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DEAR DR ROACH:I am a 70-year-old man in good health. I have had regular colonoscopies since my 50s, but I wonder about the wisdom of a colonoscopy at my age.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My 61-year-old husband has had 24 squamous cell carcinoma (skin cancer) surgeries on his scalp in the past five years. He has used dandruff shampoo (Head & Shoulders brand or similar) for the past 36 years or more.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 71-year-old female in very good health.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Why is it that no matter what time a surgery is scheduled, the rule is "no food or drink after midnight"?
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you elaborate on “long COVID”? Specifically, do people experiencing long COVID carry the virus for an extended period? Are they contagious during long COVID, or does the term refer to lingering symptoms but not necessarily testing positive?
DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter is still nursing her 10-month-old son.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently, in the middle of all the news about the newly circulating delta COVID-19 variant, a friend of mine flew to Mexico with her husband and teenage daughter for a five-day resort vacation.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old male who has been experiencing an increase in breast size (slightly more on the left than the right) over the past year.
DEAR DR. ROACH: In a recent column, you wrote that there is no risk to family from shedding after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you explain the difference between the delta variant and the common cold? How is one to know if an illness is the common cold with cough for weeks or the virus!
DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor recommended both pneumococcal vaccines for me. He recommended the PCV-13 (Prevnar) first, followed two months later by the PPSV-23 (Pneumovax).
DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you address problems that may or may not be aftereffects of COVID-19?
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have chronic venous insufficiency. My doctor tells me there is nothing for it but compression socks, and I cannot put them on. — S.G.
DEAR DR. ROACH: At what point in COVID-19 does a person’s do not resuscitate order become an issue?
DEAR DR. ROACH: Why aren't the hospitals nationwide mandating all personnel be COVID vaccinated? I am getting conflicting information.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old female, and I am in my 10th week of shingles.
How does one manage natural immunity to COVID-19 if one has an autoimmune disease?
DEAR DR. ROACH:I have been having colonoscopies regularly since 1990.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Recently I was diagnosed with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency after symptoms of unexpected and sustained diarrhea for three months.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My hairdresser is being evasive about whether she has been vaccinated for COVID.
DEAR DR. ROACH: About a year ago, my 77-year-old wife started to have some trouble speaking, and in some cases remembering or forming words.
DEAR DR. ROACH:I need help with my mother's question (she's 86). She reports hearing glass breaking or being smashed.
DEAR DR. ROACH: What is heatstroke? I exercised a lot in the heat yesterday, and today I feel dizzy and nauseated, even though it isn't as hot as yesterday.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 70-year-old man with chronic back pain. I first started having serious back pain in college after spending much of my time hunched over a drawing board.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a healthy woman. I recently had a whole-body thermography exam that highlighted my thyroid rather dramatically. Should I get a blood test for my thyroid and/or an ultrasound? — E.D.
DEAR DR. ROACH: As I seem to be highly prone to urinary tract infections, I've been using vaginal Estrace for decades.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am responding to a recent letter from a reader anxious about undergoing a colonoscopy.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 78-year-old polio survivor with severe osteoarthritis in my left shoulder, which is the side also affected by polio.
My husband suffers from trigeminal neuralgia. This is often very painful for months at a time...
DEAR DR. ROACH: My daughter is approximately 5 feet, 4 inches tall and weighs 230 pounds.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 66-year-old white male who is very physically active.
I have written many columns on COVID-19, which has become a major cause of death and disability in all of North America and the world. I have consistently recommended the available vaccines, and tried to identify their (modest) risks and (dramatic) effectiveness.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 86-year-old woman, and my sister is 91.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am interested in your perspective on intermittent fasting. I am in a walking group of seniors (all 65+ years).
I am a 77-year-old woman. I have had problems with insomnia for at least 50 years, but it is much worse now.
On Nov. 2, 2020, I had a total right hip replacement. The surgery was successful, and the incision has healed completely. ...
How is preventive medical care handled when an individual is traveling to a remote location?
A recent column discussed shortness of breath on exercise. My aunt had this exact same scenario...
DEAR DR. ROACH: I’m a recently diagnosed diabetic. Can you please give me advice on how to reverse it if possible?
Can you tell me about food poisoning? I often hear the term, but it seems to mean different things to different people.
I have a dilemma. I suffered an aortic dissection nine months ago and was put on labetalol. I have bounced back well...
Can you comment on the lack of a test that truly demonstrates the effective level of immunity an individual has from receiving the COVID vaccine?
I’ve started using coconut oil instead of milk and sweetener in my coffee. ... I want to make sure I’m not doing any harm.
Dear Dr. Roach: Are medical advances going backward? If not, why are so many people dying in their 50s and 60s?
DEAR DR. ROACH: Can you get long COVID from symptomless post-vaccine infection?
DEAR DR. ROACH: A year ago, I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. A colonoscopy found no problems. An endoscopy found a small raw spot on my stomach lining; it was not bleeding.
