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  1. A-fib patients have nonmedicine options if needed

    Dear Dr. Roach: In your February column on atrial fibrillation, you did not address a procedure that can be done to cure the condition rather than taking medication. Could you discuss this, and whether medication would be necessary afterward?

  2. No evidence that narcotics can help heal colitis

    Dear Dr. Roach: I have a very close relative who has ulcerative colitis and who was very ill a few years ago. She is now in partial remission but still has bouts of colitis. She found a doctor who (she thinks) is the smartest person in the world. He is treating her with Vicodin, about which he says, “No one knows why, but this drug heals the lesions associated with the disease.” She is also on other colitis meds similar to Asacol.

  3. Possibly cancerous tumor needs examination

    Dear Dr. Roach: Could you please explain what makes a pheochromocytoma cancerous, what the symptoms are, what the protocol for treatment is and where the best places for treatment might be, as very little is known about this kind of cancer?

  4. Teeth grinding is common in the elderly

    Dear Dr. Roach: My mother-in-law is 95 and lives in a nursing home. Sometimes when we visit, I can barely stand to be in her presence because she savagely grinds her teeth, making an awful grating, creaking noise. Could there be some medical reason for this?

  5. Patient wants to override the doctor's advice

    Dear Dr. Roach: I am 95 now and take no medications. My primary-care doctor wants me to take aspirin, even just the baby aspirin, twice a week. Some of the supplements I take do have blood-thinning characteristics, and for that reason I am fighting the aspirin recommendation.

  6. Many prefer natural THC in pot to the synthetic form

    Dear Dr. Roach: I understand that THC is the active drug in marijuana. Where medical marijuana is legal, why isn't THC extracted and prescribed?

  7. Vitamins D-3 and K can assist calcium metabolism

    Dear Dr. Roach: I was prescribed Boniva and Fosamax by my gynecologist when my bone scan indicated a decreased bone density. I had severe esophagus spasms and ceased that treatment.

  8. Foot ulcers are concern of diabetes patients

    Dear Dr. Roach: My father is an 84-year-old diabetic. He has had a wound on his foot (on the inner side of his right foot, near his big toe) for about five months. He has been treated by a podiatrist, who has debrided the wound every week. He prescribed antibiotics when the wound has looked infected. A visiting nurse and my mother have changed and dressed the wound regularly during these months.

  9. Early diagnosis important to treat Wegener's

    Dear Dr. Roach: In March 2009, a family member was hav­ing terrible flu-like symptoms accompanied by horrific headaches. The symptoms lingered on for what se­emed like forever, getting worse, even with hallucinations and cold sweats. At first, his doctor thought he had mesothelioma, but after numerous tests and much research, decided it wasn’t cancer, and in July 2009, he was diagnosed with Wegener’s granulomatosis.

  10. Sarcoidosis little understood, complex illness

    Dear Dr. Roach: Our son is 43 and has sarcoidosis. We can't find out much about this disease. Most doctors don't seem to know much, either.

  11. Lifestyle changes good choice for prediabetics

    Dear Dr. Roach: I'm prediabetic. I've known you and others to say avoid any grain that is not whole wheat. Based on that, I leave off white rice, pasta and white rolls. I eat two whole-wheat rolls most days. Does that sound right? I'm underweight.

  12. Strange spells could be the result of anxiety

    Dear Dr. Roach: I have been having weird spells for about six months. They occur only occasionally and last a couple of days and nights. They awaken me out of sleep and are a little frightening. It starts with a burning sensation on the right side of my nose. I feel as if I have to remember something, and a wave of warmth floods over my upper torso, down to my arms. I feel my heart fluttering, and am a little sick to my stomach. I also have funny sensations in my right ear.

Health Columnist

Dr. Paul Donohue writes a daily column titled "To Your Health" that is syndicated to more than 175 newspapers. The question-and-answer series is one of the oldest health columns in the North America, having first appeared in the 50s. Dr. Donohue took over the series nearly 20 years ago.

Dr. Donohue is board-certified in his primary specialty, internal medicine, the specialty that emphasizes diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of illnesses. He also is board-certified in the subspecialty of infectious diseases.

He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has a master's degree in public health from Tulane University in New Orleans and did advanced work on infectious diseases at the University of California, Davis. After completing medical school, he served two years in the Army Medical Corps and 18 months as battalion surgeon in the 173rd Airborne Brigade-for which he was awarded two Bronze Stars, one of which was for valor during combat.

  • Write to Dr. Paul Donohue at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475.
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