GERD Awareness Week: Shedding Light on Life with GERD

IFFGD raises awareness about GERD and its impacts on an individual’s quality of life

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., Oct. 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) affects millions worldwide, challenging their daily lives with persistent symptoms and discomfort. A population-based survey showed that 2 of 5 Americans reported having experienced GERD symptoms in the past, and 1 of 3 had symptoms in the past week. GERD Awareness Week is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the experiences of those living with this condition and the importance of support and understanding.

Ceciel T Rooker, IFFGD President, states, “GERD is a condition that should not be underestimated. It can profoundly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting not only physical health but also emotional and social well-being. It’s important for individuals experiencing GERD symptoms to seek help from a healthcare professional and develop a comprehensive management plan tailored to their needs.”

GERD is a condition where stomach contents flow back (reflux) into the esophagus, causing troublesome symptoms and/or possible damage to the esophagus. Two common symptoms people may experience are heartburn and acid regurgitation (refluxed material into the mouth). Other symptoms may also occur. These include: 

  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing 
  • Excessive belching 
  • The feeling of food sticking in the esophagus 
  • Chronic sore throat or irritated Laryngitis
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • The erosion of tooth enamel
  • Morning hoarseness
  • A sour taste in the mouth 

The effects of GERD can reach far beyond the physical discomfort, significantly impacting the quality of life of those who endure it.

Individuals living with GERD often face a multitude of challenges, including:

  1. Dietary Restrictions: Many individuals with GERD must limit or avoid certain foods and beverages, which can be socially isolating.
  2. Sleep Disturbances: Nighttime acid reflux can disrupt sleep patterns, leaving individuals tired and irritable during the day.
  3. Social Limitations: Activities like dining out, attending social events, and traveling can become more complicated due to the dietary and timing considerations necessary to manage GERD.
  4. Chronic Discomfort: Dealing with persistent symptoms like heartburn and chest pain can lead to chronic discomfort and anxiety.
  5. Medication Management: Some individuals require ongoing medication to control their symptoms, which can have its own set of challenges.

Over time, people with chronic heartburn are at a greater risk for complications, including stricture or a potentially pre-cancerous disease that involves a cellular change in the esophagus called Barrett’s esophagus.” Frequent, worsening, or persistent heartburn signals that it’s time to see your healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan,” said Ceciel T. Rooker

GERD Awareness Week is November 19-25, 2023. “This year, we will raise awareness about GERD’s impact on the quality of life for many individuals, frequently used lifestyle modifications, and treatment options available,” Ceciel T. Rooker. IFFGD will launch an awareness campaign that acknowledges what it is like to live with GERD – using the hashtags #LivingWithGERD23 and #GERDAwarenessWeek on social media platforms to amplify the voice of the patient community. To learn more about GERD, visit or follow this link to download GERD Awareness Week social images and media toolkit. 

The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD) is a nonprofit education and research organization dedicated to improving the lives of people affected by chronic gastrointestinal illnesses. Founded in 1991, IFFGD helps improve patient outcomes by enhancing awareness, improving education, and supporting and encouraging research into treatments and cures for chronic digestive disorders.

Hayley McCorkle
(414) 964-1799

SOURCE The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders