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
September is officially designated as Family Meals Month. I've always thought it's funny we need to designate a month for that. I grew up eating family meals every night. Even with volleyball practice and basketball games, we fit in a family meal.
Somehow my parents knew that gathering around the table to eat as a family ...Read more
I’m seeing more reports about how nutrition may help us fight against COVID-19. No one is saying we can totally avoid the disease or cure it if we eat right. But the case for improving our diets to get through this pandemic is certainly strong.
Our immune system, after all, is made from the components we find in food. And like a well-tuned ...Read more
When Allen Iverson retired from the NBA in 2010, he headed for the Hall of Fame because of his astounding control of the ball. His dribbling magic allowed him to repeatedly provide his teams (the 76ers, Nuggets, Pistons and Grizzlies) with a healthy lead.
That's the same kind of artful control you want to execute so you can get a healthy lead ...Read more
The film "Gerry," staring Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, tells the story of two boys who wander -- and wander and wander -- in the desert without food or water. The movie bewildered film critic Roger Ebert, who said the more he watched it, the less he liked it and the more he admired it.
What we admire is folks who know how good it is to walk --...Read more
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
COVID-19 hits some people harder than others, with more severe or longer-lasting symptoms and consequences. Gene hunters are beginning to turn up clues as to why by probing dozens of parts of the human genome for evidence that some genes confer greater susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection or severe illness.
Findings thus far aren't changing...Read more
It seems like every week, the Food and Drug Administration issues an alert about salmonella contamination in the food supply. You're told to avoid eating prosciutto and salami (we say they're always to be avoided anyway) or to ditch your dog's fancy food. Recent outbreaks of salmonella illness have been linked to contaminated fruit and ...Read more
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.
We'll start with the good and tasty news: Pecans (as in a pecan-pomegranate salad or the newly available pecan milk, not the sugar-disaster that's pecan pie) can help you stay healthy in important ways. And since 80% of the world's supply is grown in the U.S., pecans are never in short supply.
A study out of the University of Georgia (natch!) ...Read more
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
Sarah Hyland of "Modern Family" has had multiple kidney transplants. That means she's immunocompromised, because of the anti-rejection drugs she has to take and because her original condition strains her immune system.
When she got her COVID-19 vaccine in March, she declared, "HALLELUJAH! I AM FINALLY VACCINATED!!!!!" Now, she sounds like a ...Read more
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
I often counsel patients that it's important to make the simple switch from refined grains to whole grains. That can be as easy as choosing brown rice over white, whole-wheat bread over white and whole-wheat pasta over regular. Small changes like these can make a huge difference later in life.
It's a recommendation from the latest Dietary ...Read more
Reader RS sends this: "We read your column in our local paper and are wondering if you could give us suggestions for the best breakfast that has protein, fiber, tastes good(!), and is fairly quick/easy to prepare. Kashi isn't doing it for us! Any ideas are most appreciated!”
Glad to! In fact, we’d all be smart to seek healthful options to �...Read more
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
Time travel that lets you zip ahead 1,000 years to see what's going to happen in the future is a concept that's fascinated everyone from H.G. Wells, who wrote "The Time Machine" in 1895, to Stephen Hawking, in his 2018, posthumously published "Brief Answers to the Big Questions." But it's only recently that people have been talking about the far...Read more
The Hollywood Reporter says that when movies laced with strong language end up on TV, the offensive words are often taken out and others that sort of fit the speech patterns are dropped in -- whether they make any sense or not. When "The Usual Suspects" was broadcast, one irate thug ended up shouting, "Hand me the keys, you fairy godmother."
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
Overall, cancer deaths continue to decline, but the news isn't universally good. Between 2001 and 2018, lung cancer deaths steeply declined, as did rates for melanoma, female breast and colorectal cancers.
Cancer incidence rates are higher for men, but increasing among women. Black people have lower rates of cancer incidence than white people...Read more
Inside Health Advice
- Mental health and the holidays: Resilience
- Mayo Clinic Q and A: Dupuytren's contracture
- Ask the Pediatrician: Which COVID-19 vaccine is best for children who are almost 12?
- Orgasmic meditation is a thing. Researchers are studying what it does to your brain
- COVID-19 is making amputations more common. Two survivors tell their stories