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Definition

What is duodenitis?

Duodenitis is an inflammation occurring in the duodenum, the beginning of the small intestine. Inflammation in the lining of the duodenum may result in abdominal pain, bleeding, and other gastrointestinal symptoms. The most common cause of duodenitis is a stomach infection associated with a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H pylori). This organism disrupts the mucus barrier that normally protects the delicate duodenal lining from acidic stomach contents. Loss of this barrier predisposes a person to chronic inflammation and duodenal ulcer.

How common is duodenitis?

Up to 80 percent of people in developing countries are infected with the Helicobacter pylori.

However, it can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of duodenitis?

Duodenitis causes inflammation of the stomach lining that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

You may experience duodenitis symptoms daily or just once in a while. At times any of these abdominal symptoms can be severe:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea with or without vomiting

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, duodenitis can be life threatening. Seek immediate medical care if you, or someone you are with, have any of these life-threatening symptoms including:

  • Bloody stool (blood may be red, black, or tarry in texture)
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting blood

When should I see my doctor?

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop duodenitis from worsening and prevent another medical emergency, so talk to your doctor as soon as possible to prevent this serious condition.

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consulting with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Causes

What causes duodenitis?

The most common cause of duodenitis is a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Large amounts of the bacteria invading your stomach or small intestine can cause inflammation.

Other common causes of duodenitis include the long-term use of certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen,

Less common causes include:

  • Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the digestive tract)
  • An autoimmune condition
  • Bile reflux (when bile flows from the duodenum into the stomach)
  • Having certain viral infections — such as herpes simplex virus — along with a weak immune system
  • Traumatic injury to small intestine
  • Being placed on a breathing machine
  • Extreme stress caused by major surgery, severe body trauma, shock
  • Ingesting caustic substances or poisons (strong substances that can burn or corrode your tissues if you swallow them)
  • Excessive cigarette smoking
  • Radiation therapy for cancer
  • Chemotherapy for cancer

Risk factors

What increases my risk for duodenitis?

A number of factors increase the risk of developing duodenitis. Not all people with risk factors will get duodenitis. Risk factors for duodenitis include:

  • Alcohol abuse
  • History of radiation therapy
  • Stress or severe illness
  • Tobacco use

Diagnosis & Treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

 

How is duodenitis diagnosed?

There are several tests your doctor can use to diagnose duodenitis. H. pylori can be detected through blood, stool, or breath tests. For a breath test, you will be instructed to drink a clear, tasteless liquid and then breathe into a bag. This will help your doctor detect any extra carbon dioxide gas in your breath if you are infected with H. pylori.

Your doctor may also perform an upper endoscopy with biopsy. During this procedure, a small camera attached to a long, thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) is moved down the throat to look into the stomach or small intestine. This test will allow your doctor check for inflammation. Your doctor may take a few small tissue samples for further testing if any inflammation can’t be detected visually.

How is duodenitis treated?                     

Treatment for duodenitis begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have duodenitis, your health care provider may ask you to provide blood, urine, and stool samples for laboratory tests. Upper endoscopy permits visualization of the duodenum and the collection of small mucosal biopsies. Biopsies are studied under the microscope to confirm H pylori infection.

  • Antibiotic treatments for duodenal ulcer: It is important to follow your antibiotic regimen precisely to avoid re-infection or recurrence. Most commonly, two antibiotics are given for 14 days. Examples of antibiotic treatments include:
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • Metronidazole (Flagyl)
  • Tetracycline
  • Other medications to treat duodenitis: Medications such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine H2-receptor antagonists, which decrease the amount of acid in the stomach, can also be an effective treatment for duodenitis.

Lifestyle changes & Home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage duodenitis?

These are some useful tips can help you to prevent duodenitis:

  • Avoid smoking
  • Do not drink too much alcohol
  • Eat less spicy food, acidic beverages (such as orange juice or pineapple juice), and medications (such as aspirin) that are hard on the intestine.

All of these can make your symptoms better.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: April 14, 2017 | Last Modified: April 14, 2017

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