Glossary

Keep in mind that these are my own simplified, patient written definitions. They are in no way written by a medical professional, If you would like further reading on these terms, there are plenty of sources who can give you all of that medical jargon you might be searching for!

Listed in alphabetical order, cause I’m nice like that!

  • CIPO – Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction. A disease that effects the intestines ability to push food through. Can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe distention, diarrhea and constipation. In some cases can lead to being unable to absorb nutrients through the digestive system. There are two types, myopathic, which is the injury to the smooth muscle in the digestive tract. Or there is neuropathic, which is caused by a miscommunication between the nervous system and the digestive tract.
  • Endoscopy – A form of imaging where a camera is placed inside of an organ to get a look around. When I refer to this, I’m generally speaking about endoscopies used to look around the upper part of the GI tract.
  • Gastroparesis – A disease where your stomach is paralyzed. Making it very difficult for food to travel through the digestive tract.
  • GI – Gastrointestinal. Relating to the stomach or intestines. Generally used when referring to a stomach doctor, GI Doc.
  • G-Tube – Explained on this page. In short, a tube that goes into the abdominal wall and into the stomach.
  • Hickman – Explained on this page. In short, a permanent silicone central line that has a special cuff that helps hold it in place and gives it some special characteristics. Generally placed in the upper chest area.
  • J- Tube – Explained on this page. In short, a tube that goes into the abdominal wall and into the jejunum.
  • NG- Tube – Explained on this page. In short, a tube that goes in through the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach.
  • Peristalsis – An involuntary constriction and relaxation of the muscles of the gut that help move the contents through. A wave-like movement.
  • PICC Line – Explained on this page. In short, a short term non-permanent type of central line that is generally placed in the inner upper arm.
  • Port – Explained on this page. In short, a permanent central line that is placed under the skin and requires being accessed to use. Generally placed in the upper chest area.
  • Saline – A sterile saltwater solution used to quickly flush central lines before administering a med, or used as additional hydration over a longer period of time.
  • SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth. When there is an excessive amount of bacteria living in the small intestine. Can often lead to severe distention, nausea, vomiting, malnutrition, weight loss, and a slew of other symptoms. Is generally treated with antibiotics.
  • TPN – Total Parenteral Nutrition. A combination of  vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fluids, fats, and carbs that are all contained in a sterile bag that is administeredthrough a central line (learn about those here). TPN is used for people who cannot digest or absorb nutrients properly through their gut, it bypasses the entire digestive system and is administered directly into the veins.

Note* These are all my own definitions of these tubes and lines in laymen terms. If you’d like further medically explained definitions, there are multiple sources out there such as medical institutions websites.