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An ever-growing glossary of terms related to or associated with home parenteral and enteral nutrition (HPEN), and the many medical conditions that can create a need for HPEN. If it’s a term you’ve seen in the newsletter or on the Oley website, we’ll be adding it to the glossary. This is a big undertaking, with multiple review processes built in, so expect it to grow over time. As it grows, we hope you will provide input! Our thanks to the many consumers and medical professionals who have helped with this project. If you have questions or comments, please contact Lisa


Any word or phrase that is underlined will also be included in the glossary.

 

A • B • C • E • F • G • H • I • J • K • L • M • N • O • P • Q • R • S • T • U • V • W • X • Y • Z

 

A

acute (uh-KYOOT): refers to conditions that happen suddenly and last a short time. Acute is the opposite of chronic.

 

American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN): Founded in 1976, ASPEN is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of clinical nutrition and metabolism. ASPEN members are involved in the provision of clinical nutrition therapies, including parenteral and enteral nutrition. With more than 6,500 members (in 2018) from around the world, ASPEN is a community of dietitians, nurses, pharmacists, physicians, scientists, students, and other health professionals from every facet of nutrition support clinical practice, research, and education. 

 

amino acids (uh-MEE-noh ASS-idz): the building blocks of protein. The body produces many amino acids and others come from food. The body absorbs amino acids through the small intestine into the blood, which then carries them throughout the body.

 

antibiotics (AN-tee-by-OT-ik): a medicine that kills bacteria and is used to treat infection.

 

anus (AY-nuhss): a one-inch opening at the end of the digestive tract through which stool leaves the body. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

appendix (uh-PEN-diks): a finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine in the lower right area of the abdomen. It does not appear to have a specific function in the body. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health).   

 

aseptic (AY-sep-tik): an environment that is clear of disease, bacteria, and contaminants.

 

ASPEN: see American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition.

 

aspiration (ASS-pur-AY-shun): when liquid, food, or foreign material enters into the airway and/or lungs. Sometimes referred to as “going down the wrong pipe.” This may cause aspiration pneumonia if stomach contents reflux back to lungs. To aspirate also refers to taking fluids out of the body, for example when fluid is drawn from the stomach into a syringe, when checking tube feeding toleration.

 

aspiration pneumonia (ASS-pur-AY-shun nu-MO-nya): a swelling or infection of the lungs that occurs when food, saliva, or other liquids are inhaled into the lungs.

 

B 

bacteria (bak-TEER-ee-uh): tiny organisms that can cause infections in many areas of the body, including the digestive tract. Not all bacteria are harmful to humans. Good bacteria reside naturally in the body and are beneficial to health.

 

bacterial overgrowth (bak-TEER-ee-uhl OH-vuhr-growth): the growth of excessive bacteria in the digestive tract. It is sometimes due to antibiotics but can occur when damage to nerves or muscles in the intestines leave undigested bacteria in the intestines, or situations when movement through the intestine is slowed or stopped.

  

balloon (buh-loon): one of two kinds of devices to keep a gastrostomy or jejunostomy feeding tube from sliding out of the hole (stoma) in the stomach or intestinal wall. It is a small inflatable bag made of a nonporous material. After the feeding tube is placed, the balloon is filled with water. It is one of two kinds of devices to keep a feeding tube in position inside the body. The other device is called a bumper.

bezoar (BEE-zor): a ball of food, mucus, plant fiber, hair, or other material that cannot be digested in the stomach. A bezoar can cause blockages, ulcers, and bleeding.

bile (byl): fluid made by the liver that serves two main functions: carrying toxins and waste products out of the body and helping the body digest fats and the fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Bile is stored in the gallbladder.

bile ducts (byl duhkts): tubes that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder for storage and to the duodenum for use in digestion.

bolus tube feeding (BOH-lus toob FEED-ing): a feeding method in which large amounts of enteral nutrition are given through a feeding tube using a syringe. See also continuous tube feeding. 

bowel movement (boul MOOV-ment): solid waste passed out of the body through the rectum and anus. Also called defecation.

