Tube Feeding Definitions

Tube Feeding Definitions

Dictionary of Terms



Symptoms such as bloating can occur after feeding — venting or burping the tube can help alleviate symptoms.

Button Tube

A low-profile G-tube, which allows for a more active and mobile lifestyle.

Bolus Method

Also referred to as the syringe method; the formula or blend is placed in the syringe and attached to the feeding tube. The syringe is attached to the feeding tube and formula placed in the syringe. When compared to pump feeding, bolus feedings are larger volume meals spaced between the day such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner.



Clogged feeding tube

Typically, a clogged feeding tube is due to inadequate cleaning or flushing. It is important to keep the tube clean by flushing every few hours. Formulas and medications should be administered separately, not together. For more information on how to avoid clogged feeding tubes, refer to < link to Tips and Tricks to Eliminate Clogged Tubes. 

Continuous Feed

Involves the use of a feeding pump, with feedings administered continuously over the course of the day.




When feeding tubes get clogged, a declogger can be used to clear obstructed tubes and restore proper delivery without having to replace tube. A declogger is a flexible threaded device which gently clears any blockages or obstructions.



Enteral Nutrition

A short-term or long-term solution to provide the body with food if unable to receive nutrients exclusively through the mouth. Gastric tubes (gastrostomy tube and jejunostomy tube) and nasogastric tubes are the most common tubes, both being made of a flexible material, which is clamped when not receiving a feeding.


A newer type of technology developed to connect enteral feeding products only to each other reducing the risk of enteral feeding misconnections. The syringes come as two types: low dose and standard dose.   

Extension Set

If you have a button style feeding tube, rather than a nasal or long tube, you will need an extension set that attaches to the button feeding tube. The extension set connects from the button to a syringe or a feeding set to allow you to feed, give medications, and administer liquids.



Feeding Interolerance

When receiving tube feeding rather than chewing, which helps with the digestion of the foods, people can experience constipation, diarrhea, stomach cramps and bloating. Feeding intolerance is the term used when foods sit in the stomach for a long period of time and create such symptoms.


Feeding Pump Method

A programmable enteral feeding pump allows formula or blend to be delivered to a person at either intermittent or continuous feeding rates depending on each person’s needs. A feeding pump is a battery or electric-powered unit.



Gravity Method

Tube feeding by gravity is a method where the formula flows through a bag and into a feeding tube. A roller clamp determines the flow rate (how quickly the food enters the body). 

Gastric Motility

How food is moved through the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.


Also known as the Gastrostomy Tube is for long-term enteral nutrition as it delivers food directly into the stomach. A G-tube requires surgical placement among the wall of the abdomen. When using a G-tube, it is important to keep surrounding skin clean and dry and monitored daily for any gastric leakage, bacteria or yeast overgrowth possibilities.




The full name of a J-Tube is Jejunostomy Tube, which is surgically implanted within the small intestine (jejunum) rather than the stomach like the G-tube. The advantage of the J-tube is it allows feeding directly to the intestinal tract rather than the stomach. Feeding is continuous with J-tubes as the intestine is pressure sensitive. When using a J-tube, the surrounding area called the stoma, should be kept covered, clean and dry.




Fats, carbohydrates, and proteins are the three primary macronutrients the body needs to receive adequate nutrition. Enteral nutrition formulas and blends include all three macronutrients providing essential nutrients in the desired ratio.


Micronutrients are compounds the body needs in small amounts. Micronutrients are made up of vitamins and minerals which are necessary for all systems in the body.



Nasogastric Tubes

Also called NG tubes, nasogastric tubes are temporary feeding tubes. NG tubes are inserted through the nose into the stomach. They do not require surgical placement. They are inserted by a nurse or other licensed medical professional at the person’s bedside.




An important step when preparing to start tube feeding. To prime the tube, means to allow the formula or blend to flow through the tubing to remove the air. Large amounts of air entering the stomach can cause unwanted symptoms.




The surgical opening for the G or J tubes is called the stoma. It is essential to keep the surrounding area clean and dry; dressings should be changed and monitored often.


A medical device which is used to withdraw or inject fluid into either tubes or the body. A syringe is made up of a hollow, cylinder-shaped piece with a sliding plunger that is used to push or pull liquid.




Letting the air out of the stomach. This is usually done by attaching a syringe to the feeding tube or extension set, if using a button tube. This should be done as needed for a person’s comfort.