Infant Acid Reflux Glossary

The Infant Acid Reflux Glossary offers you a brief description of medical words or terms that may be unfamiliar to you. These words are related to infant acid reflux or infant GERD either appear on this website, are terms that you have read elsewhere or perhaps a term your medical provider team has used while communicating with you about your child regarding their acid reflux or GERD condition. These are all words and terms that are used to describe or affiliated with:
  • Infant Acid Reflux or Reflux in Children
  • Infant GER
  • Infant GERD

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary A through C:

Absorption:
Uptake of a material (a drug for example) from the stomach, intestine or into the bloodstream.

Acid Rebound:
Surge of gastric acid after a period of time when the stomach pH was not acidic; typically caused by fast-acting antacids that are potent enough to raise the stomach pH.

Activation:
The process in which a drug is stimulated to undergo a chemical change so that it can react with it's target. (See Degradation)

Acute Dystonic Reactions:
Involuntary rigidity and/or spasmodic movements in one or more parts of the body. This is a side effect of some drugs that affect dopamine receptors such as metoclopramide. (Also see: Rigid Body Posturing)

Apex / Apical End (Of Parietal Cell):
The top portion that opens into the gastric gland and releases stomach acid into the stomach. This is the site of the canaliculus, location of the active proton pumps and acid production.

Arrhythimia:
An irregularity in the rhythm of the heart beat.

Aspiration:
Inhaling liquid or vapor into the airway.

Barrett's Esophagus:
A type of Metaplasia (transformation from one cell type to another) in which the lining of the esophagus changes to mimic that of the stomach, in order to protect itself from acid reflux. It is generally a sign of concern as this can be a precancerous state.

Basal:
The resting or inactive state of a parietal cell in which minimal acid is produced. Also referred to as the tubulovesicular state.

Blood-Brainer Barrier:
A filter that allows only certain materials to cross from the bloodstream to the brain, protecting it from potentially harmful substances. In a drug development stage, this may be an obstacle or a benefit as some drugs are intended to cross the barrier while other are not. Most that are not intended to cross the barrier may trigger harmful neural side effects.

BM:
Breast Milk.

Buffer:
A neutralizing solution that either occur naturally in the body or are accomplished by the use of pharmaceutics to protect medication from stomach acid degradation.

Canaliculus:
The characteristic shape of a parietal cell, either having an invagination or canal throughout, as it produces acid. Much like villi in the esophagus. It's walls house active proton pumps. A parietal cell is said to be in an active or canalicular state while the canaliculus is present. (Also see Tubulovesicle)

Cell Membrane:
External wall of a cell.

CMPI:
Cows Milk Protein Intolerance.

CMPA:
Cows Milk Protein Allergy.

Chyme:
Partially digested food that passes from the stomach to the duodenum.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary D through F:

Degradation:
The process in which a drug undergoes a chemical change in a manner that make it unstable. (See Activation)

Delayed Release:
Any drug encapsulated by a protective enteric coating, which delays its absorption into the bloodstream. (Also see Immediate Release)

DD:
Dear Daughter.

DS:
Dear Son.

Duodenum:
The first ten to twelve inches of the small intestine, just past the stomach.

Dyspepsia:
Indigestion and heart burn.

ECL Cell:
A cell in the stomach lining that releases histamine in order to stimulate the parietal cell to begin producing acid. The ECL cell is stimulated by gastrin released by the G cell.

EER:
Extra-Esophageal Reflux is a condition in which the acid escapes the esophagus, allowing it to potentially reach the airway, throat, nasal cavity, sinuses and middle ear.

EERD:
Extra-Espophageal Reflux Disease. EERD it the similar a typical GERD and ENT (ear nose and throat Doctor) related manifestation of GERD. If frequent enough can cause tissue damage.

EGD:
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy. The use of an endoscope is sent down the throat in order to view the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine for diagnostic purposes.

Endoscope:
Endoscope is a mechanical flexible tube with a camera and light at the end. This light can give physical direct visualization of the internal structures. The nae of that procedure involving an endoscope has the suffix "-oscopy".

Enteric-Coating:
A protective coat that surrounds a drug to keep it from degrading in the acidic environment of the stomach. The enteric coating may surround an entire tablet or come in the form of tiny granules in a capsule or suspended in a liquid. Enternic-coating medications must NOT be crushed or chewed UNLESS it is used with a buffer.