 

Broviac® catheter (bro-VEE-ak KATH-i-tuhr): “Broviac” is the brand name for one type of thin, hollow, flexible silicone tube that is surgically placed into a main vein leading to the heart for the administration of parenteral nutrition, other IV fluids, and medication. The catheter is tunneled under the skin.

 

bumper (bum-PUR): a plastic pad that sits against the inside of the stomach wall to keep a gastrostomy or jejunostomy feeding tube from sliding out of the hole (stoma) in the stomach or intestinal wall. It is one of two kinds of devices to keep a feeding tube in position inside the body. The other device is called a balloon.

 

button (buh-tin): see low-profile device.

 

C

 

carbohydrates (KAR-boh-HY-drayts): one of the three main nutrients in food. During digestion, carbohydrates are changed to simple sugars and then stored in the liver until the body needs them for energy. Examples of foods that provide carbohydrate are starches, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, and sugars.

 

catheter (KATH-i-tuhr): a thin, flexible tube that carries fluids into or out of the body.

cecum (SEE-kuhm): the beginning of the large intestine. It is connected to the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum.

 

central line (SEN-truhl line): see central venous access device.

 

central line associated bloodstream infection (SEN-truhl line ASS-oh-see-AY-tid bluhd-streem IN-fek-shun): an infection that occurs when bacteria or other germs travel down a central venous access device and enter the bloodstream. Also called CLABSI.

 

central venous access device (SEN-truhl VEE-niss AK-sess DEE-vyss): a long, soft tube (a catheter) usually made of silicone, that is placed in a large vein in the neck (external jugular vein), chest (subclavian vein or axillary vein), or groin (femoral vein) to deliver intravenous (IV) fluids, parenteral nutrition, and medicines directly into the bloodstream over an extended period of time. Also called CVAD, CVC, central line, central venous line, or central venous catheter. See also Broviac® catheter and Hickman® catheter.

central venous catheter (SEN-truhl VEE-niss KATH-i-tuhr): see central venous access device.

chronic (KRON-ik): refers to disorders that last a long time, often years. Chronic is the opposite of acute.

CLABSI (CLAB-see): see central line associated bloodstream infection.

 

colon (KOH-lon): the part of the large intestine extending from the cecum to, yet not including, the rectum.

 

congenital (KON-jen-i-tuhl): a condition occurring from birth; not through heredity.

 

constipation (KON-stih-PAY-shun): a condition in which an adult has fewer than three bowel movements a week or a child has fewer than two bowel movements a week. During a bowel movement, stools can be hard, dry, and small; it may be difficult and painful to pass them. For some people, constipation is a functional gastrointestinal disorder.

 

consumer (kon-SOO-mur): in the context of home parenteral and/or enteral nutrition, this is a person using long-term nutrition support and/or the health-care system to maintain health.

 

contamination (kon-TAM-i-NAY-shun): when harmful germs or bacteria get into something and cause illness.

 

continuous tube feeding (KON-tin-YOO-us toob FEED-ing): a method of feeding in which small amounts of enteral nutrition are given over a long period of time through a feeding tube. See also bolus tube feeding.

CRBSI: catheter-related bloodstream infection. See central line associated bloodstream infection.

CVAD (see-vad): see central venous access device.

CVC (see-vee-see): central venous catheter. See central venous access device.

cyclic TPN (SIK-lik TEE-PEE-EN): infusion of parenteral nutrition only some part of the day. This allows the consumer greater flexibility, because they are not connected to an infusion pump twenty-four hours per day.

 

D

defecation (DEF-uh-kay-shuhn): see bowel movement.

depletion (de-PLEE-shun): the loss of, or act of removing, something that is normally found in the body, such as water or electrolytes.

 

dietitian (DY-uh-TISH-uhn): See registered dietitian nutritionist.

diffuse esophageal spasm (dih-FYOOZ uh-SOF-uh-JEE-uhl SPA-zum): uncoordinated contractions down the length of the esophagus that may cause pain or trouble swallowing.

digest (dy-JEST): the breakdown of food into small particles to allow nutrient absorption.

digestion (dy-JEST-shun): the process the body uses to break down food into nutrients, which the body uses for energy, growth, and cell repair.

