Dr. Donohue

Confusion remains on artificial sweeteners and weight gain

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am currently dieting and, with that, trying to reduce my sugar intake. I prefer drinks sweetened with aspartame over water most of the time. Am I asking for trouble? — P.C. DEAR DR. ROACH: I'm curious how diet soda, which has zero calories,...

Patient prefers to split thyroid meds

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had my thyroid removed for a goiter 35 years ago. My doctor put me on 100 mcg of thyroid medication; however, when I took it, I got sick. My hands shook, and my heart beat very quickly (over 100). So one doctor told me to split it, and take 50 in the morning and 50 in t...

Is it herpes or an antibiotic allergy?

DEAR DR. ROACH: Four years ago, my husband had an abscess. What started as a boil became so deep and hard that he required general anesthesia to remove it. The wound was left open, and we had to change the packing twice a day for eight weeks. It was diagnosed as MRSA, and he was put on ...

Broken collarbone may take longer than six weeks to heal

DEAR DR ROACH: I am a healthy 71-year-old man. I broke my collarbone in the middle in a serious auto accident. I was told that the bone should stop moving and heal in four to six weeks. More than six weeks have passed. There has been slow but steady progress in moving my arm, but the bon...

How to treat RA in HIV-positive patient

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am 49 years old and fairly healthy. I've been HIV-positive for over 20 years and have diabetes. My HIV doctor told me that my rheumatoid factor was 112, and said to see a rheumatologist. He told me that the shot for arthritis isn't good for me because my immune system i...

Cardiac surgery can affect autonomic nervous system

DEAR DR. ROACH: I have had hot flashes, similar to those experienced by post-menopausal women, ever since my coronary bypass in 1990. I can be sitting quietly in a chair reading or at my computer, and suddenly I find myself dripping with perspiration. I also have had panic attacks, with i...

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 ...