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.

Much info about low-carb diets is misleading

December 10, 2018 - 10:25am

 DEAR DR ROACH: I recently had my yearly physical with my primary care doctor of 10 years. I am a male, 75, who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 152 pounds.  
       He sent me my lab results and commented: "Your A1c (5.8) was in the prediabetic range of 5.8-6.4. Please remove all grains/breads/carbs/sugars and processed food from your diet and recheck this level in 6 months." I read up on low-carb diets and found that low-carb diets are rich in saturated fat and cholesterol, which might raise bad cholesterol and increase risk of heart disease.

Considering nose strips and other nighttime congestion aids

December 7, 2018 - 8:19am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: I have allergies and am congested a lot at night. I have read about over-the-counter clips and adhesive tapes. Would they help me breathe better? Are they safe for the long term? -- M.V.M.
       ANSWER: There are many different types of external devices that are designed to open the nasal passages during sleep to make breathing easier. Some of them are more like adhesive tape; others are inserted into the nostrils. They are marketed both for nighttime use and to improve sports performance.

What measurements trigger surgery for aneurysm?

December 6, 2018 - 11:28am

  DEAR DR. ROACH: I am a 68-year-old male in good health with a 3.3-centimeter aneurysm in my internal iliac artery. I have no symptoms. It was 1.9 cm eight years ago.
       My physician says that an aneurysm measuring over 3 cm requires surgical intervention. I have looked at recent studies that say an aneurysm measuring less than 4 cm can be safely observed because a rupture under this size is extremely rare. I welcome your opinion on this matter. -- T.R.

Leg-length discrepancy is common in polio survivors

November 30, 2018 - 10:00am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: I had polio when I was 11 years old, many years ago, and miraculously, recovered enough to live a normal life. When I was in my 40s, I developed constant back pain and visited a renowned orthopedist in Stamford, Connecticut. When I told him I'd had polio, he rolled up a paper towel and placed it under my right heel. He told me that "all people with polio have some degree of scoliosis." The pain went away almost immediately.

What exactly is Helicobacter pylori?

November 28, 2018 - 9:34am

       DEAR DR. ROACH: My 82-year-old husband was diagnosed with H. pylori and was treated with two antibiotics and omeprazole. Would you please expand on what exactly H. pylori is? -- T.R.
       ANSWER: Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria species that is able to live in the stomach. It was identified in a paper from 1984 and is now recognized as a major contributor to gastrointestinal ulcers and inflammation. In addition, it plays a role in the development of certain types of stomach cancers.

Symptoms and new meds align, but are drugs the culprit?

November 27, 2018 - 9:55am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: Following placement of two stents in my arteries (not my heart), my cardiac physician has me on an 81-mg aspirin and 75 mg of clopidogrel daily. I am much weaker during my exercise class, fall asleep in the late morning and am utterly unable to have sex. My primary physician is adamant that aspirin does not cause loss of strength. He did not comment on my sexual problem, except to refer me to my urologist, who simply ascribed it to my age (84). I take self-injected Praluent with no side effects.

When to get a flu shot if you have Lyme disease

November 23, 2018 - 10:33am

 DEAR DR. ROACH: Should people with Lyme disease avoid the flu shot? -- L.A.
       ANSWER: Lyme disease is a potentially serious infection caused by the bacteria Borrellia burgorferi, passed on by a tick bite. Lyme disease can go unrecognized for a period of time, especially when the classic rash is not present, which is not uncommon. Without prompt treatment, Lyme disease can progress to affect the brain, nerves, joints and heart.