Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What kind of doctor should I see about persistent heartburn and stomach aches?"
I am a 21 year old male who has frequent heartburn and stomach aches. I am taking prevacid daily for the heartburn. The stomach aches occur in the morning and after I eat. Almost any food I eat seems to cause this. I also have irregular bowel movements, alternating between constipation and diarrhea.
You should discuss these problems with your primary care doctor, and if necessary, a referral to a gastroenterologist can be made. Your heartburn may be treated by medications such as Prevacid, which are usually very effective in reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. The stomach aches in the morning and after meals may not be completely explained by excess stomach acid, and should be worked up further by your doctor. You may have some inflammation or a small ulcer in the stomach or first part of the small intestine. The irregular bowel movements alternating between constipation and diarrhea could be due to frequent changes in the make-up of your diet, but could also be due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. If this latter case is true, then you should talk with your doctor about what types of foods you should eat on a daily basis (including a steady amount of fiber), and what types of medications are available to help regulate your bowel habits.