Q: My physician and various specialists cannot diagnose the source of my chronic cough (since 2000). I take blood pressure medicine that my physician has switched 10 to 15 times to try to alleviate the cough, to no effect. Could it possibly be related to my digestive system? Ruth S., Warren
A: Yes, it could be caused by chronic acid reflux. See a gastroenterologist to schedule an evaluation — an upper gastroscope will likely be needed. Your chronic cough could also be caused by post nasal sinus drip, allergies or sleep apnea. Unfortunately a few more specialist visits may be needed to diagnose the cause of your cough and treatment.
Q: Do I need to see you in-person before I schedule my screening colonoscopy? Frank D., Allen Park
A: No. If you are generally healthy, are not taking blood thinners or cardiac-related medications you can schedule a colonoscopy directly with an outpatient or ambulatory surgery center. Ambulatory surgery centers are the lowest cost, safest, highest quality and most convenient facilities for outpatient procedures. If you have any questions about the procedure you can call my office or the surgery center where you schedule the appointment.
Q: I have endometriosis and chronic pain in my abdomen. Could the endometriosis be affecting my colon? I do have some blood in my stool. Karen R., Brownstown Twp.
A: Yes, it can. Colonic endometriosis is a rare condition. Women who have it experience the uncomfortable symptoms of their menses inside their colon — obstructions, bloating, cramps, blood in the stool — due to the uterine tissue penetrating the colon. An evaluation for surgery to remove the endometriosis from your colon is needed.
Rana Sabbagh, M.D., is board-certified in internal medicine, gastroenterology and nutrition. She is the founder of GastroCenter of Michigan and Experior Weight Loss Clinic, 23500 Park St., Suite 2B in Dearborn. Do you have a health question for Dr. Sabbagh? Submit it by email to: [email protected]
All information provided in Ask The Doctor is intended for your general knowledge. Consult with your personal doctor or pharmacist for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of information you have read in any publication.