Is GERD Common Among Kids and Adults?


Heartburn is a common gastrointestinal (GI) condition that can affect individuals of all ages. Should it become a chronic health complication, however, the disorder is often identified as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Acid reflux happens when the contents of the stomach reverse course and push into the esophagus. This can cause patients to experience a number of distressing effects, such as a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) in addition to others. At Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology, our specialists routinely diagnose and treat GERD in children and adults. Read on to discover more about the prevalence and causes of acid indigestion and when to reach out to our Indianapolis, IN gastroenterologists for medical services.

What is the prevalence of GERD among adults and children?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is characterized when a person has acid indigestion episodes more than two times each week that occur alongside inflammation in the esophagus. Approximately 20 percent of U.S. adults have GERD, and around one out of 10 children show signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease a minimum of once each week. Without proper care, the condition can initiate a variety of additional digestive problems, including damage to the esophagus, painful sores in the esophagus, and a condition known as Barrett’s syndrome. Setting up an appointment with a gastrointestinal (GI) doctor at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology can allow our team to detect and treat GERD early on and decrease the risk of these conditions.

Causes acid reflux disease

Acid reflux disease can begin in the early years of life and can even affect infants. GERD could occur when the esophageal sphincter is weakened or can no longer inhibit foods and liquids in the stomach from purging upward into the esophagus. Common factors that can cause gastroesophageal acid reflux disease in Indianapolis, IN adults in kids include:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Excess acid production in the stomach
  • Certain medications
  • Being overweight
  • Tobacco use or exposure
  • Sensitivity to certain foods
  • Certain foods and drinks (like chocolate, peppermint, and coffee)
  • Slackening of the esophageal sphincter
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Stomach hernia

Can acid reflux symptoms be relieved?

Adults and children affected by GERD might experience a range of symptoms. The most common of these is heartburn. Further symptoms of acid reflux disease are:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Persistent belching
  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Sensation of something lodged in the chest
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Laryngeal inflammation
  • Weight loss

The experienced GI specialists at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology frequently provide treatment for individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease. The symptoms of GERD may be alleviated or controlled via lifestyle improvements (such as smoking cessation and weight loss), over-the-counter or prescription medications, and dietary changes. For some patients, a surgical procedure, like fundoplication, could be performed to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.

Get treatment for GERD in Indianapolis, IN

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common digestive health disease that can disrupt your health, comfort, and life in a variety of ways. To learn more about the predominance of acid reflux disease among adults and kids or to find help for chronic acid reflux discomfort, please contact Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Our board-certified gastroenterologists have the skills needed to help you and your family members attain improved digestive wellness. Please contact one of our GI practices in Indianapolis, IN today to schedule a consultation.