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.

Flesh-eating bacteria: terrifying, but rare condition

May 7, 2018 - 10:26am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: What do you know about flesh-eating bacteria? After going to a hospital to get a mole checked, I developed an itchy rash that won't go away. I am worried. -- H.W.
       ANSWER: Let me reassure you that this isn't flesh-eating bacteria. Itchy rash around a mole can be due to eczema, or it might be a fungal infection or one of several other benign skin conditions. A dermatologist can help figure out which. But, since you asked ...

Any new treatments for essential tremor?

May 5, 2018 - 9:50am

   DEAR DR. ROACH: About five years ago, I came down with essential tremor. I have tried many medicines. Currently, I'm taking propranolol and primidone, but nothing seems to help. The only thing that stops the shaking is a glass of wine. I have inquired about a laser procedure, but I found out that it's a risky procedure. An MRI was normal. I am 82 and in excellent health. I would like to know if there is anything new to help me. -- J.M.

Meningioma is a tumor of the brain's lining

May 2, 2018 - 9:16am

DEAR DR. ROACH: In January 2014, I was diagnosed with a benign neoplasm of my cerebral meninges (meningioma). I am a healthy 64-year-old Caucasian woman. I do not take any medications. The finding was incidental. I have no symptoms from the meningioma. I sometimes feel as if my mental capacity has declined somewhat (such as memory), but I attribute this to the normal aging process. I have been getting an MRI every year since the diagnosis, the last one in November 2017.

Could 'beaver fever' be the source of digestive trouble?

May 1, 2018 - 9:51am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: Last summer I went camping and ran out of clean water. I had to boil water and drink it without any treatment tablets. That evening, I had painful cramps in my stomach, and in my upper abdomen, under my ribcage. Since then, my digestion has been horrific. I have constant rank gas and bloating when eating foods I've never had a problem with before, even fruits and vegetables. I have been a big eater of probiotic foods, with no digestive disturbances.

Can the HPV vaccine be used to treat warts?

April 30, 2018 - 9:55am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: My dermatologist suggested that I get the HPV vaccine, as it will help my body fight warts of various kinds. I've had plantar warts and warts on my fingers and hands. They go away with treatment, but seem to come back in a different spot over time. I am a 62-year-old male in good health otherwise. Is getting the vaccine a good idea? Thank you. -- K.L.

Muscle aches, not joint pain, are a usual statin side effect

April 27, 2018 - 2:43pm

 DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 69-year-old white male. I take one 20-mg pravastatin per day to manage my cholesterol. One of the side effects is joint pain. Are you aware of a substitute that does not have this joint pain side effect? -- H.L.
       ANSWER: Statins are one of the most common medicines used, and although they have relatively few side effects, so many people take them that there are many reported untoward effects.

Watch-and-wait policy for hernia has reader concerned

April 26, 2018 - 9:12am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: I am an 84-year-old female with a protruding stomach bulge. My surgeon confirmed that it's a hernia, which I got while taking care of my handicapped husband (who recently passed away). Since I had two abdominal surgeries two years ago, he does not want to do surgery again. The hernia is located on the right side, next to the surgery scar, about 2 inches above my bellybutton. It is hard to describe the size, maybe like a small egg. I weigh 110 pounds and am 5 feet tall.

Chronic fatigue syndrome has a new name, possibly a new test

April 23, 2018 - 9:38am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: For two years, I have had symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. Like many of my fellow sufferers, I continually feel bad, but no test can confirm my diagnosis.
       Because of this and other factors, I am looking at "psychosomatic illness" as a cause. CFS would lend itself to such a diagnosis. Any information you could offer would be appreciated. -- R.S.

New treatment for kidney disease still has hurdles to jump

April 19, 2018 - 10:12am

   DEAR DR. ROACH: I recently read an article released by the Broad Institute that claims a breakthrough in the treatment of progressive kidney disease. It states that experiments with rats have resulted in the stoppage of disease progression, and in some cases, reversal. It further states that human trials are the next step. Do you have any additional information on this important news? -- E.L.