Epithelium:
Epithelium is a cellular lining that covers the surface, internal or external, of an organ.

Eustachian Tube:
The connection between the middle ear and the nasal cavity, which maintains pressure int he ear and may act as a path of infection when infant acid reflux is present.

FPIES:
Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. FPIES is a non-IgE mediated immune reaction in the gastrointestinal system to one or more specific foods, commonly characterized by profuse vomiting and diarrhea. FPIES is presumed to be cell mediated. Poor growth may occur with continual ingestion. Upon removing the problem food(s), all FPIES symptoms subside. (Note: Having FPIES does not preclude one from having other allergies/intolerances with the food.) The most common FPIES triggers are cow's milk (dairy) and soy. However, any food can cause an FPIES reaction, even those not commonly considered allergens, such as rice, oat and barley. A child with FPIES may experience what appears to be a severe stomach bug, but the "bug" only starts a couple hours after the offending food is given. Many FPIES parents have rushed their children to the ER, limp from extreme, repeated projectile vomiting, only to be told, "It's the stomach flu." However, the next time they feed their children the same solids, the dramatic symptoms return.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary G through I:

G Cell:
Gastrin Cell is a cell in the stomach lining that is stimulated by an increase in gastric pH. This increase in pH is due to the presence of food. Once the G cell is stimulated, it releases gastrin into the bloodstream and eventually triggers acid production.

Gastrin:
Gastrin is a hormone that plays a primary role in triggering stomach acid production. Gastrin is released by the G Cell which is located in the stomach wall and tells the ECL cell to release histamine.

Gastrointestinal Tract:
Or GI tract is the digestive system consisting of the upper GI tract, the mouth, the pharynx, the esophagus and stomach. The lower GI tract consists of the small intestine, the large intestine and the anus, which is also called the alimentary canal.

GER:
Gastroesophageal Reflux is the backward flow of stomach contents into the esophagus.

GERD:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is GER (Gastroesophageal Reflux) that is frequent and severe enough to cause tissue damage.

Half-Life:
Half-Life is related to the amount of time required to eliminate the drug from the body and/or bloodstream. Half life is calculated by the reduction by half (50% in the first segment of depletion), then another half of the previous segment (50% reduced by another 50% is 25%), then to 12.5% etc. This is important in calculating dosage and intervals of a drug (how often a drug is given) when treating infant acid reflux.

Histamine:
Histamine is a protein involved in triggering stomach acid production. Histamine is released by the ECL cell and signals the parietal cell to begin secreting acid.

Helicobacter Pylori (H. pylori):
A bateria living in the stomach that is associated with gastric and duodenal ulcers.

Hydrochloric Acid (HCI):
Very simply… Stomach acid.

Immediate Release (Relating to drugs):
An immediate release drug is released for absorption as it enters the stomach. Immediate release allows the drug to be absorbed into the body earlier than with a delayed release drug. (See delayed release drugs)

Infection:
An infection is an overgrowth of microorganisms, such as bacteria or fungus, that triggers an immune response. Such as an inflammation or progresses into tissue damage/injury or disease.

Intraesophageal pH:
The level of pH in the esophagus.

Intragastric pH:
The level of pH in the stomach.

Ion:
An Ion is an atom with a positive or negative charge, making it unstable or reactive and subject to spontaneous change.

Ionization:
Is a chemical reaction that results in creating Ions or charged particles. When a drug is said to ionize it is when the drug becomes active.

"itis":
The suffix of a word that indicates an inflammation of.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary J through N:

Jaw Dystonia:
Jaw Dystonia is Trismus and is also known as lockjaw. The jaw is held firmly in place and is often seen with lingual distonia.

Larynx:
The larynx, also known as the voice box, is located at the entrance of the trachea or wind pipe.

Ligand:
A chemical messenger that fits into a receptor in order to communicate with a cell. For instance, when histamine binds to the H receptor to tell the parietal cell to begin acid secretion.

Lingual Distonia:
When the tongue is protruded from the mouth. This is often seen with jaw dystonia.

Metaplasia:
This is the process of normal tissue changing into an abnormal and often undesirable, type of tissue. For example: In Barrett's Esophagus, the cells in the lining of the esophagus change to mimic the lining of the stomach. This happens as a metamorphosis in an attempt to protect the esophagus from the damaging effects of acid in situations when acid reflux is present. This can also be indications of a pre-cancerous condition.

