Health & Spirit

Menstruating after menopause is a serious concern

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Do women who have their ovaries and uterus ever stop ovulating? I am 70 and have begun having menses regularly again. I do know when I ovulate, and always have. My periods did not begin to cease until I was about 57. -- A.S.

ANSWER: Yes, women stop ovulating, and they stop having periods. The age when this process begins varies,...Read more

Be cautious about long-term proton pump inhibitor use

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Like thousands of people, I have experienced heartburn for years. Chewable antacid tablets provide temporary relief. Extended use of ranitidine and famotidine gave me partial relief, but I still required regular use of antacid tablets. But starting omeprazole gave me immediate and complete relief. I'm sure results are different ...Read more

Even the best medication and treatment have limitations

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Your recent response to a woman who, later in life, experienced "people talking to me" was that she was having auditory hallucinations and that she should go to a doctor right away, "as there is very effective treatment to stop the voices and get your life back."

If there really is such treatment, what is it? My son, diagnosed ...Read more

Are symptoms due to leak in silicone breast implants?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I received silicone-gel breast implants a few years ago. After six months or so, I began to have strange symptoms, including joint pain, fatigue and terrible hives. The condition got worse over time, and neither an allergist nor a dermatologist could conclusively diagnose a reason for the symptoms. The surgeon who implanted them...Read more

Pharmacy, doctor must monitor switch from brand-name to generic thyroid meds

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My 81-year-old father takes 100 mcg of Synthroid. Due to the high cost of insurance, and the need to change his Medicare policy, we are trying to lower his prescription costs. One way is to get the generic. His doctor told us today that the Food and Drug Administration allows a 40 percent variability in the generic, so he must ...Read more

A good wound cleaner doesn't damage skin

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a welder, and I often use acetone to wipe minor cuts and abrasions in the workshop. It stings pretty good, but it gets rid of the dirt, grease, etc. What do you think about that? -- D.S.

ANSWER: I think that is not a good idea. Acetone is a powerful solvent, and solvents should never be used directly on skin. They can cause...Read more

Irrational belief in alleged affair could be delusional disorder

Health / Keith Roach /

CORRECTION: Dropped words "person with untreated delusional disorder" were restored to the second paragraph of the first answer.

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife and I have been married for over 50 years. A few years ago, she began accusing me of having an affair with a much younger woman, with whom I have never shared a private moment or conversation ...Read more

Laser treatments 'probably not effective' against nerve damage

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Due to diabetes and radiation treatments for prostate cancer, I have nerve damage to both feet. I was on was Lyrica, and I had to switch to gabapentin 300 mg because of the cost of Lyrica: It was approximately $1,000 for a three-month supply. I also take Metanx. I would like your input on laser treatments for my nerve damage and ...Read more

Pyoderma gangrenosum begins with blister, turns to ulcer

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 74-year-old woman in good health. I was diagnosed with pyoderma gangrenosum on my left leg. I was in a lot of pain. Can you tell me the cause of this rare disease? Also, is there a special diet I should be on? -- H.

ANSWER: Pyoderma gangrenosum is an inflammatory disease of the skin. The name suggests a terrifying ...Read more

Granddaughter's common symptoms are uncommonly frequent

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 71-year-old grandmother who is very concerned about the health of my 18-year-old granddaughter. She has had the following symptoms for the past seven years, at least: earache, headache, swollen glands, sore throat and cough.

I have accompanied her to many doctor visits, and talked to the doctors and the ear specialist ...Read more

Severity, prognosis varies for Guillain-Barre syndrome

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter has had symptoms of Guillain-Barre syndrome since her 20s. She is now 64 and has been doing fairly well. She is ambulatory and curious about her future. -- P.B.

ANSWER: Guillain-Barre syndrome is a type of acute muscle paralysis that occurs after an event, usually an infection. (Campylobacter jejuni, a sometimes-...Read more

Unbearable itch of scalp psoriasis is ruining life for reader

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: A few months before my 94th birthday, I developed tiny pimples and an unbearable itch on my scalp. Two different dermatologists tried shampoos and sprays, and a biopsy showed that I have no disease (like cancer), just psoriasis of the scalp. It has not gone away. Is there any kind of antibiotic or other help available? My life ...Read more

Wearing a bra does not increase cancer risk

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read that wearing a bra increases the risk of breast cancer, since a bra prevents drainage of lymphatics in the breast and this lymph fluid contain toxins. Is this true? -- P.P.L.

ANSWER: No, this isn't true. The idea comes from a 1995 book (not a peer-reviewed scientific study), which had many basic flaws. Several well-done ...Read more

Aortic valve repair requires a choice: mechanical or tissue

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: My brother, who is 48, has a leaky aortic valve. It is a birth defect in his bicuspid valve. His health is otherwise excellent. We have lined up a good surgeon. The problem is that my brother does not know which type of valve to get: mechanical or tissue. The doctor will put in either kind, but he has done a lot of tissue valves ...Read more

Jackhammer spasms of esophagus can be mistaken for heart attack

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you provide any tips for dealing with "jackhammer" esophageal spasms? Eleven months ago, I had my first attack of these dreadfully painful spasms, which lasted for about 30 minutes. The immediate trigger was red wine. In subsequent small experiments, I have discovered that they can be triggered by both red and white wines.

I...Read more

What are the keys to health and quality of life?

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a male who is 71 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 138 pounds. I play, on average, three softball games (left field) a week, as well as bike 25 miles and swim 1 mile per week. My diet is mostly fruits and veggies, lean meat, fish, nuts and nonfat milk with a cup of coffee. Also, I have one or two glasses of red wine ...Read more

Bone density loss under treatment may signal hidden cause

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: In 2012, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in my hip and osteopenia in my spine. My doctor put me on alendronate. I was on that for two years, but did not like the way it made me feel (very achy and stiff). So I quit taking it. My chiropractor suggested strontium to be taken with vitamin D-3, vitamin K-2, magnesium and fish oil. ...Read more

Growth hormone in cow's milk doesn't affect human growth

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: You recently wrote about growth hormone. I believe there is a small group of cows with growth hormone in their milk. This milk is why we almost never see very short people under a certain age. Is this the major source of growth hormone, or is it something else? -- W.T.T.

ANSWER: In the United States, about 17 percent of cows are...Read more

No evidence to support 'toxic heavy metal removal' as treatment for cancer

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a middle-aged woman, who has just today, as a result of a breast biopsy, been diagnosed with breast cancer (ductal carcinoma). Although I haven't yet seen the surgeon, I know that chemotherapy will be offered to me after surgery.

I know chemotherapy is one of the usual treatments for most kinds of cancer, but I also know ...Read more

Without pain, surgery doesn't seem so urgent to reader

Health / Keith Roach /

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 66 and am generally healthy, with a pacemaker. I started to feel a small, very mild pain in my right side, under my ribs. My doctor checked my liver, and it was normal, with diffusely increased echogenicity (diffuse hepatic steatosis). Then I was sent to imaging, where they checked my gallbladder. My gallbladder functioned ...Read more

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