Health Advice





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

Long-term use of cortisone increases risk of bone fractures

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Is it true that a person over 55 years of age can have bone density problems? Does drinking milk and taking calcium with vitamin D help with this condition? Also, some people take oral cortisone for arthritis. Doesn't this make the bones more susceptible to bone breakage? Some doctors don't feel men can have bone density problems...Read more

Saturday Night Griever

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

You can be the safest driver on the road, but chances are you're not alone on the road, thus the reason to always drive defensively. But other factors also play into driving risk, such as weather, road conditions and even day and time.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts ongoing analyses of the most dangerous days and ...Read more

Adverse drug reactions are an increasing risk for many

A rising tide may float all boats -- at least according to an old adage that suggests a good economy lifts everyone up. But these days, the rising tide of adverse drug interactions and reactions could leave you up the creek without a paddle.

The Food and Drug Administration said that in 2018, some studies estimated 6.7% of hospitalized patients...Read more

Pros of adding medication outweigh small risk of bleeding

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm 79 years old and have coronary artery disease. In 2006, I had a heart attack, followed by an angioplasty and a drug-eluting stent in my left anterior descending artery. I had that done again in the same artery in May 2021. I get an irregular heartbeat, and after I wore a heart monitor, they said I had atrial fibrillation from...Read more

33 Ways you can prevent dementia

Twelve-step programs help people overcome self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol or drug abuse. Millions of people attend such groups every year. Well, I'd like to suggest a new 33-step group to stop brain abuse -- and prevent dementia.

In 2017, the Lancet Commission identified nine modifiable dementia risk factors: high blood pressure, ...Read more

Low blood platelets call for the help of a hematologist

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My brother has low blood platelets and anemia. He will be 73 this year and has had three back surgeries. What causes low blood platelets? Can anything be done to raise platelet count? He drinks alcohol everyday -- not hard liquor, but canned alcoholic mixed drinks. He is in constant pain from his back. Also, he has osteoporosis. ...Read more

How to ease chronic pain with your mind

Introduced to the U.S. by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s as a way to help patients who were not responding to medical treatment, mindful meditation is acknowledged to help people deal with difficult emotional and physical symptoms. "Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally," ...Read more

Drinking water is not the cause of diarrhea while traveling

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: While reading one of your recent columns, I learned that all water, except distilled, contains electrolytes. I wondered if there are differences in the amount of each electrolyte in drinking water in different places in Canada, and if so, whether that might explain why I experience cramping and diarrhea when I am visiting another...Read more

Nutrition News: Water for Health

Health Advice / Nutrition News /

Ever wonder how much water you should be drinking daily? The answer depends on a lot of different factors, such as your age, activity level, whether you're pregnant or breastfeeding, the temperature outside, your medications, your health, the food you eat and even whether you have access to air conditioning.

The U.S. National Academies of ...Read more


On Nutrition: Food for thoughts

Health Advice / Nutrition /

I forgot that June was Brain Health Awareness Month. And then I stumbled over several interesting research articles that say it’s never to late — or early — to learn.

According to Dr. Louise Dye, a nutrition and behavior professor at the University of Leeds in England, our brains go through major changes in our lifetime, especially when ...Read more

The best medicine for arthritis is regular exercise

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: What is the best medicine for arthritis? My doctor prescribed diclofenac sodium, and another doctor said it will damage my liver and kidney with prolonged usage. As you know, arthritis is a chronic disease. Let me know what medicine I can use for arthritis. -- A.A.

ANSWER: I'm assuming you mean osteoarthritis, the most common ...Read more

The far-reaching benefits of flu shots

Last year, only 50.2% of U.S. adults received a flu vaccine. That's troubling because even on an "off" year when the vaccine isn't on point with the strains of flu that are around, getting the inoculation year after year protects you from a serious bout of influenza. A 2019 study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that...Read more

Pregnant moms, COVID-19 vaccines and babies' health

Around 3.6 million babies were born in the U.S. in 2021. Brown is the most common eye color. Green is the least -- 9% of folks in America have green eyes. But 18% have hazel eyes, a combo of brown and green.

We all love these kinds of factoids. Well, there's another set I hope you take to heart. According to one Centers for Disease Control and...Read more

Light-adjustable lenses in cataract surgery yield better results

Health Advice / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a candidate for cataract surgery. When discussing this with my doctor, he mentioned that there are new lenses that can be used, which make it possible to correct my vision to 20/20. They are called light-adjustable lenses. There is a cost of $2,400 per eye. It seems to have great success with little risk. He did mention I ...Read more

Ring in the Baby

Health Advice / Scott LaFee /

A small study found that the Oura Ring, which contains sensors to monitor body temperature, appears to do a pretty good job of detecting pregnancies. Researchers found that nightly temperatures measured by the ring were higher two to nine days after sex that led to conception.

"If women know that they're pregnant sooner, they can make choices...Read more