 

digestive system (dy-JESS-tiv SISS-tuhm): the body system that helps the body digest food, which includes breaking food down and absorbing nutrients. The digestive system is made up of the digestive tract--the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon and rectum) and anus-- and the liver, pancreas, appendix, and gallbladder. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health).   

digestive tract (dy-JESS-tiv trakt): a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. The hollow organs that make up the digestive tract are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine—which includes the colon and the rectum—and anus. Also called the GI tract, alimentary canal, and gastrointestinal tract. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health).    

 

dumping syndrome (DUHMP-ing SIN-drohm): a condition that occurs when food moves too fast from the stomach to the small intestine. Sugar often causes it but other foods or fluids may cause it as well. Symptoms include nausea, pain, weakness, low blood sugar, irregular heart rhythms, and sweating. Also called rapid gastric emptying or postgastrectomy syndrome.

duodenum (doo-OD-uh-nuhm or doo-a-DEE-nuhm): the first part of the small intestine.

 

dysmotility (dis-mo-TIL-i-tee): when the muscles along the digestive tract do not work efficiently enough to push food or liquids through the tract. There are varying degrees of dysmotility. See also functional gastrointestinal disorders and gastroparesis.

 

dyspepsia (diss-PEP-see-uh): a group of gastrointestinal symptoms that occur together. Symptoms include an uncomfortable feeling of fullness during or after a meal and burning or pain in the upper abdomen. When symptoms are present for at least six months, the condition is known as functional dyspepsia. Functional dyspepsia can occur without other disease or injury that could explain the symptoms. It is a functional gastrointestinal disorder. Also known as indigestion.

 

dysphagia (diss-FAY-zee-uh): problems swallowing food or liquid, usually caused by blockage or injury to the esophagus, neurological conditions, or trauma.

 

 

E

enteral nutrition (EN-tur-uhl noo-TRISH-uhn): liquid formula or blenderized diet that is fed through a thin, hollow, flexible tube into the stomach or small intestine.

 

esophagus (uh-SOF-uh-guhss): the muscular tube that carries food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health).   

 

exit site (ek-ZIT site): where the catheter or feeding tube comes out from under the skin.

 

F

 

fats (FATS): one of the main macronutrients. Fats provide energy reserves. They are found in the diet in meats, dairy foods, and plant oils. Fats have many roles in the body including insulation, part of the cell membrane, and transporting other nutrients, including certain vitamins. See also lipids. 

feces (FEE-seez): see stool.

feeding tube (FEED-ing toob): a thin, hollow, flexible tube that goes into the stomach or small intestine and is used for administering fluids, enteral nutritionblenderized diet, and medications. See also gastrostomy tube (G-tube), PEG tube, low-profile device, jejunostomy tube (J-tube), gastrostomy-jejunostomy tube (G-J tube), nasogastric tube (NG-tube), and nasojejunal tube (NJ-tube).

 

G

G-tube: see gastrostomy tube.

gallbladder (GAWL-blad-ur): the organ that stores bile. Eating signals the gallbladder to empty the bile through the bile ducts into the small intestine to mix with food you eat. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

gastric residual (GASS-trik ree-sid-YOO-uhl): see residual volume.

 

gastrostomy tube (gass-TROSS-tuh-mee toob): a thin, hollow, flexible tube that goes through the stomach wall directly into the stomach. It is used to put fluids into the body, such as when administering enteral nutrition, blenderized diet, fluids, and medication. It may also be used to take fluids out of the body, as with venting and decompression, or to drain liquid remaining in the stomach after feeding (see residual volume) or if there is an obstruction or blockage. It may be placed using an endoscope or surgically. Also called a G-tube. See also feeding tube, PEG tube, low-profile device, jejunostomy tube, and gastrostomy-jejunostomy tube.

 

H

 

Hickman® catheter (HIK-min KATH-i-tuhr): “Hickman” is the brand name for one type of thin, hollow, flexible silicone tube that is surgically placed into a main vein in the chest leading to the heart for the administration of parenteral nutrition, other IV fluids, and medication. The catheter is tunneled under the skin.

