Glossary of terms

A

  • Alginate - a type of treatment based on a polysaccharide which is extracted from brown seaweed.
  • Antacids - a type of treatment that is alkaline in nature and works by neutralising excess acid.

D

  • Digestion - process of breaking down foods into small molecules for absorption.

G

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux - movement of the stomach contents back up into the oesophagus.
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) - condition caused by abnormal gastro-oesophageal reflux (also known as GERD - utilising the American spelling 'esophagus'). Symptoms include those of heartburn and regurgitation.

H

  • Heartburn - burning pain caused by acid which normally sits within the protected lining of the stomach but escapes back up into the oesophagus (food pipe).

O

  • Oesophagus - commonly known as the food pipe or gullet; a muscular tube approximately 25 cm long that extends from the back of the throat to the stomach. Food passes along the oesophagus aided by waves of peristalsis (muscle contractions).

R

  • Reflux - movement of the stomach contents back up into the oesophagus.
  • Reflux suppressant - a type of treatment that produces a physical barrier to help prevent the stomach contents moving back up into the oesophagus.
  • Regurgitation - the bringing up of undigested food from the stomach to the mouth.

S

  • Saliva - alkaline liquid secreted into the mouth
  • Salivary glands - glands that produce saliva
  • Sphincter - a ring of muscle, for example, at the entrance to the stomach.