How GERD Symptoms Vary Between Adults and Kids

By: Our Team


One of the top common conditions that many patients will experience at some point during their lives is acid reflux. The main sign of acid reflux is heartburn, which is known as a burning feeling around the heart that may worsen directly after a meal or when lying down. Intermittent heartburn and acid reflux are usually no cause for alarm, but for patients noticing complications on a regular basis (more than twice a week), these instances may be a sign of a more severe disorder referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Our team estimates that roughly 20% of United States citizens are currently dealing with GERD. This chronic disease could result in several severe concerns. When you have constant heartburn and acid reflux, get in touch with a GI doctor at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Indianapolis, IN and discover how you can guard yourself against this illness.

Facts about GERD

GERD is a disease that affects the gastrointestinal system in which stomach acid surges back up the esophagus. When the digestive tract is healthy, the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), a circular muscle that separates the esophagus and the stomach, acts as a valve, enabling food to travel to the stomach and stopping the contents from rising back up the esophagus. If the lower esophageal sphincter eases at a bad time, acid reflux, heartburn, and different signs can develop. GERD is characterized as chronic acid reflux, usually recurring over two times a week. Patients of many ages, along with babies, can be diagnosed with GERD. If left untreated, GERD can cause long-lasting inflammation of the esophagus. This may eventually lead to the buildup of scar tissue, ulcers, or open wounds, as well as a greater risk of esophageal cancer.

What are some causes of GERD?

This disease is brought on by an improperly functioning LES. While the specific cause of LES dysfunction can be unidentified, there are several conditions that heighten the likelihood of dysfunction and the indications of GERD. These may include:

  • Obesity
  • Being pregnant
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Scleroderma (or some other internal tissue disorders)

Certain habits, such as using cigarettes or other tobacco products, can also induce heartburn and be a risk factor for GERD. Certain medications can lead to GERD or exacerbate the symptoms of GERD, like anti-anxiety meds, calcium channel blockers, particular asthma prescriptions, and SSRIs.

What are the indications of GERD in adults?

The most popular sign of GERD is persistent heartburn. In the event that you notice yourself taking OTC antacids more than twice a week, this may be an indication of GERD. But a person could still be diagnosed with GERD even if they don't suffer from heartburn. The indications of GERD, like the quiet GERD symptoms that do not occur in the chest cavity, include but are not limited to the following:

  • Noticing a lump in the throat
  • Swallowing problems
  • Halitosis
  • Vomiting
  • Constant coughing
  • Postnasal drip
  • Trouble breathing
  • Tooth decay

What are some of the symptoms of GERD in infants?

Seeing that GERD may be identified in any patient at any period of life, it is important to note GERD symptoms as they form in infants. The most occurring signs of GERD in babies include:

  • Poor weight gain or even losing weight
  • Arched back while or immediately after feeding
  • Refusing to feed
  • Swallowing problems
  • Gagging
  • Regular vomiting
  • Panting
  • Frequent coughing

If your baby has been showing any of these persistent signs, talk to a member of our team at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology to schedule an examination at your earliest convenience.

Treatments for GERD in Indianapolis, IN

When heartburn or any other symptoms of GERD are harming the enjoyment you're getting from life, you can hear more about your alternatives for addressing this issue at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Our expert doctors at are dedicated to helping patients understand and manage their GI wellness along with maintaining the utmost clinical standards. Call our team in Indianapolis, IN to discover more about treatment for GERD.