KUSA - Dr. John Torres from Premier Urgent Care answers your questions every week. If you have a medical question for Dr. John, send it to and make sure to have Ask Dr. John in the subject line.

Question #1
Hi Dr. JohnI'm a female, and I'm very bloated.I have never been bloated before and my stomach hurts when I push on it, is that normal??Genna

Most of the time bloating symptoms are due to common issues like a build up of intestinal gas. This type of bloating usually comes and goes and is often associated with certain foods. However, if bloating is associated with other symptoms it can be because of more serious issues. Having pain with bloating, especially if the bloating is continuous raises even more concern. If a woman of child bearing age have any type of abdominal pain than a pregnancy needs to be ruled out as an initial step. If not pregnant then other issues that could cause bloating include celiac disease or IBS. In addition, more serious problems like a small bowel obstruction or even a condition known as an ileus, where the intestines temporarily slow down, could also be causing bloating and pain. One condition that at least needs to be considered because it too can cause continual bloating is ovarian cancer. This type of cancer is oftentimes hard to detect and sometimes one of the few symptoms a woman notices is abdominal bloating. So the bottom line is that if bloating continues it definitely needs to be looked into to make sure it's not being caused by one of the more serious conditions that could cause it.

Question #2
Dr. John Torres,I contracted the respiratory infection, a MONTH ago! I've been to my primary care doctor and to a lung specialist. I was told this is a viral infection going around. I was given a nebulizer machine. I am NOT getting better. Other co-workers have the respiratory infection also. Some have been ill for a period of two months, now. What else can be done to get well? TIRED of being ill!Thank you,Paula

You are not alone in feeling frustration from having a lingering cough, especially this year. Many of us have suffered one or another type of respiratory illness only to discover that once the illness is gone the coughing continues. It turns out that on the average time for a cough to last after a respiratory illness is an average of 18 days. Some of these coughs can actually last months. This long term cough can be tough to tolerate, especially if it's not letting you sleep or if it's constantly disturbing family or coworkers. As long as other issues have been ruled out, the best way to treat it is with over the counter or prescription cough medicines. Occasionally a nebulizer, inhaler or even a short dosing of steroid medication might help as well. Some people have also found good success at fighting the cough with a simple spoonful of honey. Boosting your immune system by eating right, exercising and getting plenty of sleep can also go a long way towards cutting down on this annoying long lasting cough most of us seem to have this time of the year.