Health Advice





Hiatal hernia is not correlated to asthma medication

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 80 years old, still work full-time and have generally good health, except for adult-onset asthma. Advair 250/50 was prescribed for me over 10 years ago, and I've been taking it regularly each morning, thoroughly rinsing each time to prevent thrush. About five years ago, I developed an abdominal hernia just below my waistline...Read more

Changing Habits

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

Healthy eating, working out daily, losing weight -- it's all in the habits, the tiny little habits that add up over time to be big habits.

James Clear, author of "Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results," defines a habit as a routine or behavior that is performed regularly -- and in many cases, automatically. Changes that seem small and...Read more


On Nutrition: More on sweeteners

Health Advice / Nutrition /

In response to a recent column about the safety of sugar substitutes, reader P.S. from Ohio asks: “What are your sources for this article? I have read in several sources which I consider reputable that aspartame and acesulfame are carcinogens. However, on the internet there is mixed information.”

Ah, yes, the internet is teeming with mixed ...Read more

Bruise discoloration on foot isn't from a blood clot

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 68-year-old woman in good medical/physical condition. I run three times a week and work out with weights regularly. The only medicine I take is bioidentical hormones. Recently, the side of my foot near my baby toe felt sore as if, when I walked, I was stepping on a small pebble. It's not really painful, but annoying. This ...Read more

Stay sharp by staying at a healthy weight

David "Fathead" Newman was an outstanding saxophonist who played with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman and Natalie Cole. He earned the nickname "Fathead" from his high school band teacher because he stubbornly refused to learn to read music, preferring instead to play by ear.

Being a "fathead" didn't diminish his artistry, but it ...Read more

Keto vs. Mediterranean diets: It's a draw ... or is it?

When Marvin Hagler fought Vito Antuofermo in 1979 for a shot at a world title, the 15-round match ended in a draw. But Hagler came back to defeat Antuofermo three years later, retaining his newly won WBC and WBA world middleweight titles.

A draw doesn't always mean two opponents are truly equal. You can see that clearly in a study from Stanford...Read more

Joint replacement not neccessary yet for moderate arthritis

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a highly active 74-year-old female. I walk a mile and a half every morning (my dog insists), then do two step-aerobic classes with weights, two serious weight workouts with a trainer, 1-3 miles on an elliptical walker and 2-4 hours of horseback riding, plus miscellaneous activities and yard work each week. My left hip is ...Read more

Monkeypox by Another Name

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

There's a push by scientists in Africa and elsewhere to rename the virus that causes monkeypox because it is stigmatizing and inaccurate. Historically, monkeypox infections have been restricted to West and Central Africa, where the virus is endemic in some animals. But now, more than 30,000 cases have been detected in more than 40 countries ...Read more

How to handle the uptick in COVID-19's omicron subvariants

In 1937's "A Star Is Born," Janet Gaynor and Fredric March play two actors, one headed for stardom, the other for ruin (there are no musical numbers!). Over the years, the plot mutated: In the 1954 remake with Judy Garland and James Mason, Garland's singing dominates. In the 1976 version, Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson's characters are ...Read more

Glaucoma suspect weighs using drops as proactive measure

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 70 years old, in good health, with no family history of glaucoma. My optometrist diagnosed me a year ago as having low-pressure glaucoma, early stage. He prescribed brimonidine 0.2% twice daily. I also saw an ophthalmologist for a second opinion. The ophthalmologist diagnosed me as a "glaucoma suspect." He does not ...Read more

Food's power to cause illness and its power to heal

According to a study on the impact of diet on health published in The Lancet, poor diets were responsible for 10.9 million deaths, or 22% of all deaths among adults in 130 countries in 2017. The Lancet study also concluded that non-optimal intake of whole grains, fruits and sodium accounts for half of all diet-related deaths.

The Lancet study ...Read more

Size of aneurysm determines whether surgery is necessary

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR ROACH: My husband will be 83 in September and was recently diagnosed with an ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm measuring 4.8 cm. Five centimeters is when they do something. After hearing about the survival rate based on your recent column, along with your comment that "most people do not survive a rupture of the aorta," I'm scared. Why ...Read more

Diabetes Quick Fix: Orange-Honey Chicken with Garlic Zucchini and Grape Tomatoes

Health Advice / Health Advice /

Orange, almonds and honey flavor chicken cutlets for this quick dinner. Boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, available in most supermarkets, are about 1/2-inch thick. They cook in just 4 to 5 minutes.

A colorful side dish of zucchini strips and grape tomatoes tossed in olive oil and garlic completes the meal.

Helpful Hints:

— You can use two...Read more

Taking your second chances to heart

Jill A. Davis, a writer for the original "David Letterman Show," who went on to become a bestselling novelist, points out that, "Second chances do come your way. Like trains, they arrive and depart regularly. Recognizing the ones that matter is the trick."

Unfortunately, it's a trick that not many of the 605,000 Americans who are recovering ...Read more

Incontinence caused by an enlarged prostate calls for meds

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 55-year-old male in good health and was diagnosed with a slightly enlarged prostate several years ago. My primary care doctor said he wasn't concerned enough to prescribe any medications. I get an annual physical, and there haven't been any changes. However, in the past couple of years, there have been times when, once I ...Read more

The Importance of Iron

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

The Importance of Iron

I see quite a few patients who are low in iron. Without adequate iron, they feel fatigued and lacking in energy, with impaired brain function and a weakened immune system.

They're not alone. Iron deficiency is on the upswing, according to a 2021 study in the Journal of Nutrition. The study found that since 1999 the rates...Read more

Alexandre Dvihally/Dreamstime/TNS

On Nutrition: Questions about incomplete proteins

Health Advice / Nutrition /

Reader Ann F. writes: "I remember learning a bit about incomplete proteins a long time ago, and that if you combined, say, beans with corn, you had a complete protein, much as if you'd eaten eggs, or meat, or cottage cheese. I always assumed that you should eat them at the same meal.

But I'm wondering, suppose you had one incomplete for ...Read more

Doctor drug tests patient who takes meds only as needed

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: For sleep, my boyfriend (78) takes Ambien when he needs it, a few times each week. The instructions on the bottle says "take as needed." To me, that means if he doesn't need it, he doesn't take it. That's simple logic.

His doctor occasionally will order a urine drug screen looking for metabolites of Ambien -- something about ...Read more

When it comes to COVID-19, make sure your kids get vaccinated

Michael Jordan admits he's missed more than 9,000 shots in his career. Golfer Nancy Lopez knows every shot is a challenge; she says "Do your best one shot at a time and then move on."

Those two thoughts are kind of like the COVID-19 vaccination rate in the U.S. Around 100 million Americans have missed getting both COVID-19 shots. But about 67% ...Read more

The increased risks of smoking with prediabetes or diabetes

When it comes to smoking, there's some good news: In the U.S., smoking has declined from 20.9% of adults in 2005 to 12.5% in 2020. However, that means that around 30.8 million adults currently smoke cigarettes. And a lot of those folks have prediabetes or diabetes. We know that because studies show that people who smoke cigarettes are 30% to 40%...Read more