The Prevalence of Acid Reflux Disease Among Adults and Children


Acid reflux disease is a widespread issue affecting patients in every stage of life. When it becomes a persistent digestive complication, however, the disorder is commonly diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), generally referred to as GERD. Indigestion happens when food and acid in the stomach reverse course and push into the esophagus. This can cause patients to experience troublesome effects, like a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn), along with others. At Arizona Digestive Health, our gastrointestinal (GI) doctors routinely diagnose and treat acid reflux disease in Phoenix, AZ kids and adults. Read on to learn about the prevalence of GERD and when to reach out to our gastroenterologists for help.

How prevalent is GERD among kids and adults?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is ordinarily defined when a person experiences acid indigestion symptoms greater than two times a week that are accompanied by inflamed tissue in the esophagus. Around 20 percent of U.S. adults have GERD, and approximately 10 percent of children have symptoms of acid reflux at least once a week. In the absence of medical help, acid indigestion could initiate a variety of other health issues, including damage to the esophagus, esophageal ulcers, and a condition known as Barrett’s syndrome. Visiting a GI doctor at Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix, AZ can allow for the early identification of GERD and decrease the risk of its progression.

The causes of reflux disease among adults in children

GERD can start in the early years of life, even in the beginning stages of childhood. The condition can occur when the esophageal sphincter loosens or is unable to inhibit stomach contents from pushing back up into the esophagus. Factors that may lead to GERD in kids and adults are:

  • Certain types of medications
  • Some foods and drinks (such as peppermint, coffee, and chocolate)
  • Being overweight
  • Intolerance to certain foods
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Relaxation of the esophageal sphincter
  • Lasting dry cough
  • Excess stomach acid production
  • Tobacco smoke exposure

Can GERD symptoms be alleviated?

Patients affected by acid reflux disease might notice an array of uncomfortable symptoms. The most common of these is heartburn. Additional symptoms of GERD include:

  • Pain or pressure in the chest
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Persistent belching
  • Laryngeal inflammation
  • Trouble swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Sensation of something lodged in the chest
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Oral malodor

The distinguished gastrointestinal doctors at Arizona Digestive Health commonly provide care for Phoenix, AZ kids and adults with chronic acid reflux. The symptoms of GERD might often be minimized or controlled through dietary changes, improvements in lifestyle habits (such as weight reduction and quitting smoking), and over-the-counter or prescription medications. In some instances, surgical care, such as fundoplication, could be required to repair the muscle between the stomach and esophagus.

Receive help for acid reflux in Phoenix, AZ

GERD may be a common digestive disease, but it can interfere with your quality of life, health, and comfort in several ways. For more on the occurrence of acid reflux disease among children and adults or to find help for chronic acid reflux symptoms, get in touch with Arizona Digestive Health in Phoenix, AZ. Our board-certified gastroenterology team provides the expertise required to help you and your loved ones reach improved digestive health.