Ask a Gastroenterologist: Dr Poh Choo Hean from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: Gastroenterology & HepatologyAsk a Gastroenterologist: Dr Poh Choo Hean from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore
dr. Poh Choo Hean asked 3 years ago
I am Dr Poh Choo Hean, Gastroenterologist and Internal Medicine specialist based in Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital Singapore. I am a gastroenterologist specialising in the evaluation of gastrointestinal tract and liver disorders. I offer screening tests for cancers that affect the stomach, colon, and pancreas. I also specialise in OesophagealGastroduodenscope and Colonoscope, Therapeutic Endoscope to stop bleeding in ulcers, Manometry and pH impedance for acid reflux, PEG tube insertion, and video capsule endoscopy. I obtained my medical degree from the Queen’s University in the United Kingdom in 1999. Subsequently, I undertook my specialty training in Advanced Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology in Singapore and became a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine. In 2014, I decided to open my own clinic where I continuously serve both local and international patients. I rely on state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment to help me provide an accurate diagnosis of a patient’s condition, thereby allowing me to formulate the most effective treatment and management plan. Learn more about Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital here: Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss Digestive and Liver Health issues with everyone. Whether you've got questions about digestive or liver disorders, cancer screening for the stomach, colon, pancreas, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
16 Answers
Christian answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my epigastrium hurts if I press on it. And I feel it's getting harder to defecate. I sometimes see blood in my stool, although it's just a bit of blood and doesn’t always appear. I am advised to avoid spicy and sour food, but I sometimes consume them still. I am confused - is it really just because of food? I am afraid to see a doctor. I am worried that it turns out I have a serious disease. Please give me your advice, Doc. Thank you for your help.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Basically based on the questions there are 2 issues:

1) upper abdominal pain potentially can be related to acid issue. Sometimes certain food can trigger the pain. If pain persist best see a doctor to evaluate the stomach and if scope normal, one might need an ultrasound scan to check for gallstone.
2) bleeding likely secondary to piles especially if you find it hard to defecate.

Again it's always better to evaluate the colon to ensure that is not something serious especially if you have difficulty passing motion.


Hasan M answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my right stomach aches these few days. When it occurs, the pain radiates to my hip. My thigh is also swollen. When this problem began, I saw a GP and was given some medications. But it didn’t work. Please give me your advice, Doc
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Can I check when you say stomach pain is it above the belly button or at the belly button or below?
If there is swelling in the thigh area make sure there is no clot in the legs to account for the swelling.
If there is clot, you may need to do a CT scan abdomen/pelvis to exclude compression on blood vessel.

Nuari answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I have pain in my epigastrium. I sometimes feel a burning sensation in my stomach and have difficulty breathing. Sometimes I feel pain stabbing my shoulder blades. The sensation changes everyday. I take gastric pain medicines everyday. It has been 3 months since these symptoms occurred, though I have been avoiding spicy, hot, sour and oily foods.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Does the gastric medication work? If pain persists, you should undergo OGD to evaluate the stomach. If OGD normal then you should go for an ultrasound scan of abdomen to exclude gallstone.

Dara answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my epigastrium hurts this past two weeks, and my feet are swollen. I had a blood test. Sgot is around 50, sgpt around 70. Do I have a liver problem, Doc? What is the best treatment?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Are you on any other medications?
Blood pressure medications sometimes can cause leg to be swollen.
For the abnormality of the blood test – can medications related or fatty liver. Perhaps is good to have an ultrasound of liver to assess.

Ruth answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my father has pancreas cancer. He has had an intestinal bypass. What diet should he take on to prevent constipation?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

To avoid constipation, one's diet has to be high on fiber.

Friscila Boky Ohman answered 3 years ago
Doctor, are gastric acid reflux, GERD, and gastric ulcers hard to be cured and does the treatment take a long time? I have been having gastric acid reflux and have taken various medicines. I stopped eating spicy food and sour food such as milk, cheese, chocolate, coconut milk. But the reflux still recurs. Can hunger trigger this? My stomach USG result is normal.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

To heal inflammation in stomach or food pipe one would need about 6 weeks of gastric medications.

Unfortunately symptoms of reflux do recur and all you have to do is to take the gastric medications as when necessary when the symptoms come.

