Duodenitis is inflammation of the duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine. The duodenum is a tube around a foot long. Its near end connects to the stomach; the duodenum’s far end blends into the rest of the small intestine. This inflammatory condition usually arises with other abdominal disorders, such as Gastritis, Dyspepsia or Hepatitis.


This condition is primarily characterized by an inflammation of the stomach lining. This may result in a number of symptoms which can in intensity from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms of Duodenitis occur daily or only once in a while. These include:
Abdominal pain
Abdominal bloating
Loss of appetite
Nausea, with or without vomiting

In some cases, these symptoms may become severe and also life-threatening. Particularly severe symptoms include

Acute abdominal pain
Bloody vomit
Bloody feces, with stools appearing black, red or tarry in color
These symptoms might develop along with associated abdominal disorders.


Swelling of the upper intestine can occur for a number of reasons. Some of the main causes include:

Bacterial infection

Duodenal inflammation often occurs when the stomach is infected by a type of bacteria known as H. pylori or Helicobacter pylori. This form of bacteria infects around half of the world population. Approximately 50% of all Americans over 60 years of age are found to be infected with this bacterium at some point in their lives. This bacterial infection often exhibits no symptoms in patients. But in some cases, the infection can result in the development of accompanying conditions like gastritis, intestinal ulcers, stomach ulcers and even stomach cancer.


The disease may also arise due to a side-effect of using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Ketoprofin, Peroxicam, Ibuprofen and Indomethacin. These medications lead to an irritation of the stomach lining and reduce the production of a hormone-like substance called Prostaglandin. This substance protects the lining of the intestine and stomach by limiting secretion of digestive acids and encouraging secretion of protective mucus. The possibilities of an obtrusive stomach or duodenal irritation increase when larger doses of NSAIDs are used for a longer period of time.


Treatment for Duodenitis depends on the actual cause of the inflammation. If the swelling is found to result from a bacterial infection, patients may be put on an antibiotic course. Infections by H. pylori or Giardia require proper antibiotic therapy to be cured. They may also be recommended medications such as sucralfate that protect the lining of the intestines and stomach. In some cases, physicians might use drugs such as proton pump inhibitors that limit acid production within the body.
If intake of NSAIDs is found as the cause, patients may be asked to discontinue them for some time. Alternatives to such medications may be provided.
If Gastrointestinal Disorder accompanies Duodenitis, treatment usually involves therapy. Medications, beverages like caffeine or alcohol and all types of substances that can irritate the gastrointestinal tract should be restricted or avoided completely.
If medications or therapies fail to improve the situation, it is necessary to use a surgical intervention. This involves operative procedures like: