Dr. Donohue

Alcohol abuse can inhibit sexual function

DEAR DR. ROACH: Please enlighten your readers about too much alcohol causing impotence. My husband drinks beer after beer daily, from noon until night, then expects to be able to perform. He has done this for years, and now cannot get an erection. He is 65 years old. I would like to know ...

Do statins affect heart muscle?

DEAR DR ROACH: I have had coronary bypass surgery, and I take cholesterol medicine. I have significant muscular weakness from my medicine. If the medicine affects muscles, what about my heart muscle? My ejection fraction has started going down. — B.K. ANSWER...

OK to use either arm to check blood pressure

DEAR DR. ROACH: Would you explain the proper method for taking blood pressure? One instruction I read says to use the left arm. However, another shows the health-care worker taking blood pressure in the left arm and patients using automatic cuffs on the right arm. The right subclavian ar...

Pain, numbness in hand may signal nerve problem

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 92-year-old man with lots of age-related problems. I am dealing with them, but a few months ago I noticed that my right hand, particularly the little finger and the one next to it, became numb. It was mildly numb at first, but it's become more and more unpleasant ...

Headache the hallmark symptom for CSF leakage

DEAR DR. ROACH: After many weeks of a unilateral nasal leakage of clear watery liquid, I was diagnosed with a cerebrospinal fluid leak. I experience almost constant leakage from the right nostril, which is irritating as well as embarrassing. After CT scans and an MRI, the source of the l...

Could back brace be to blame for foot swelling?

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 83 years old. I was lifting a heavy end table back in November, and I heard a crack. I knew I was in trouble, as that had happened on the golf course many years ago. I went to the hospital and was there for six days. They took an X-ray, which showed moderate facet ar...

Which diet is the right diet?

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am taking Zetia and niacin for extremely high cholesterol and triglycerides. Exactly what type of diet should I be on to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides? Many of the processed (cheese, ice cream, cookies, etc.) fat-free, cholesterol-free foods are high in sugar. ...

Reaction to neomycin nixes shingles vaccine

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 61 years old, and was anxious to get a shingles vaccine shot. I was upset to learn that, because I am allergic to neomycin, an ingredient in the vaccine, I cannot get vaccinated. I have talked to my doctor and also to a pharmacist about other options, but they don't ...

Surgery on an anticoagulant is risky

DEAR DR. ROACH: About five years ago, I developed atrial fibrillation and received a pacemaker. I also was put on blood thinners — first warfarin, and now Pradaxa. This past year, I developed a hernia in my left groin area. I believe it has grown worse. Neither my heart specialist ...

Common shaving myth debunked

DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm a 48-year-old, athletically fit man with excessive body hair on my back, chest and arms. I see that the younger generation of men at the gyms, pools and beaches seem to all groom (shave) their body hair for better appearance. I started trimming down but have not fully ...

BMI not a total picture of health

DEAR DR. ROACH: About seven years ago, my blood pressure was high, and I was overweight and in a stressful job. I quit the job, my blood pressure went down, and I lost over 40 pounds. I have kept the weight off all these years. I work part time, standing on my fee...

Blood donation can affect athletic performance

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a fit 54-year-old male who bicycles a lot. My friends and I are pretty competitive when we do our rides, pushing hard and challenging each other in positive ways. I donate blood as often as I'm allowed. After donating, my legs feel more fatigued when I ride, and I'm...

TB infection more complicated than just a cough

DEAR DR. ROACH: I read your column in May about tuberculosis. I have questions. Every time I get tested for tuberculosis, the test is positive. When I have chest X-rays, they come back clean. I was told by my doctors that somewhere I came into contact with someone who had TB.

Low body temperature worth exploring

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 55-year-old, active female. My body temperature is consistently 95-96 F. Also, my blood pressure seems to be going down each time I visit the doctor. At my most recent visit (two days ago), it was 96 over 67. The nurse tells me it is fine, but I am not comfortable w...

Sing your way to improvement of sleep apnea

DEAR DR. ROACH: I appreciate your columns. Recently, in a column about sleep apnea, you did not mention one thing that I have heard of that will help. I was told this by a dentist who makes mouth appliances for apnea patients: singing. I haven't tried it; I don't ...

Sciatic pain sometimes needs expert evaluation

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have been reading your column in the newspaper for some time now and have not seen anything regarding sciatica. I am 83 and recently began having sciatica pain down my right thigh. My doctor recommended using a hot-water bottle. Are there any painkillers I can use? Are ...

Sugars and sugar alcohols

DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently was diagnosed as being prediabetic and told to watch my sugar intake. So I now read the nutrition facts on packages. However, I am confused about the listed sugars. Sometimes the label includes both "sugar" and "sugar alcohols." For instance, a package can read...

Ginseng, cinnamon meet diabetes and cholesterol

DEAR DR. ROACH: My wife is 76 and diabetic. She has been taking meds for a long time, and has a hard time managing her blood sugars. I saw an ad recently for a natural formula that, according to the ad, will help lower blood levels substantially, without injections, and apparently is fre...

For high cholesterol, statins still the ticket

DEAR DR. ROACH: Last year, I told my doctor that I no longer wanted to take a statin drug. I had read so much about statins and am on meds for cholesterol and high blood pressure. I will be 74 this July, and other than having arthritis in my knees, I am not having problems. ...

Weigh pros and cons of a brain shunt for NPH

DEAR DR. ROACH: About two years ago, my husband, who will turn 79 in June, developed a balance/gait problem. This has affected so many of his interests: golf, hiking, photography and some social events. His walking has deteriorated even further, to an extremely slow, shuffle-type walk. P...

Yesterday