MSPI:
Milk Soy Protein Intolerance. Milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI) is a temporary inability to digest the proteins found in cow's milk and soy products. MSPI is different from a traditional food allergy. You may also see it referred to as food protein-induced colitis or cow's milk protein intolerance (CMPI).

NER:
Non-Erosive Reflux.

NERD:
Non-Erosive Reflux Disease.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary O through P:

Oculogyric:
When the eyes roll back and the neck is extended. The eyes may also flutter frequently.

Opisthotonux:
When the entire body is severely arched backward from the neck down to the ankles. Can and has been confused with seizures.

OTC:
Over The Counter. Indicating a drug is accessible by purchasing it off the shelf without a prescription.

Otitis Media:
Fluid in the middle ear.

Parietal Cell:
The cell that is the source of stomach acid secretion.

Pathology:
Disease or presence of illness in a tissue or body.

Pathological:
The state in which a tissue or the body is in when it contains disease or an illness.

Peristalsis:
Peristalsis is a wavelike contraction along the esophagus in the stomach and also in the intestine. This wavelike contraction keeps the stomach's contents and intestine's contents moving in the right direction and at a healthy pace.

pH:
The measure of pH is gauged the logarithmic scale which acids and bases (alkalis) are measured. The range is from "0" (high acidic) to "14" (highly alkaline).

Pharmaceutical Aid:
A product designed to make administering a drug easier.

Pharmacodynamics:
The study of how a medication affects the body.

Pharmacokinetics:
The study of the movement of medicines into, through, and out of the body.

Pharynx:
The throat. Often divided into the nasopharynx which is behind the nose, and the oropharynx which is behind the mouth.

Physiology:
It is the study of anatomy plus function.

Proton Pump:
Tiny pumps located in the wall of the parietal cell that are responsible for acid secretion.

Pylorus:
The lowest portion of the stomach that narrows. The pyloric sphincter is located between the pylorus and the small intestine.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary Q through S:

Receptor:
A communication point on a cell wall. This is where the ligand (the chemical messenger) fits into the receptor like a piece of a puzzle in order to communicate with that cell. For example: The H2 receptor and the target of the H2 blockers.

Receptor Antagonist:
A receptor is a communication point on a cell wall. The Antagonist also fits into the receptor, taking place of the ligand and blocking it from communicating with the cell.

Rhinosinsitis:
A nasal or sinus infection.

Sandifer's Syndrome:
An infant's use of abnormal but voluntary postures in an attempt to find a position that relieves any discomfort caused by reflux. Sandifer's Syndrome may resemble a seizure or an acute dystonic reaction.

Silent Reflux:
Infant acid reflux that is present without evidence or signs of the typical symptoms. Silent reflux typically occurs at night.

Stenosis:
A pathological contraction of a passageway (such as pyloric stenosis).

Stratified Squamous Epithelium:
The medical term for the cellular structure or the esophageal lining meaning "layered, flattened cellular lining".

Sucralfate:
A drug that provides a protective coating for ulcers, allowing them to heal.

Symptoms:
In the case of Infant Acid Reflux they are physical signs experienced by the patient that indicate the presence of a disorder or disease.

Infant Acid Reflux Glossary S through Z:

TED:
Total Elimination Diet. The elimination diet we use is based on eating the least allergenic food in each of the food groups. You may need to do this for two weeks since it can take this long for the offending foods to get out of your system and baby’s system.

Tolerance:
A condition in which the body tries to overcome the effects of a drug. Therefore the body develops resistance to that drug. Although the drug may work initially, after time it no longer causes the original intended effect.

Torticollis:
Neck dystonia or wry neck. When the head is held, rotated and tilted to one side. On occasion a variance or distortion of the mouth may occur.

Tubulovesicle:
A reserve, like a bubble, of a cell membrane stored inside the parietal cell. It houses inactive proton pumps in the cells wall. A parietal cell is said to be in an inactive or tubulovesicular state while these are present. (See Canaliculus)

UES:
The Upper Esophageal Sphincter. It is and acts as a valve located between the pharynx and the esophagus.

Ulcer:
An ulcer is a crater-lie injury and can occur in the lining of the esophagus, the stomach and/or the intestine.

Un-ionized:
Not Ionically charged and able to move freely through physiological membranes. For example: When a weak base such as a proton pump inhibitor is placed in a buffer such as sodium bicarbonate, it is in an un-ionized state.

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