DEAR DR. ROACH:I recently watched a TV program about vaccines.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have recently been diagnosed with a cholesteatoma in one ear, which has resulted in significant hearing loss.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 80-year-old female in good health except for a diagnosis of osteopenia. My primary care doctor has prescribed medication for my osteopenia. I have periodontal disease and have been advised by my periodontal specialist not to take medication for osteopenia.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently donated blood to our local blood bank, which I have done many times in the past.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My sister-in-law believes that the COVID-19 vaccine will cause side effects that aren't known yet.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I was just diagnosed with nocardiosis.
DEAR DR. ROACH: At a recent appointment I discovered that my nurse practitioner (about 45 years old) doesn’t plan to get a COVID vaccination as he says it’s unsafe and that all of us (vaccinated ones) are just guinea pigs.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor has prescribed IVIG therapy for my peripheral neuropathy.
My neighbor was very ill with COVID-19 about three months ago.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a vaccine-related question for you that also might be of general interest.
DEAR DR. ROACH: Please write about food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis.
DEAR DR. ROACH: If a patient has been fully vaccinated with one of the COVID-19 vaccines within the past three months and subsequently develops symptoms of COVID-19 and tests positive, does this patient need to quarantine/isolate?
I’m an 84-year-old male who has recently found relief from lifelong strain in bowel movements by using stool softeners.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My father was diagnosed with protein S deficiency, but there isn’t much information on it.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a very active 66-year-old male who had three stents put into my right coronary artery about 10 years ago after I had two heart attacks. I have not had any problems since then.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a question about omega-3 fatty acid intake, either through fish consumption or by dietary supplements like fish oil.
I have had plantar warts on both feet for decades.
I am 79 years old, at a healthy weight, and I exercise often. Recently I had a blood test that showed several markers for lupus.
How effective are COVID vaccines for people taking immunosuppressive prescriptions?
DEAR DR. ROACH: Could you say something about depression? What can it do to you in the long run if it isn’t treated? -- Anon.
DEAR DR. ROACH: In October 2018 I was treated for syphilis, and had a VDRL titer of 1:128. A few months later, the titer was 1:8, but has stayed at 1:8 since then. Why hasn’t it gone down? — Y.Y.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My son has been experiencing what he thinks is neuropathy in his arms and fingers.
I was very reluctant to get the COVID-19 vaccine due to its rushed status and unknown long-term side effects.
I am a 92-year-old woman in reasonably good health. I weigh about 145 pounds and have shrunk down to 5 feet, 5 inches tall.
I’m a 67-year-old male. For most of my later adult life (50s to the present) I have had a very low libido.
I am one of legions of women with osteoporosis and considering a bisphosphonate or similar medication.
I have a question about prescription pain relievers.
Over the past year of pandemic lockdown, I have worked hard at reducing calories to lose weight and increasing my exercise on an elliptical trainer.
I have had both COVID-19 vaccinations and am planning to donate blood. Would any of my immunity pass on to the person receiving my blood? — D.J.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 77-year-old female. I am current on all vaccines, but I do have a question about the pneumococcal vaccine.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have seen several doctors for my TMJ: my primary doctor and dentist, an ear nose and throat doctor, the dental hygienist and also "ask Google."
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife and I are grateful to have recently received our second Moderna vaccine.
Could you please explain the science behind the new Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine?
A few years ago, my sister was diagnosed with an IgA deficiency, which is an autoimmune disorder.
Please provide some clarity on family get-togethers in the new age of post vaccinations.
Why do older people tend to get lightheaded (not vertigo) and therefore become liable to trip or fall?
I am a 76-year-old female in reasonably good health.
For over six decades, I have lived with smokers.
DEAR DR. ROACH: What is causing my hair to fall out? What can I do to stop it? I’m 72 years old and female. Could I be hypothyroid? — L.O.I.
Your recent column on melanoma piqued my interest.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My husband recently died from anaplastic thyroid cancer.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 55-year-old female. I have always been in excellent health, but this year, my routine bloodwork showed that my creatinine is 1.08 (high) and that my GFR is 58 (low).
With all the masks, hand-washing, sanitizing and social distancing, will we all have weak immune systems when life goes back to normal?
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have a problem with chronic urine infections. I am 78 years old, and suffer often from it.
I am currently on rituximab immunotherapy. I have had my first Moderna vaccine, and my second shot is scheduled in four weeks. My oncologist is not sure how the rituximab affects the immunization and the effectiveness of the vaccine.
Could you please provide your recommendations on how we should conduct ourselves after we get the COVID vaccine? Please include an explanation of how immune we actually will be. — T.S.
I’ve had regular swab tests for COVID-19, which have always been negative.
DEAR DR. ROACH: I have had low GFR readings ranging from 53 to 37 for the past 15 years. I'm an 87-year-old female in good health.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife and I tested positive for COVID-19 on December 20, 2020. Due to our ages, we qualify to receive a vaccine now.
I have had over 50 vaccinations in my life (I’m 78), most of them while I was in the military.
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.
DEAR DR. ROACH: My doctor recently retired, my new one is very concerned about my systolic blood pressure, which was 150.
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.
I participated in a research study and received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Nov. 30.
I am a 73-year-old male with continued pain in my right foot and ankle for the past five years.
I was sick for two weeks at home with the coronavirus and made a complete recovery. Why wouldn't recovering from the virus be at least as good as getting the vaccine?