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Have You Heard? It Could Be GERD!

Don’t suffer your symptoms in silence this holiday season

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MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (November 1, 2018) — As the holiday season approaches, most people are looking forward to parties with co-workers and friends, sharing quality time with family, and the rich meals that are a mainstay during this time of year. But, for those living with a chronic gastrointestinal (GI) disorder like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), that anticipation may be replaced by fear of unwanted symptoms.

“For individuals with GERD and other GI disorders, the holidays bring a lot of uncertainty,” said Ceciel T. Rooker, President of the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD). “Painful and often unpredictable symptoms may keep people from being able to relax and enjoy the holidays.”

GERD Awareness Week is November 18–24, 2018 and takes place each year during the week of Thanksgiving. During this time and throughout the year, IFFGD raises awareness of this common but often under-recognized health concern and encourages individuals who may be experiencing symptoms to talk to their doctor. For more information on GERD, visit

GERD occurs when stomach contents repeatedly flow backward, or reflux, into the esophagus, causing irritation. While heartburn and acid regurgitation are the most commonly experienced symptoms of GERD, other symptoms may occur. These may include:

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

“In most cases, the symptoms of GERD can be managed, and those affected can go back to enjoying the festivities of the season,” said Ms. Rooker. “But, the first step is to recognize symptoms that may signal GERD and seek the opinion of a medical professional.”

It’s time to see a doctor if your symptoms:

  • persist or become more severe,
  • occur at night and/or wake you from sleep,
  • occur two or more times a week,
  • have continued to reoccur over five years or more,
  • or, interfere with your daily activities.

“Your doctor will also be on the look-out for complications and other possible causes of your symptoms, such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and laryngeal pharyngeal reflux (LPR),” said Ms. Rooker. “So, whether it’s GERD or something else, make sure to tell your doctor about your symptoms – don’t suffer them in silence.”


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

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IFFGD is a nonprofit education and research organization. Our mission is to inform, assist, and support people affected by gastrointestinal disorders.

Our original content is authored specifically for IFFGD readers, in response to your questions and concerns.

If you found this article helpful, please consider supporting IFFGD with a small tax-deductible donation.

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