What causes inflammation of the duodenum?

The duodenum is an important component of the digestive system as it connects the stomach and the small intestine. If this area becomes irritated and enlarged, the entire digestive process can be disrupted and the body's absorption of iron suffers. Irritation caused by agents such as acid, drugs, or trauma cause many cases of inflammation of the duodenum. Infections also pose a risk to this part of the digestive body. Advanced cases with other symptoms may indicate a more serious and chronic underlying condition, such as Crohn's disease or tumors.

Acid is one of the strongest substances in nature. When this material is in the stomach, it is especially intense because it must break down food and aid digestion. If stomach acid seeps into neighboring areas with more sensitive linings than the stomach, the harsh acid can have an adverse effect. This effect often occurs in the esophagus and duodenum, leading to inflammation.

An individual's own actions can also lead to inflammation of the duodenum. Namely, certain drugs can damage the duodenum. Perhaps ironically, this effect is often produced by drugs intended to fight inflammation. Some evidence suggests that stress can make inflammatory conditions even worse. Traumatic injuries can cause similar damaging effects.

Infection, particularly bacterial infection, is the cause of many cases of inflammation, and inflammation of the duodenum is no exception. Specifically, a bacterium called H. Pylori has been blamed as a frequent assailant of the digestive system. The duodenum is a favorite place for this bacterium because the environment allows the secretion of a protective enzyme for the bacterium.

Structural abnormalities can occasionally cause inflammation of the duodenum as well. The flap that separates the intestine from the stomach is mainly susceptible to abnormalities. When such abnormalities occur, aggravating spasms and acid leakage can occur.

In some cases, inflammation of the duodenum may be part of a larger general digestive disorder. The condition of intestinal inflammation Crohn's disease attacks the lining and tissues of various areas of the digestive tract, from the colon to the duodenum. Accompanying symptoms may include the following: stomach pain, poor appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and bloody stools. Researchers theorize that a combination of genetics and faulty immune system responses play a role in the development of this condition. Infectious agents can even cause immune cells to mistakenly attack normal cells in the digestive tract.

Chronic inflammation of the duodenum can lead to ulcers, which are raw areas in the digestive tract. While acute inflammation may not have any symptoms, ulcers can cause internal bleeding and stomach pain. In rare cases, subsequent swelling and ulcers may be indicative of a tumor.

Treatment of inflammation of the duodenum generally consists of two distinctly different approaches: drug administration or drug removal. If internal agents are behind the condition, medications such as bacteria-fighting antibiotics or acid-reducing antacids are popular treatment options. However, suspect medications should generally be removed from the treatment protocol.

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