What Is the Prevalence of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

GERD in kids and adults

Acid reflux is a common health problem that can impact individuals of all ages. If it becomes a long-term health problem, however, it may be identified as gastroesophageal reflux disease, often simply referred to as GERD. Reflux develops when the contents of the stomach reverse course and push back up into the esophagus. This can cause patients to suffer several uncomfortable effects, like heartburn (a burning sensation in the chest) and other symptoms. At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, our gastrointestinal (GI) specialists commonly diagnose and treat acid reflux disease in New Orleans, LA kids and adults. Read on to learn details about the prevalence and causes of GERD and when to reach out to our gastroenterology team for medical services.

How prevalent is acid reflux disease among adults and children?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is typically defined as having acid reflux symptoms over two times a week that are accompanied by swelling in the esophagus. It is estimated that approximately one out of five adults in the country have GERD, and about one out of 10 kids show signs of acid reflux a minimum of one time per week. Without professional care, this GI disease might cause a range of other health complications, like inflammation or sores in the esophagus and a condition known as Barrett’s syndrome. Visiting a GI specialist at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA can determine if GERD is present and minimize these health risks.

What causes GERD in adults in children?

The condition of acid reflux can begin early in life, even among babies. GERD might result when the muscle between the stomach and esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) is weakened or is unable to stop the passage of foods and liquids in the stomach from purging upward into the esophagus. Factors that may lead to GERD in adults and children are:

  • Certain medications
  • Elevated acid production in the stomach
  • Foods and drinks (such as chocolate, peppermint, and coffee)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Lingering dry cough
  • Food intolerance
  • Being overweight
  • Tobacco use or exposure
  • Stomach hernia
  • Laxation of the esophageal sphincter

How can GERD symptoms be relieved?

Adults and children with acid reflux disease may notice a range of unpleasant symptoms, in addition to the most common, which is heartburn. Further symptoms of acid reflux disease include:

  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Repeated belching
  • Vomiting
  • Feeling of something stuck in the throat
  • Laryngitis
  • Bad taste in the mouth

The skilled gastroenterologists at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates frequently provide treatment for New Orleans, LA patients who have persistent acid reflux disease. The symptoms of GERD can often be eased or managed via lifestyle improvements (like weight reduction and smoking cessation), prescription or over-the-counter medications, and improved nutrition. For some individuals, surgical care, such as fundoplication, might be necessary to narrow the esophageal sphincter.

Receive care for acid reflux disease in New Orleans, LA

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common GI condition and can impact your family's health, comfort, and life in various ways. To further explore the occurrence of GERD in kids and adults or to find relief from chronic acid reflux discomfort, get in touch with Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in New Orleans, LA. Our board-certified gastroenterologists provide the experience required to help you and your loved ones enjoy improved GI health and wellness.