Does GERD Affect Both Kids and Adults?

Acid reflux disease is a gastrointestinal (GI) issue that can impact individuals of all ages. When it develops into a chronic health complication, however, it could be diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD. Acid indigestion develops when the contents of the stomach push back up toward the esophagus. When this happens, patients often have a variety of troublesome effects, such as heartburn (a burning sensation in the chest) and other uncomfortable symptoms. At Digestive Health Associates of Texas, our GI specialists routinely diagnose and treat GERD in Dallas, TX children and adults. Continue reading to learn exactly how common acid reflux disease is and when to contact our board-certified gastroenterologists for treatment.

How common is GERD among children and adults?

GERD is generally characterized as having acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week that are accompanied by swelling in the esophageal area. About one out of five adults in the United States experience GERD, and around one out of 10 children have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux at least one time a week. Without proper help, acid indigestion can lead to a variety of additional health complications, such as inflammation in the esophagus, esophageal sores, and a condition known as Barrett’s syndrome. Partnering with a gastrointestinal specialist at Digestive Health Associates of Texas in Dallas, TX can help identify GERD early on and lessen the risk of these health issues.

What causes acid reflux disease?

Problems with acid reflux can start early in a person's life, including in early childhood. Gastroesophageal reflux disease may result when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) loosens or cannot prevent stomach acid and food from pushing back up into the esophagus. Factors that can contribute to GERD in adults and children include:

  • Obesity
  • Slackening of the LES
  • Excess acid production in the stomach
  • Tobacco use or exposure
  • Food sensitivities
  • Certain foods and drinks (like chocolate, coffee, and peppermint)
  • Some medications
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Lasting dry cough
  • Hiatal hernia

Can symptoms of acid reflux be relieved?

Patients who experience acid reflux disease could have an array of uncomfortable symptoms, including heartburn. Other symptoms of GERD are:

  • Feeling of something lodged in the throat
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Inflammation of the larynx
  • Oral malodor
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Frequent belching
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Stomach bloating
  • Unintentional weight loss

The qualified gastrointestinal doctors at Digestive Health Associates of Texas frequently provide treatment for Dallas, TX residents who have chronic acid reflux. The symptoms of GERD might often be eased or managed via lifestyle improvements (like weight reduction and smoking cessation), dietary changes, and over-the-counter or prescription drugs. In some instances, surgical procedures, such as fundoplication, could be required to help strengthen the muscle between the stomach and esophagus.

Get care for GERD in Dallas, TX

Gastroesophageal reflux disease may be a common health concern, but it can interfere with your health, general comfort, and quality of life in various ways. For more information on acid reflux conditions in children and kids or to receive assistance with chronic acid reflux symptoms, get in touch with Digestive Health Associates of Texas today. Our board-certified gastroenterologists in Dallas, TX have the expertise needed to help you and your loved ones experience better digestive health.