IFFGD Celebrates 20 Years of Raising GERD Awareness

For Immediate Release

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., Nov. 25, 2019 -- 1 in 5 people suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in the United States and close to 5 million people are admitted into the hospital each year for chest pains. Half of these people who are admitted into the hospital experience what is called noncardiac chest pain and about 60% of these individuals may ultimately be diagnosed with GERD. Raising awareness for chronic gastrointestinal disorders like GERD helps to educate the general public and provide support to so many who may be suffering in silence.

GERD Awareness Week is November 24-30, 2019. IFFGD President, Ceciel T. Rooker commented, "This year we celebrate the 20th anniversary of GERD Awareness Week being recognized on the National Health Observances Calendar. Over the years, IFFGD has had the privilege to collaborate with so many individuals and organizations who share the same goal which is to raise awareness for chronic gastrointestinal disorders, such as GERD."

Each year we recognize GERD during the week of Thanksgiving. This year GERD Awareness Week is November 24-30, 2019. This year for GERD we will look back over the past 20 years to educate about the symptoms those with GERD may be experiencing and explore the various treatment options for patients.

GERD is often associated with repeat occurrences of stomach contents flowing backwards, or reflux, into the esophagus (the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach), causing irritation. Two common symptoms people may experience are heartburn and acid regurgitation. 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 irritation
  • Laryngitis
  • Inflammation of the gums
  • The erosion of tooth enamel
  • Morning hoarseness
  • A sour taste in the mouth

The symptoms which are most commonly associated with GERD can severely impact a person's life. "I hope that those living with GERD know that they are not alone and that GERD symptoms can be managed with proper diagnosis and a treatment plan," said Ceciel Rooker.

In some cases, if GERD is left undiagnosed or untreated people may notice other alarm signs. It is important to seek assistance from your healthcare provider 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.

"Often we look for solutions which are the most feasible and the most accessible, but it is important to speak with your healthcare provider first so that he or she can also look for complications and other possible causes of your symptoms," said Ceciel Rooker.

If you can recognize any of these symptoms, or your symptoms have gotten worse, speak with your healthcare provider to ensure that you are on the most up to date treatment plan which best fits your needs.

"We encourage you to join us this year November 24-30th using #GERDAwarenessWeek and #20thBdayGERD, in support of those who are living with GERD and all of the research being done in the field of Gastroenterology," said Ceciel Rooker.

For more information on GERD, visit www.aboutGERD.org.


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.

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