Q Four weeks ago I had my gall bladder removed by keyhole surgery; I still have a lot of pain in my stomach and go from diarrhoea to constipation no happy medium.

Jack, 75

A Four weeks is still relatively early on following an operation. In terms of diarrhoea, the gallbladder stores bile acids which are then released to digest fats. If the gallbladder is removed, these acids drip directly from the liver into the intestine, and sometimes the quantity is not large enough to digest fats, which pass straight through, resulting in diarrhoea. Although you have had keyhole surgery, cuts have been made inside so there will still be some pain from these. However I would emphasise that what you are experiencing appears to be normal and should hopefully settle down by around three months.

Q Since having my baby daughter five weeks ago, I’ve had pain in my right wrist. It’s now in my left as well, and it’s really sore. I’m worried as my nana was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after her last pregnancy.

Laura, 34

A What you are describing sounds like De Quervain’s tenosynovitis, also known as “Mummy Thumb”. It is caused by the tendons of the thumb rubbing against the tunnel in which they run, and is very common in new mothers, mostly due to constantly picking your baby up under their arms. You may want to try scooping the child up under their bottom to put less pressure on your thumbs. If this does not help, a splint which immobilises the thumb may provide relief. Sometimes a steroid injection into the tendon is needed to reduce the inflammation. Your description sounds less like rheumatoid arthritis, but if this is a concern, it is worth discussing it with your GP.

If you have a question for Dr Zak, you can email him at askdoctorzak@gmail.com, see his website, doctorzak.co.uk or find him on twitter @AskDoctorZak.

Dr Uddin’s advice is provided in good faith and in accordance with currently accepted evidence. However, this content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of a GP, or other qualified health provider, regarding a medical condition.