DEAR DR. ROACH: What is celiac artery compression syndrome? I'm told I have this, and it's causing an aneurysm that needs to get repaired. I found out on a scan taken for another reason. I have had some pain after eating. -- I.J.M.
ANSWER: The celiac artery is one of three large arteries that provide blood to the abdominal organs, especially ...Read more
When Matchbox Twenty sang, "I just want to make you go away/ But you taste like sugar/ Yeah, you taste like sugar," they could have been talking about saccharine, sucralose, aspartame and acesulfame potassium -- and that would have been a really smart for the health of the quartet. (They've struggled to keep their once robust popularity.)
DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor is insisting I take cholesterol medicine after I've refused to take it for years. I am 66 years old, and my total cholesterol is 301 (triglycerides 76, HDL 83 and LDL 206). He has prescribed rosuvastatin, 20 mg a day. I feel with my triglycerides and my HDL being good levels that perhaps the dose may be a little ...Read more
The Monkees recorded "Daydream Believer" in 1967, and it topped the charts at No. 1. Believing in daydreams has always been a winning idea. Now researchers have confirmed that. They suggest that when you turn your idle thoughts to daydreaming about pleasant memories, a future accomplishment or an event you're looking forward to, you boost your ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have had over 50 vaccinations in my life (I'm 78), most of them while I was in the military. I have often wondered how the vaccine spreads throughout the body, as the shots are almost always given in the upper arm. I would welcome your explanation of what exactly takes place. Pardon my ignorance. -- C.C.
ANSWER: Recognizing ...Read more
When wildfires sweep across California, the risk of respiratory distress increases. In the summer and fall of 2018, the smoky air in San Francisco was as toxic as smoking a half a pack of cigarettes a day.
When a wildfire hits your body in the form of chronic inflammation, it's a serious health hazard too. If you have prediabetes or full-blown ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old woman. Last September I had severe pain in my right hand. The pain was so bad that I had to go to the emergency room, where they did an MRI. Results showed I have cervical radiculopathy, a pinched nerve in my neck. They put me on hydrocodone and prednisone. A few days later I had extreme pain in both upper arms...Read more
The news is in. We managed to gain 2 pounds a month during our shelter-in-place quarantine. That's according to a new study published in JAMA. Overall, that's where the extra 20 pounds registering on our scale comes from. Just blame COVID-19.
So, we're already getting older and exercising less, and now we need to buy a new size of pants. ...Read more
It had been festering for a long time … an infection that didn’t show up on routine tests. But we knew sometime was not right. Cal was not eating as enthusiastically as he usually does. And he was steadily losing weight.
His routine doc was stumped and sent him to a specialist. Further testing found the answer to his weakened condition—a ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My mother was diagnosed with right frontal lobe meningioma 17 years ago when she was 83 years old. Surgery was successful in that most of it was removed and it was found to be nonmalignant. The doctor told us he couldn't remove it completely, and that it was a very slow-growing type of tumor and wouldn't return for about 20 years...Read more
When the cartoon program "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" premiered in 1969, hardly anyone in the U.S. had heard of the ancient Chinese brew kombucha, a fermented drink that's made from tea, sugar and a glob of yeast and bacteria called a SCOBY (symbiotic cultures of bacteria and yeasts). But recently, kombucha has become one of the top-selling ...Read more
In "Parks and Recreation," Chris Pratt was a lovable tubby; today, as one of the Guardians of the Galaxy, he's toned and healthy. Making $10 million a movie may be an incentive, but you don't have anything if you don't have your health -- and his amazing exercise routine has given him a lot of valuable perks.
Turns out exercise doesn't just ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor recently retired, my new one is very concerned about my systolic blood pressure, which was 150. I made quarterly visits to my old doctor, who never had a comment about my pressure numbers. My new doctor wants me on medication, and we agreed I would buy a home blood pressure machine to check my pressure.
I recorded it ...Read more
The Eagles may have been singing about something else, but new research suggests that eyes are not necessarily true windows to the soul -- or, more precisely, how another person is feeling.
It's a common notion that "smiling eyes" that involve uplifted cheeks and crinkles around the eyes indicate genuine happiness. They even have a technical ...Read more
Everyone from Rihanna and Paris Hilton to Justin Timberlake and Brad Pitt has been photographed with cold sores. There's no shame in that. According to the Mayo Clinic, "about 90% of adults worldwide -- even those who've never had symptoms of an infection -- test positive for evidence of the virus that causes cold sores."
Why you get a flare-up...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Is it safe for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine or will getting the vaccine make my tachycardia or other symptoms worse? -- K.K.
ANSWER: The body goes through a complex set of changes to adapt to an upright posture. When changing from reclining to sitting or standing, the heart and...Read more
"We City Folk can pretend that we prefer the rotgut from Starcorps with skim milk and Splenda, but who are we kidding? Maxwell House with French vanilla corn syrup cannot be beat." Tina Fey in her book "Bossypants" summed up America's self-destructive love affair with added fructose -- especially high-fructose corn syrup --pretty accurately. The...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I participated in a research study and received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 30. I have lab-confirmed antibodies. Gyms are known to be especially susceptible to the virus spreading, but is it reasonably safe to return to the gym after having the vaccine and taking normal precautions? I haven't been to the gym in...Read more
Amy Poehler (5 feet, 2 inches tall) and Shaquille O'Neal (7 feet, 1 inch tall) see eye to eye on one thing: Sleep apnea can ruin your life if you don't manage it correctly. Both use a CPAP device at night to maintain steady breathing and uninterrupted sleep. Amy says the therapy "helps you win at life," and Shaq reports that it helps him get ...Read more
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 73-year-old male with continued pain in my right foot and ankle for the past five years. I try to stay active by golfing two days a week in season, and I walk 3 miles four times weekly around the neighborhood. The pain started about five years ago after a very active week of walking five days straight. My family doctor ...Read more
Inside Health Advice
- Why some health care workers were reluctant to get COVID shots
- Mayo Clinic Minute: When the liver can no longer function
- Q&A: Can you skip the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine?
- It's too soon to declare herd immunity against COVID-19. My blood helps explain why
- Mayo Clinic Q And A: Diabetes and fasting during Ramadan