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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

With diabetes, when you eat what you eat matters

When kids' entertainer Mike Phirman sings "What Makes Breakfast," he piles every food imaginable on his plate, before crooning: "Do do do do do do do do do do do/Everybody wanna know what's in the breakfast/What makes the breakfast? ... Lunch and dinner, too?"

Now, for folks with diabetes, there's a pretty good answer. Researchers analyzed data...Read more

After prostate cancer treatment, prognosis remains good

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 68 and have prostate cancer. I had PSAs, an MRI and a biopsy. My Gleason score was a high 7. No genetic testing as I can recall. My urologist said I had "upper moderate" cancer and that I could remove my prostate or do radiation therapy. I underwent three months of radiation treatment from September to November 2020. I've ...Read more

The Season Flu By

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

We're wrapping up a second full flu season in the middle of a pandemic, and like 2020-2021, the latest season has proven to be thankfully light, with just 5.2 hospitalizations for the flu per 100,000 people -- the lowest rate in years.

It's a good thing because new findings suggest the vaccine developed for this season was not a particularly ...Read more

Roundup of studies on cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's

A new report by the Alzheimer's Association says that in the U.S., 12% to 18% of people age 60 or older are living with MCI -- that's mild cognitive impairment. Every year, around 10% to 15% of those folks will develop full-blown dementia. In five years, 30% will have Alzheimer's.

That's why it's important to understand that MCI isn't a normal ...Read more

Searching for the cause of shortness of breath

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old male and have exercised daily all my adult life. I take a baby aspirin and 10 mg pravastatin daily. I have eaten very little red meat since I was 40.

I had an EKG in 2020 that showed a heart attack, but my cardiologist said that with no shortness of breath, "not to worry -- the EKG was probably wrong." In 2021...Read more

New colonoscopy preps make the whole process easier

Around 20 years ago, Katie Couric went on TV while she underwent a colonoscopy. In 2019, Will Smith posted a video blog of his first-time experience at age 50. Bravo for them! They encouraged folks to get this lifesaving exam.

Around 16 million colonoscopies are performed in the U.S. annually. That may sound like a lot, but the Centers for ...Read more

Does a history of blood clots preclude future pregnancy?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a question about blood clot history and pregnancy. I'm in my mid-30s, married without children, and just experienced my first blood clot. It started in the vein on the inside of my calf but then moved to just below my knee. My doctor prescribed Eliquis after the clot moved, and I am starting to feel MUCH better.

I know to...Read more

Let cacao supercharge your heart health

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is a novel by Roald Dahl that tells the tale of young Charlie Bucket as he explores Willy Wonka's magical chocolate factory. Charlie emerges as heir to the delicious enterprise -- saving his whole family from misfortune and bad health. Chocolate can do that.

We're talking about dark, dark chocolate and cocoa ...Read more

The heart doesn't explode, but it can rupture

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What causes heart explosion? I heard that it can relate to a heart attack. I knew of two people who had it. How often does it happen? -- L.B.

ANSWER: The heart doesn't actually explode, so I suspect you are talking about rupture of the wall of the left ventricle, which fortunately is a rare complication of a large heart attack. ...Read more

Less Sodium, More Potassium

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

Here's more proof that skipping the saltshaker and processed foods with high sodium, along with adding potassium-rich foods, can lessen your risk for a heart attack.

In a large-scale study of more than 10,000 adults with accurate sodium measurements from individuals, researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reaffirmed that ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

On Nutrition: Mother cows teach us valuable life lessons

Health Advice / Nutrition /

It’s calving season, my favorite time of year on the ranch.

I never get tired of watching a cow know instinctively just what to do when her time approaches. First, she finds a private place in the pasture away from the herd. Then she delivers her baby, usually with no help from us, thank you very much.

Right after birth, she licks her ...Read more

What's the prognosis for 'microvascular disease'?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 80-year-old active male taking only thyroxine. I have no known health issues. In November 2021, I experienced a migraine with aura and have a slight vision loss in my right eye. After seeing an eye doctor, a retinal specialist and a primary care doctor, the only thing I am hearing is the term "microvascular disease." This...Read more

This week's roundup: hurricanes; statins and RA; long COVID-19

This could be a stormy hurricane season. If you live in a potentially affected area, you need to be aware of a study that found that in the months following a hurricane, death rates from injuries, infectious and parasitic diseases, respiratory and cardiac diseases, and neuropsychiatric disorders go up by more than 33%. In the days, weeks and ...Read more

Obesity before age 50 sets you up for multiple health challenges

Hard to imagine: Eminem is turning 50 this year. So are Tracee Ellis Ross and Jennifer Garner. As much of a turning point as that is for those stars, for folks who have obesity before age 50, growing older is a much tougher challenge.

A study in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reveals that if you're severely overweight before age 50, you have ...Read more

Rh factor can complicate pregnancy for Mom and baby

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife is Rh negative, and I am Rh positive. Our baby (fetus) is positive. I am worried about my wife and my baby. Is this dangerous? What can be done? This is her second pregnancy. -- H.D.

ANSWER: Blood types are complicated. A simple version that's familiar is the A, B and O types. An additional layer to that is the RhD ...Read more

COVID's Longer-Lasting Consequences

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

There's "long COVID," defined as cases in which people experience new, returning or ongoing health problems more than four weeks after first being infected with SARS-CoV-2, and there's the longer, lingering, broader effects on just about everybody else.

In a new study published in Lancet, researchers describe the pandemic's uneven toll. The ...Read more

The flu vaccine flew the coop -- or did it?

In the 1880s, the word "coop" was slang for jail -- so when someone "flew the coop," they broke out of jail. There were no chickens in the picture anywhere. The latest reports on this year's flu vaccine make it sound like the inoculation was more chicken than anything -- running away from the H3N2 flu virus instead of preventing infection from ...Read more

Is it or isn't it cancer?

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In 2015, I was diagnosed with a myeloproliferative neoplasm, essential thrombocythemia. My question is simple: Is it cancer or not? There seems to be a fundamental disagreement between my oncologist and my hematologist about the "c" label. Not that it makes any difference treatment-wise, but I would like clarification. -- L.F.F. ...Read more