To Your Good Health

By: Dr. Keith Roach

To Your Good Health

Dr. Roach answers reader questions on disease, public health and sports medicine. 5TW

An informative and educational column on infectious diseases, public health and sports medicine by Dr. Keith Roach, a highly respected physician at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital.

[dr-keith-roach-with-bkg6-307x360] Dr. Keith Roach graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in molecular biology. He earned his M.D. at the University of Chicago, and did his internship and medicine residency training there.

In 2000, Dr. Roach moved to New York, joining the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital as an Associate Attending Physician and Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine. He has won every major teaching award offered by that institution. He also served as program director for the primary care internal medicine training program.

The focus of his research is in the prevention of disease with rational use of screening technology and with tools that empower people to make lifestyle choices that improve not only their health but their life expectancy. Dr. Roach also serves as Chief Medical Officer for Enforcer eCoaching, a company dedicated to giving individuals specific daily coaching on improving diet, smoking cessation, weight loss and exercise.

Dr. Roach lives in Larchmont, N.Y. with his wife, Dr. Victoria Muggia, M.D. (a specialist in infectious disease), and their three teenagers, David, Hannah and Jonathan. Dr. Roach is a competitive triathlete.

The email address [email protected] is available directly for readers to leave feedback or ask questions of Dr. Roach.

Overboard sun protection might put vitamin D level at risk

June 22, 2018 - 1:10pm

DEAR DR. ROACH: I walk outside almost every day for at least an hour. I cover myself from head to toe -- long pants and long sleeves, with the backs of my hands covered and a wide-brimmed hat with a bandanna covering my neck and lower chin. With sunglasses on, ready to go, my husband jokes that I look like I am going to rob a bank! But after numerous skin cancers, I do not want any sun. Therefore, the only skin exposed to the sun is on my 10 fingers. Is that enough exposure to get a daily dose of vitamin D? -- J.P.

Mysterious powder no longer a treatment for asthma

June 21, 2018 - 1:39pm

DEAR DR. ROACH: Back in the early 1930s, I had asthma. My dad had asthma all his life. When either of us had an attack, my dad would use a powder called Green Mountain Powder. He would set fire to some of the powder, and we would inhale the smoke. It worked very well.
       You could buy it in powder form and cigarettes, over the counter. Then later you had to have a prescription for it.

Prednisone can have powerful side effects

June 20, 2018 - 8:27am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: An 80-year-old was mistakenly prescribed prednisone, 40 mg, for six months and is now being weaned off over four weeks. While on the prednisone, she had some symptoms that I think are side effects, including sleeping all day, no energy, losing weight (30 pounds over six months without trying), hair falling out, thinning skin, hallucinating and bumping into the wall, causing bruises. She is scared of the dark, does not want to be left alone and gets confused. Her blood sugar has gone up dramatically (A1c from 6.7 to 11).

A scan too many: How much is too much radiation?

June 19, 2018 - 8:27am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: A year ago, I had surgery for bladder cancer, and had a small stroke and pulmonary clot. During this past year, I've had five CT scans, three chest X-rays and a couple of other scans to diagnose the stroke and clot. I also had some kind of scan in radiology to put in and then take out an IV blood filter. I am having another CT scan to check kidney function and another chest X-ray in May. Now my GP says I'm due for a mammogram. How much is too much radiation? I know it's cumulative. -- R.W.

Man must decide if testosterone supplement is worth risk of prostate cancer recurrence

June 18, 2018 - 9:33am

DEAR DR. ROACH: Fifteen years ago, I had a successful brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer. Subsequent annual PSA results indicate minimal levels. I am 82 years old and in otherwise excellent condition, and generally very active. However, in the past few years I have had periods of considerable fatigue. My blood counts are within the normal range, but my testosterone is at a very low level. My family physician counsels against testosterone therapy because of the possibility of reigniting prostate cancer. This seems to be based on a long history of a causal relationship.

Continuous glucose monitor meant to monitor low blood sugar

June 15, 2018 - 12:17pm

DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 71-year-old Type 2 diabetic woman, but I find the glucose monitoring systems requiring blood samples so painful to use that I don't test. At present, I get along by taking a 500-mg metformin tablet three times a day and having bloodwork done about twice a year. My last fasting glucose test result (1/19/18) was 134 mg/dL, and my HbA1c was 6.9 percent. Should I consider a continuous glucose monitor? I am overweight, so that is a factor I am working on. -- C.P.

Shingles vaccine protocol

June 14, 2018 - 11:07am

  DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 84-year-old female. Luckily for me, I have never been ill with chickenpox, measles or mumps. My family doctor thought that I should still get the shingles vaccine, even though a blood test proved that, indeed, I'd never had chickenpox. So I did. I read in the paper that there is a new shingles vaccine available and that everyone should get the new shot as a follow-up to the first.  Do I really need to do that? -- B.B.

A scan too many: How much is too much radiation?

June 12, 2018 - 9:23am

DEAR DR. ROACH: A year ago, I had surgery for bladder cancer, and had a small stroke and pulmonary clot. During this past year, I've had five CT scans, three chest X-rays and a couple of other scans to diagnose the stroke and clot. I also had some kind of scan in radiology to put in and then take out an IV blood filter. I am having another CT scan to check kidney function and another chest X-ray in May. Now my GP says I'm due for a mammogram. How much is too much radiation? I know it's cumulative. -- R.W.

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