 

homePEN (home-PEE-EE-EN): home parenteral and enteral nutrition. Also called HPEN.

 

homePN (home-PEE-EN): see HPN and parenteral nutrition.

 

HPN (AACH-PEE-EN): stands for "home parenteral nutrition," IV nutrition that is administered by the patient or patient’s caregiver at home.

 

hyperalimentation (HY-pur-AL-ihm-en-TAY-shun): an old term referring to parenteral nutrition.

hypoglycemia (HY-poh-GLY-see-mee-uh): a state in which there is not enough glucose in your blood to give the brain and other organs energy, or too much insulin, or metabolic failure. Hypoglycemia can sometimes cause shakiness, paleness, or heart racing. Also called low blood glucose or low blood sugar.

 

I

 

ileum (IL-ee-uhm): the end part of the small intestine.

intestines: See large intestine and small intestine. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

 

 

J

 

jejunostomy tube (JEH-joo-NOSS-tuh-mee toob): a thin, hollow, flexible tube that is surgically placed directly into the jejunum. It is used to administer enteral nutrition, fluids, and medication. It may be placed using an endoscope or surgically. Also called a J-tube. See also nasojejunal feeding tube, feeding tube, and low-profile device.

 

jejunum (jeh-JOO-nuhm): the middle section of the small intestine between the duodenum and ileum where most nutrients are absorbed.

 

K

 

L

large intestine (larj in-TESS-tin): the part of the intestine that includes the appendix, cecum, colon, and rectum. It absorbs water from the stool and changes it from a liquid to a solid form. The large intestine is approximately five feet long in adults. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

lipid (LIP-ihd): lipid, or fat, is one of the three major nutrients in food. Fats provide energy to the body and help with the absorption of certain vitamins.

liver (LIV-ur): an organ that has may functions, including making blood proteins and bile, storing energy and nutrients, fighting infection, and removing harmful chemicals from the blood. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

 

low-profile device (loh-PRO-fy-uhl DEE-vyss): a gastrostomy, jejunostomy, or gastrostomy-jejunostomy tube (G-, J-, or G-J tube) that is level with the surface of the skin. Also called a button, low-profile gastrostomy (or G-) tube, low-profile jejunostomy (or J-) tube, or low-profile gastrostomy-jejunostomy (or G-J) tube.

 

low-profile gastrostomy (or G-) tube: see low-profile device.

low-profile gastrostomy-jejunostomy (or G-J) tube: see low-profile device.

low-profile jejunostomy (or J-) tube: see low-profile device.

 

M

 

malabsorption (MAL-ab-SORP-shun): inability of the small intestine to absorb nutrients from foods. Malabsorption can result in deficiencies of protein, calories, and vitamins.

 

N

 

nasogastric tube (NAY-zoh-GASS-trik toob): a thin, hollow, flexible tube that enters the body through the nose and ends in the stomach. It is used to administer enteral nutrition, fluids, and medication. Also called an NG-tube. See also feeding tube, low-profile device, and nasojejunal tube.

 

nasojejunal tube (NAY-zoh-JEH-joo-nuhl toob): a thin, hollow, flexible tube that enters the body through the nose and ends in the jejunum, or second part of the small intestine. It is used to administer enteral nutrition, fluids, and medication. Also called an NJ-tube. 

NG-tube (en-GEE toob): see nasogastric tube.

NJ-tube (en-JAY toob): see nasojejunal tube.

nutrients (NOO-tree-intss): protein, carbohydrates, lipid, vitamins, minerals, or water.

 

O

 

obstruction (ob-STRUHK-shun): a blockage in the digestive tract that keeps solids and liquids from passing through.

 

P

parenteral nutrition (puh-REN-tur-uhl noo-TRISH-uhn): intravenous (IV) liquid mixture that provides calories and nutrients directly into the bloodstream and does not require digestion and absorption. It is administered by infusion pump though a special catheter that is placed surgically. Also called hyperalimentation, total parenteral nutrition (TPN), or home parenteral nutrition (HPN).

