When to have an expert check out abdominal pain

Sudarshan Singal, M.D.

Q: I have a difficult time flexing my abdomen or sucking in my stomach without feeling some pain. Even when there is pressure applied from leaning against something I have discomfort. Should I have an ultrasound to find out what is going on? Carolyn G., Dearborn

A. If you do a lot of abdominal exercises, some pain from flexing or sucking in your stomach would be normal. However, if you have other symptoms, like nausea, discomfort swallowing food or any change in bowel habits, then I definitely suggest that you see a gastroenterologist and have an evaluation.

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Q: How long should I wait before consulting a doctor about constipation? Is six or seven days without a bowel movement while taking a laxative normal? I have no discomfort or pain, just feeling bloated. I am 45. Thank you. Kathleen S., Woodhaven

A. These are classical symptoms of constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome. If you have been going to the bathroom only once or twice a week all of your life, then it could be a normal part of aging. But, if you have lost weight or have any rectal bleeding then you should have an evaluation done by a gastroenterologist to make sure there are no abnormalities in your colon.

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Q: I am 40 years old and have recently been diagnosed with gallstones. What are my treatment options? Neil M., Southgate

A. You should definitely have a cholecystectomy done to remove your gallbladder. It is a very simple, safe outpatient procedure.

Sudarshan Singal, M.D. is board-certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. His practices are at 2070 Biddle, Suite 1, in Wyandotte, and 4160 John R, Suite 608, in Detroit. Do you have a health question for Dr. Mekasha? Submit it by email to: askthedoctor@cscmi.net.

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