Health Advice





Beware false cancer cures on social media

Medical hoaxes have been around for ages. The British Medical Journal even published one: In 1974, a brief case report titled "Cello Scrotum" claimed that the hard-to-sit-down condition happened -- and only to male cello players. And in the early 2000s, the more-dangerous psychic surgery fad was said to work when practitioners used slight of ...Read more

Sleep monitor subtracts restless minutes in sleep time

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In one of your columns, someone asked if it was helpful to just rest during the night, and how did that compare to sleeping if one is unable to sleep.

You said just resting was not that helpful, that one really needed sleep. I wanted to ask about "restless" minutes as recorded by a fitness watch. Restless minutes are separated ...Read more

Making sure your natural-gas stove isn't toxic

There are more than 8 billion people in the world, and each one passes gas about 13 to 21 times a day, mostly odor-free, containing nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane -- and sometimes smelly hydrogen sulfide. That's one form of natural gas.

The other is the natural gas that may power your stove, furnace or water heater. ...Read more

Upper body strength remains stagnant after rotator cuff injury

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been trying to increase my upper body strength, but am having difficulties. I am almost 70 and female, and have been moderately active. I exercise daily for 30 minutes using a stationary bike or a treadmill. I injured my rotator cuff last summer playing an exercise video game. There is hardware from a previous surgery for ...Read more

Diabetes Quick Fix: Mussels in Garlic Tomato Broth

Health Advice / Health Advice /

Mussels steamed in a garlic, tomato and white wine broth are easy and inexpensive to make. Store the mussels in the refrigerator. The commercially raised mussels available today are cleaner than they used to be. Just wash them in cold water before using. Scrape off the beard or thin hairs along the shell. If any mussels are open, tap them gently...Read more

Cannabis users end up in the ER more often than nonusers

When Cheech and Chong sing "I'm in Love with Marijuana, Makes Me Feel Just Like an Iguana," it might be smart to ask if those two slightly addled hippies could actually leap safely from branch to branch or plummet 40 feet from a tree to the ground without injury, as the wily reptile can do.

A study in BMJ Open Respiratory Research indicates ...Read more

Continued use of Bactrim creates a resistance in treatment

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH:As a 90-year-old man in mostly good health, I have been taking one Bactrim (sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim) pill per day for several years now preventatively for recurrent urinary tract infections. I am very pleased with this successful treatment. However, my urologist has mentioned that I might have to relinquish the Bactrim at ...Read more

Nutrition News: Shake No More

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

You probably know that extra salt isn't healthy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Most of us get upwards of 3,300 milligrams per day. It's true that most of that sodium comes from processed foods like hot dogs, bacon, sausage, canned foods, condiments, cheese, pickles and chips.

...Read more

On Nutrition: Is going meat-free the answer to climate change?

Health Advice / Nutrition /

When it comes to climate change, are cows as bad as cars? Probably not, says Dr. Frank Mitloehner, University of California, Davis researcher and air quality specialist. He asserts that meat and dairy animals are not major drivers of climate change and they might well be part of the solution.

Wait, what?

People have many reasons to limit or ...Read more

Vaccines are still effective against new COVID variants

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I would like to ask you a basic question about COVID-19 booster shots, since no health authority seems to answer it directly. Why should I get a booster if the booster is based on the original alpha version of the virus from more than two years ago? Even if the booster shot were based on the delta variant, that variant passed ...Read more

Getting un-stoned

As of June 2022, 38 states have legalized the medical use of cannabis to varying degrees, according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; 19 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized it for recreational use.

That's a lot of stoned people, potentially, but nowhere as many as those who contend on a regular basis...Read more

How old do you feel?

Mark Twain said, "Age is a matter of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter." Now, the importance of a good attitude may seem like a platitude, but research clearly shows that the younger your subjective age, the physically and emotionally healthier you are.

Researchers from Israel recently tracked 194 adults, ages 73 to 84, who...Read more

Explaining the process behind names of medications

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: How do pharmaceutical companies arrive at the names of their drugs? -- M.G.

ANSWER: Every new drug starts with three names: a chemical name, a generic name and a brand name. The chemical name can be extremely long and difficult to remember or pronounce, even for experts. A generic name is meant to convey some information about ...Read more

Sunshine in a Tomato

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Remember the Flavr Savr tomato in the 1980s, the first commercially grown, genetically engineered food to improve shelf life and fungal resistance? Researchers recently reported using gene-editing CRISPR tools to build a tomato richer in vitamin D, which could help people who do not get enough of the vitamin from other enriched foods or ...Read more

Help your teens get more exercise

Fifteen-year-old Katie Ledecky won gold in the 2012 London Olympics' 800-meter freestyle event. Tiger Woods won the U.S. Junior Amateur tournament at ages 15, 16 and 17. Jennifer Capriati astounded the sports world when, at 14, she made it to the semifinals of the French Open and to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Inspiring, but not to other ...Read more

Virus damages heart muscle, causing congestive heart failure

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your recent column on long-haul effects in COVID compared to the flu. About 14 years ago, a young neighbor caught some kind of virus. His wife said he was never the same after that. He was in his mid-40s. There were several fundraisers in the area to try to raise money for the young family. He needed a heart transplant and...Read more

The lowdown on high-fructose corn syrup and your liver

Jose Andres, the chef who runs World Central Kitchen, has delivered more than 30,000 meals to Ukrainian families in need. And he makes sure it's nutritious. "As a chef and father," he's said, "it kills me that children are fed processed foods, fast food clones, foods loaded with preservatives and high-fructose corn syrup."

High-fructose corn ...Read more

Magnesium might be the cause of underlying bowel issues

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 72-year-old woman in good health, but I have been plagued for years with muscle cramps and spasms in my legs. My physical therapist suggested magnesium supplements. I have been taking these supplements for about four years with good results.

About a year ago, I started having very loose bowel movements. To ease that, I ...Read more

On Nutrition: Sorting the facts

Health Advice / Nutrition /

I have a very nice patient who comes to appointments with questions about everything except his main medical problem. These are from his last visit:

“My sister told me not to drink diet sodas because they have toxic chemicals. I’ve heard pasta is really bad for you. Eating meat is not good for the environment, right?”

So, are these ...Read more

Diabetes Quick Fix: Savory Sage Chicken with Zucchini and Tomato Rice

Health Advice / Health Advice /

Chicken dusted with a sage coating is flavored with a vermouth sauce for this quick dinner. The vermouth adds flavor without fuss.

Helpful Hints:

— You can substitute white wine for vermouth.

— Make sure your bottle of dried herb is less than 6 months old.


— Prepare all ingredients.

— Start rice.

— Make chicken.

— ...Read more