Pipit answered 3 years ago
I hear strange sounds in my digestive tract, from my stomach, throat, mouth. It sounds like there is a gas bubble. I feel as though something is pumping my stomach until it bloats and becomes hard. It often makes it difficult for me to breathe. I also feel as if there is pressure on my chest, giving me anxiety and panic attacks. My heart beats fast. The x-ray of my lung, also the ECG, abdomen USG, thyroid test - all of them showed normal results. But the USG result showed plenty of gas in my stomach. The doctor said I have a GERD problem. It has been years since I experienced all of this. What should I do to cure this?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Having sound from the stomach can be a normal phenomena. It does not indicate that you have underlying illness. The sound is produced when our intestines / stomach contracts.
To help with reflux you can take acid suppression medication and for bloating you can take prokinetic like motilium.

Aurellia answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I don’t have bile anymore, and lately I had a surgery for appendicitis. I also had a stomach endoscopy, CT scan, because my stomach is bloated and I have gastric acid reflux. Is the reflux due to the fact I don’t have bile anymore? I take dogmatil50mg, vometa, prosogan 30mg. Sometimes, those medicines have no effect on me. Are there any other medicines, Doc? Thank you
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

I presumed when you said you have no bile means you had a gallbladder surgery?
I don’t use dogmatil to treat bloating.
You can try using gaviscon to ease the gases.
Perhaps also watch what you eat as some food will produce more flatulence and gases.

Fatimahazzahra answered 3 years ago
Doctor, what is the medicine for gastric acid and cholesterol?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

The common gastric medication will be either H2 blocker like famotidine or proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole. The latest will be potassium blocker called Vocinti.

Cholesterol medications will be statin like simvastatin or rouvastatin .

M. Iqbal answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I have been waking up in the middle of the night for 2 days due to the pain in my epigastrium. My vision is blurry and I have cold sweats. But it is not the pain that makes me want to defecate. However, in the morning, the pain is gone. I have never had a gastric problem before. What condition is this, Doc? Please give me your advice.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

With night time pain, it could suggest that is stomach ulcer.
I think it will be good for you to undergo an OGD (endoscopy).

wahdaniyah answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I want to ask. I have been having stomachache for a long time - it feels like there is something stabbing me and sometimes it's hard for me to breathe. I also feel the pain in my lower abdomen. My USG result shows that my urinary tract and reproductive organs are normal. Is it perhaps due to an intestine problem?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Whereabout is your stomach discomfort? Is it above the belly button? If no endoscope done before perhaps you might want to do the endoscope to exclude the pain coming from stomach or intestine.

Agripina Taaweran answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my husband keeps complaining about gastric acid reflux. Please give us some advice.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Is your husband on medications? If despite medication he still has reflux , he would need to undergo 24 hour pH impedance or wireless bravo capsule to quantify on the acid.

Radian TU answered 3 years ago
The right side of my stomach hurts every time I eat spicy food, with the pain radiating to the hip. Is this a stomach problem or? What should I do?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

It is unusual for stomach pain to radiate to the hip. Perhaps you can do an ultrasound abdomen to evaluate your symptoms.

Andi Rismanto Silaen answered 3 years ago
Doctor, what is the medicine for gastric pains? Is it maag? If I forget to eat or eat later than my expected meal times, I start to feel pain in my chest which radiates to my back.
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

Maag is only an antacid. Not the most effective medication.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPi) are still the best medication.

The pain could be reflux. But if pain persist despite your maag or PPi you might want to see a doctor to ensure is not other reason for your chest pain- like heart pain.

Andi silaen answered 3 years ago
When my stomach pain recurs, I take inpepsa to get better. Can you tell me how to stop the pain from recurring? Thank you
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

If inflammation secondary to much acid, inpepsa might not be the most effective medication.
Ppi (proton pump inhibitors) still the best option and if you have not have any investigation done, you might need an endoscope to check on your symptoms.

M.nasir answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I have a stomach problem. Is it true that anything to do with the stomach requires a long healing process?
dr. Poh Choo Hean replied 3 years ago

If stomach pain due to inflammation, sometimes 6-8 weeks of medication will heal inflammation or ulcer. However sometimes the symptoms can come back and then you will only take the medication as when necessary.

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