 

PEG tube (pegg toob): “PEG” stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. A PEG tube is a thin, hollow, flexible tube that is inserted through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach using an endoscope, then pulled out through the abdominal wall through an incision created by a physician (could be surgeon, gastroenterologist, radiologist). It is used to administer enteral nutrition, blenderized diet, and medication, and sometimes for venting or decompression.

PEN: referring to parenteral and/or enteral nutrition.

percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PUR-kyoo-TAY-nee-uhss EN-doh-skop-ik GASS-tross-tuh-mee): a medical procedure in which a feeding tube is placed using an endoscope. The tube is inserted through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach, then pulled out through the abdominal wall through an incision created by a physician. See also PEG tube.

 

peripherally inserted central catheter (PUR-if-ER-uhl-ee IN-suhr-tid SEN-truhl KATH-i-tuhr): a thin, hollow, flexible tube (a catheter) going through the skin from the arm into a vein leading into the heart. Used to administer intravenous (IV) fluids, medications, and/or nutrients. Also called a PICC line.

 

PICC line (pik line): see peripherally inserted central catheter.

postgastrectomy syndrome (post-GASS-trek-tuh-mee SIN-drohm): a condition that can occur after an operation to remove the stomach (gastrectomy). It causes food to empty too quickly. Also called dumping syndrome or rapid gastric emptying.

protein (PROH-teen): one of the main nutrients in food. Foods such as meat, eggs, and beans consist of large molecules of protein that the body digests into smaller molecules called amino acids. The body absorbs these amino acids through the small intestine into the blood which then carries them throughout the body.

 

Q

R

rapid gastric emptying (RAP-id GASS-trik emp-TEE-ing): see dumping syndrome.

RD: see registered dietitian nutritionist.

rectum (REK-tum): the lower end of the large intestine leading to the anus. The rectum stores stool prior to a bowel movement. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

 

registered dietitian nutritionist: food and nutrition experts who have met specific educational criteria, completed supervised experiences, passed a national examination, and maintain continuing professional education requirements to earn the RDN credential. Registered dietitian nutritionists work in a wide variety of employment settings, including health care, business and industry, community/public health, education, research, government agencies, and private practice. They provide nutrition therapy counseling, assist in making healthy food choices, teach principles of diet management for specific health and disease conditions, and manage and monitor enteral and parenteral nutrition. Also called RDN, registered dietitian, and RD.

residual volume (REE-sid-joo-uhl vahl-yoom): the amount of formula or gastric juices remaining in the stomach. Also called gastric residual or stomach residual.

 

S

small intestine (small in-TESS-tine): the tube-shaped organ between the stomach and large intestine. Most food digestion and nutrient absorption takes place in the small intestine. The small intestine measures about 20 feet long in adults and includes the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health).  

stomach (STUHM-uhk): the organ between the esophagus and the small intestine. The stomach slowly pumps food and liquids into the small intestine, which then absorbs needed nutrients. Digestive system illustration (courtesy National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health). 

 

stomach residual (STUHM-uhk REE-sid-joo-uhl): see residual volume.

  

stool (stuhl): solid waste that passes through the rectum as a bowel movement. Stools are undigested food, bacteria, mucus, and dead cells. Also called feces.


T

TPN (tee-pee-en): total parenteral nutrition; refers to the provision of a complete mixture of nutrients. See parenteral nutrition and HPN.

 

total parenteral nutrition: refers to the provision of a complete mixture of nutrients. Also called TPN. See parenteral nutrition and HPN.

 

V

VAD: vascular access device. See central venous access device.

vascular access device (VASS-kyoo-luhr AK-sess DEE-vyss): see central venous access device.

 

W

X

Y

Z

 

 

Updated:  8/16/18

 

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9/15/2018
Oley Regional Conference - Columbus, Ohio

This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.

 

Updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. 

 

This website was updated in 2015 with a generous grant from Shire, Inc. This website is an educational resource. It is not intended to provide medical advice or recommend a course of treatment. You should discuss all issues, ideas, suggestions, etc. with your clinician prior to use. Clinicians in a relevant field have reviewed the medical information; however, the Oley Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy of the information presented, and is not liable if information is incorrect or incomplete. If you have questions please contact Oley staff.
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