for asthma. I am scheduled for total knee replacement this coming October. My primary care doctor, my orthopedist ...Read more

Male breast growth could be the result of low testosterone

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old male who has been experiencing an increase in breast size (slightly more on the left than the right) over the past year. I am healthy and have taken no medications for the past six months except sildenafil, on an as-needed basis. I am approximately 10-15 pounds overweight, but exercise regularly. Because of ...Read more

Shedding after vaccine? No. Asyptomatic and contagious? Yes

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you wrote that there is no risk to family from shedding after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. You failed to mention that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the grandparents could catch COVID and spread it even after being fully vaccinated. Also, according to the CDC, they might be ...Read more

The difference between the common cold and the delta variant

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you explain the difference between the delta variant and the common cold? How is one to know if an illness is the common cold with cough for weeks or the virus! -- Anon.

ANSWER: The virus that causes COVID-19 -- SARS-CoV-2 -- is a coronavirus that can cause many different symptoms, some of which are similar to the cold. ...Read more

Viagra and any form of nitroglycerine do not mix!

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband is taking Eliquis 5 mg (half a tab daily). He has had erectile dysfunction for 15 to 20 years and is 78 years old. Since we are in a new marriage, he obtained Viagra in Mexico. His cardiologist would not prescribe it. What precautions should he take or symptoms to look for when he starts taking it? He also takes ...Read more

Guillain-Barre syndrome is an autoimmune response

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have multiple sclerosis, Addison's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. I am on steroids daily as well as potent immunosuppressives. In November 2013, I received a flu shot, and 10 days later I came down with Guillain-Barre syndrome. I was paralyzed for six months. Half of my doctors say I should take the COVID vaccine; the...Read more

Order matters when it comes to taking pneumonia vaccines

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor recommended both pneumococcal vaccines for me. He recommended the PCV-13 (Prevnar) first, followed two months later by the PPSV-23 (Pneumovax). He also told me that if I had them in the reverse order, I would have had to wait a full year between the shots, not just two months. Why is that? -- R.S.

ANSWER: I'm afraid ...Read more

Wine is not a health food

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have read about the benefits of having a glass of wine per day for women, or two glasses for men. Can you please tell me how your health will be affected if you have more? My husband often drinks a bottle of wine a night, and if we go out he will have cocktails as well. -- Anon.

ANSWER: I wish nobody had ever said that a glass...Read more

Elevation, exercise and compression help fight swollen legs

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have chronic venous insufficiency. My doctor tells me there is nothing for it but compression socks, and I cannot put them on. -- S.G.

ANSWER: Chronic venous insufficiency is a disease of the veins, most commonly in the legs. It's characterized by dilated (varicose) veins, tired or heavy legs, pain and swelling. While there ...Read more

Is there still a case for calcium supplements?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I've been taking calcium supplements for many years to assist in strengthening my bones. I'm 74, weigh less than 95 pounds and stand 5 feet tall. I'm on the verge of osteoporosis, and have been getting Evenity injections for almost a year. Now I'm hearing that calcium supplements may have no value. What's the truth? -- H.

...Read more

Ideal living will includes detailed instructions for care

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: At what point in COVID-19 does a person's do not resuscitate order become an issue? When does treatment become an "exceptional or extraordinary" effort? It would seem that organ transplants, if not coma/prolonged artificial ventilation would qualify. I have never seen anything on this issue. -- R.S.

ANSWER: A do not resuscitate ...Read more

Some hospitals do mandate COVID vaccination for employees

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Why aren't the hospitals nationwide mandating all personnel be COVID vaccinated? I am getting conflicting information. Don't you think the first-line people treating the ill, whether it is to check a patient in to the hospital or a nurse, should have their vaccine in order to work in the hospital? -- K.W.

ANSWER: More and more ...Read more

HIPAA is for insurance company, not employer or business

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am confused about how HIPAA applies to my medical information. Some people are saying they don't have to tell people if they have been vaccinated or not or respond to an employer that is requiring the vaccine to go back to work or to businesses that may require vaccination for entry. I always thought HIPAA applied to doctors ...Read more

Pain of shingles can linger, sometimes for months or years

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old female, and I am in my 10th week of shingles. I have them on my left chest and back (at the bra line!) and on my upper arm. I can't go anywhere because I can't stand when my clothes or bra touches me. I now have severe shooting pains on my arm area, mostly at night but also during the day. The rash on my chest,...Read more



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