Medical Q&As

Duodenitis - what is it?

My aunty has been told by her health nurse that she has mild duodenitis after intensive tests at the hospital. Could you explain what this is?

Whenever you see the suffix “itis” as part of a medical term it usually indicates inflammation of that particular area of the body. Therefore the term duodenitis means inflammation of the duodenum. The duodenum is the first section of the small intestine and is directly connected to the stomach. Duodenitis rarely happens as a solitary event and usually accompanies other gastrointestinal complaints. For example, most people with a duodenal ulcer have some degree of inflammation in the area of duodenum surrounding the ulcer. People with inflammation of the stomach (gastritis) or inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) or chronic inflammation of the bowel such as Crohn’s disease might also have accompanying duodenitis. Helicobacter infection is also associated with duodenitis. The treatment for duodenitis is usually based on treating the accompanying condition. Therefore the treatment could involve such varied remedies as using antacids, a proton pump inhibitor or a combination of antibiotics.