i first noticed GERD, occasionally, in my twenties..it was one of those things where i never carried antacids, but had some in the medicine cabinet...once every several days, or week id get a little back wash, often i could fix it with some water or milk
i remember in my 30s i carried a basic simple ant acid, calcium carbonate, and i would be popping a couple every 2nd or third day, i was drinking a lot of coffee in those days and alcohol too
by my 40s reflux was an every other day event and i noticed that sometimes bending over after a big meal or any drinking wine was like pouring stuff out of my stomach and i started carrying a variety of liquid and pill reflux pharmacopoeia everywhere i went
in my early 50s i was being awakened at night to bouts of reflux and i had to really watch what i eat during the day or i would have that pain in the chest after every meal
now at a little past my 60th birthday, i suffer all the time unless i eat small meals and avoid problem foods...a list almost as long as the list of foods i can eat... and even obeying the rules i still burn, on and off, for reasons that frequently follow no pattern...my LES and or the nerves that control it are broken and the diaphragm has been displaced from supporting the les due to a hiatal hernia
in the last year my gerd turned to lpr with reflux entering my larynx and lungs if i dont sleep very inclined and cut off eating after 6pm...PPIs make me dizzy and make it hard to eat anything that isnt cooked, for fear of infection, so ive been using as little in the way of H2 blockers as i can get away with
so how long have i had GERD?.... i would say...f o r e v e r...
a long tale...
i bet you are sorry you asked :) but thats my story and im stickin to it