Health Advice





Going with the grain

Amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, einkorn (an ancient wheat), farro, freekeh (freaky?), Kamut (it's trademarked), kaniwa, millet (includes pearl millet, foxtail millet, proso millet, finger millet/ragi, and fonio), oats, quinoa, rice, rye, sorghum, spelt (huh?), teff (double huh?), wheat and wild rice. That's the Whole Grains Council's ...Read more

Limited data available on probiotic use to prevent disease

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have started a long-term treatment taking a "cocktail" of four different antibiotics (Bactrim, Rifadin, Zithromax and Myambutol). I have been advised that I may suffer gastrointestinal side effects because this group of antibiotics will not only be killing bacteria related to my MAC (mycobacterium avium complex) infection, but ...Read more

Supplements and Kids

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

You may want to check your kids' backpacks. If he or she is a middle-school athlete, you might find some supplements instead of healthy snacks.

In a recent investigation into the prevalence of dietary supplement and sports food use in male and female middle-school-aged runners, researchers found that almost half the study participants used ...Read more


On Nutrition: Too much of a good thing

Health Advice / Nutrition /

“I need to reschedule my appointment today,” a pained voice informed my answering machine. “I’m not feeling so good…maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that whole bag of grapes.”

When I called this patient—who is working hard to replace fresh fruit for her usual candy bar snacks—she explained further.

“I was playing on the ...Read more

Medical cannabis can be a pain management tool

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Would you please offer your take on this situation regarding pain management and opioid use? I suffer from chronic pain due in part to degenerative disc disease and stenosis. Combined with neuropathy, severe arthritis and fibromyalgia, this has rendered me unable to work or to even perform the most basic tasks like walking, ...Read more

Standing up for your heart -- and kidney -- health

A researcher recently looked at U.S. senators' and representatives' wilder moments in congressional committee hearings and discovered that it's much to their advantage to hog the spotlight by badmouthing the other side and aggressively grilling witnesses. The study, published in the Journal of Politics, revealed that such grandstanding increased...Read more

Quirky questions asked and answered

The Magic 8-Ball delivers 20 pop-up answers to any question. The arbitrary responses range from "Don't count on it" to "Without a doubt." My answers, on the other hand, are grounded in science. However, sometimes there aren't definite answers, but I don't want to tell you, "Ask again later." Here are a couple examples:

Pat wrote: "I am a 56-...Read more

When your eyes don't agree, that's double vision

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently I didn't take my blood pressure meds for a few days, which I know was foolish. All of a sudden, my vision went sideways. By this, I mean I was seeing differently out of each eye. I don't know if you'd call it double vision, but I was driving when this happened. It was a short distance and traffic was light, so I tried ...Read more

At the Heart of the Problem: Money

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

Among older people who have been hospitalized for a heart attack, severe financial strain -- having too little money each month to make ends meet -- is associated with a 60% higher risk of dying within six months after hospital discharge, according to a Yale University study.

"We found that severe financial strain was associated with ...Read more

Improving the lives of adolescents with prediabetes

The classic '90s sitcom "Boy Meets World" traces the follies and confusions of a young middle-schooler, Corey Matthews (Ben Savage), as he grows from an awkward kid into a teenager and finally a married man. Many kids today deal with the same challenges that Corey did, but they also have to contend with prediabetes. That makes them vulnerable to...Read more

In most cases, leave surgical hardware where it is

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 75-year-old female. In 2012, I broke my ankle and they put in a plate and six screws on one side, and one screw on the other side. I've been reading that one should not leave the screws in for the rest of their life, because it can cause problems with the bones, causing arthritis. I can touch and feel the screw heads. The ...Read more

This allergy season is something to sneeze at

Misty May-Treanor, three-time gold medalist in beach volleyball, was batting away allergy symptoms as she spiked the ball over the net. Scarlett Johansson is extremely allergic to grass and trees. Even Jon Bon Jovi contends with allergies: "I never worry about singing or playing or ... anything like that. I'm more into, 'Can I breathe tonight?'...Read more

Short naps can be a boon for night-shift workers

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Naps are a big part of the day for most of my adult friends. Please comment on their significance and any techniques that increase their value. What are good times of day to nap? What about length of naps? -- N.M.G.

ANSWER: Some people do very well with naps; others do not. In general, I don't advise people for or against naps ...Read more

Diabetes Quick Fix: Greek Bean and Vegetable Soup (Fassoulada)

Health Advice / Health Advice /

Known in Greece as fassoulada, this hearty, thick soup is a popular dish there. Navy beans, onion, tomatoes and garlic make up the basis of the soup.

Helpful Hint:

— You can find minced garlic in the produce section of the market.


— Prepare ingredients.

— Make soup.

Shopping List:

1 package frozen chopped onion, 1 can no-...Read more

Be on the alert for post-COVID-19 diabetes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that just under 150 million Americans had COVID-19 from February 2020 to September 2021 -- and somewhere around 80 million cases had been officially reported as of March 2022. That means there are a lot of folks who need to pay attention to their glucose levels so they can spot developing ...Read more

What's the next step for osteoarthritis of the spine?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 68 and have osteoarthritis all over -- neck, spine, hips, knees, shoulders, hands -- and all are getting worse. One hip was replaced two years ago, and my shoulder was replaced four months ago. Four years ago, X-rays showed arthritis in my spine and severe stenosis in lower lumbar (L4-L5). I'm at the point now where I can't ...Read more

Nutrition News: Waste Not

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

With the cost of food rising, it's more important than ever to waste less of the food we purchase. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as much as 40% of our food supply ends up in the trash or compost bin. More than a third of that stems from wasteful kitchen habits, says the USDA.

We all are guilty of buying food that just hangs ...Read more


On Nutrition: Another look at the Dirty Dozen

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Did you ever think that strawberries, spinach and kale would be called “filthy”? Or leafy green vegetables “repeat offenders”? That’s exactly how these especially nutritious fruits and vegetables are described in a recent article in USA Today.

What’s the reason for this scandalous charge? A nonprofit organization called the ...Read more

The controversy over estrogen reduction and ED

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a bad case of erectile dysfunction. I am 80 years old and otherwise in good health. I have received an ad in the mail that says it is not a lack of testosterone, but rather too much estrogen in the body. They make a lot of promises, but it scares me to reduce estrogen without further knowledge. What do you know? How can I ...Read more

Medical marijuana can trigger bigger problems than it treats

Purdue Pharma and the Sackler families, manufacturers of the opioids that devastated this country, are paying up to $6 billion to individual claimants and states for opioid abatement programs. Why? From April 2020 to April 2021, there were 75,673 opioid-related deaths in the U.S., and at least 2 million Americans have a substance use disorder ...Read more