10 Common Acid Reflux Terms Defined

by Tracy Davenport, Ph.D. Health Writer


Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic condition in which the lower esophageal sphincter allows gastric acids to reflux into the esophagus, causing heartburn, acid indigestion, and possible injury to the esophageal lining.


Medicine that neutralizes stomach acid.


This test is often used when someone reports symptoms of acid reflux and involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube down the throat to detect damage or any abnormalities.

Motility drugs

A pharmacologic agent that can improve esophageal and gastric emptying.


The muscular tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach.

Failure to thrive

A significant interruption in the expected rate of growth compared with other children of similar age and sex during early childhood.

Food aversions

Refusing to eat certain foods as a potential side effect of reflux.

H-2 Blocker

These medications block histamine at the receptor side of the parietal cell.

Lactose intolerance

To break down and digest lactose, we need an enzyme called lactase. Lactose intolerance occurs when a person does not produce this enzyme (or enough of it). Lactose is a type of sugar found in dairy products like milk and ice cream.

PPI: Proton Pump Inhibitor

A group of medicines that work by blocking the proton pump’s ability to make stomach acid.

Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.
Meet Our Writer
Tracy Davenport, Ph.D.

Davenport is the founder of Tracyshealthyliving.com. Using the latest scientific research, she helps people live their healthiest lives via one-on-one coaching, corporate talks, and sharing the more than 1,000 health-related articles she's authored.