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Digestive health centre

Duodenitis

Duodenitis is inflammation of the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.

The duodenum is a 30cm tube connecting the stomach to the rest of the small intestine.

Duodenitis symptoms

Duodenitis can lead to symptoms of indigestion (dyspepsia) or stomach ache.

In some cases the inflammation worsens to create a small sore or ulcer in the duodenum's wall.

Causes of duodenitis

The most common cause of the duodenum becoming inflamed, irritated or swollen is H. pylori bacteria infection.

H. pylori stimulates increased acid production by the stomach to trigger inflammation of the duodenum.

Other less common conditions causing duodenitis include:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Whipple’s disease
  • Severe stress caused by surgery or a serious infection ( sepsis)

Duodenitis diagnosis

The duodenitis inflammation is diagnosed using a procedure called endoscopy, in which a long, thin, flexible tube with a camera and light is inserted into the intestine. A biopsy or tissue sample is then taken for laboratory testing.

Treating duodenitis

Cases of duodenitis or duodenal ulcer caused by H. pylori can usually be treated with antibiotics and medicine to suppress stomach acid.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on January 21, 2013

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