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Feeding Glossary

Acid suppressors: Acid suppressors are drugs which suppress the production of acid in the stomach. These drugs are commonly used for GERD, as well as for other conditions (such as ulcer) that involve stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists are types of acid suppressors.

Ambulatory pH monitoring: Ambulatory pH monitoring is a procedure that measures refluxes from the stomach and/or the esophagus over a 24- to 48-hour period.

Antacids: Antacids are drugs commonly used for indigestion and heartburn. Antacids work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. They generally are not recommended to treat the frequent heartburn associated with GERD.

Anti-reflux surgery: Anti-reflux surgery is aimed at modifying the lower esophageal sphincter to treat the symptoms of GERD.

Aspirating: Where food or liquid passes into the wind-pipe and lungs.

Calories: A measure of the energy in food.

Congenital: Present at birth.

Dysarthria: Impairment of control of muscles that produce speech, leading to weakness or slowness in their movement and resulting in slurring of speech. Often caused by nerve or brain damage.

Endoscopy: Endoscopy is a procedure that allows a physician to visualize the esophagus and the stomach. Endoscopy can be used to assess the presence of erosive esophagitis, ulcers, hernias, or abnormal growths.

Erosive esophagitis: Erosive esophagitis is a complication of GERD that may result, when the esophagus is exposed to stomach contents over a long period of time.

Esophageal manometry (also called motility testing): Esophageal manometry is a procedure commonly used to determine whether symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, are related to GERD, or to another condition. It is also used to preoperatively assess patients who are undergoing anti-reflux surgery.

Esophagus: The esophagus is the long muscular tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Food consistency: The thickness, runniness or lumpiness of food.

Gastro-oesophogeal reflux: The return of food and liquid from the stomach into the oesophagus (the tube connecting the stomach to the mouth) due to the failure of the valve at the entrance to the stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the rising (reflux) of gastric contents from the stomach into the esophagus. When a person has GERD, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes transiently at random times, allowing gastric contents from the stomach to reflux into the esophagus.

Gastroenterologist: A doctor who has specialized training in disorders of the gut, including the oesophagus, stomach, liver and bowel.

Gastrostomy: The making of an artificial opening into the stomach through which a specially prepared liquid formula, containing the nutrients normally available in food, is passed to avoid food having to be taken in by the mouth.

Hard palate: Roof of the mouth.

Hypersensitive: Where the response to stimulation or sensation is too weak.

Hyposensitive: Where the response to stimulation or sensation is too strong.

H2-receptor antagonist or H2-receptor blocker: An H2-receptor antagonist (or blocker) is a drug that is an acid suppressor. These drugs prevent a substance called histamine from stimulating acid production.

Lower esophageal sphincter (LES: Lower esophageal sphincter is located between the stomach and the esophagus. When the lower esophageal sphincter does not stay closed after food has passed through, acid and stomach contents may reflux back into the esophagus.

Malnutrition: Lack of sufficient food, resulting in an unbalanced diet.

Naso-gastric tube: A tube inserted through the nose into the stomach.

Neurological problems: Problems having to do with the body’s nervous system.

Nutrition: The food requirements of a well-balanced diet.

Oesophageal reflux: Re-entry of stomach contents into the oesophagus (the tube connecting the mouth and the stomach).

Oral: To do with the mouth.

Oromotor: To do with muscles involved in chewing and swallowing.

PH: The pH scale measures how acidic or alkaline (basic) a substance is, with low pH levels being more acidic and high pH levels being more alkaline. A pH of 4 or less is generally considered to be injurious to the esophagus.

Proton pump inhibitor (PPI): Proton pump inhibitors are drugs that work by directly preventing parietal cells in the stomach from producing acid.

Reflex patterns: Automatic movements, where the same movement occurs in response to the same stimulation, for example, turning the head to one side causes the arm and leg on that side of the body to straighten out and the arm and the leg on the other side of the body to bend.

Reflux: Reflux refers to the rising of gastric contents from the stomach into the esophagus due to transient relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter at random times.

Regional Paediatric Rehabilitation Specialist: The paediatric specialist who visits a particular region of Novita and who may be consulted for problems arising from the child's disability.

Soft palate: The soft part of the roof at the back of the mouth.

Tube feeding: Provision of food to the stomach through a tube.

Videofluoroscopy: An X-ray showing the path taken by food and drink during the process of eating and swallowing.

Other pages in this section:
Feeding & Positioning
Tube Feeding
Tube Feeding Experiences
Feeding tips and tricks
Oral Feeding Experiences


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August 16, 2001- January 12, 2005

This website is funded in loving memory of Jason S. by his mother Kammy

The information on this site is provided by families, caregivers, and professionals who are or have been caring for a child with Hydranencephaly.

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