Duodenitis treatment is similar to treatment for gastritis, but many people find that lifestyle adjustments, including natural remedies and diet, can go a long way in easing their duodenitis symptoms.
Duodenitis is a medical term that is used to describe inflammation in the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum. It is similar to gastritis in that it leads to inflammation of the lining of the stomach. In many cases, gastritis and duodenitis occur at the same time. Duodenal inflammation can be very uncomfortable as it comes with pain, bleeding, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
The most common cause of duodenitis is an infection linked to a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). It disrupts the mucus barrier that usually protects the duodenal lining from acid in the stomach. Chronic inflammation can lead to duodenal ulcers.
There are many people who become infected with H. pylori at a young age but don’t experience symptoms until adulthood.
How Serious is Duodenitis?
Duodenitis can be a serious condition if left untreated. It can lead to complications such as bleeding in the stomach or duodenum, and chronic inflammation can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
It’s important to note that duodenitis can also lead to gastritis, which is inflammation of the stomach lining. Both conditions can cause significant discomfort and health issues if not properly addressed.
What Are the Causes of Duodenitis?
The most common cause of duodenitis is an infection with a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). This bacterium disrupts the mucus barrier that usually protects the duodenal lining from acid in the stomach, leading to inflammation. Other causes can include the long-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, and certain diseases such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Duodenitis?
Duodenitis can sometimes be asymptomatic, meaning it presents no noticeable symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they may include a burning, cramping, or hunger-like pain in your stomach, gas or a bloated feeling, nausea, vomiting, and a full feeling soon after starting a meal.
How To Treat Duodenitis
Treatment for duodenitis is usually the same as it is for gastritis. Of course, ultimately, the approach will depend on the cause, but here are the typical duodenitis treatment options:
- Antacids: These provide short-term relief by neutralizing stomach acid. They are available over the counter.
- Acid-suppressing medications: This medication is prescribed for reducing acid production to allow the duodenal wall to heal. Some people find that this is not enough to keep the discomfort at bay though.
- Antibiotics: If H. pylori are confirmed, this medication may be required. Some people need several courses of antibiotics to address the symptoms of H. pylori.
- Coating agents: These help line the duodenal wall. They can help the wall heal by reducing contact between the acid and the inner lining.
- Diet and lifestyle adjustments: This can include avoiding spicy foods, limiting alcohol, and stopping smoking. If celiac is the cause, adopting a gluten-free diet will be required.
Natural Remedies and Diet for Duodenitis
Each case of duodenitis is at a different intensity due to the underlying cause. For some sufferers, a duodenitis home remedy can be effective in helping treat the condition. It is important to pay close attention to symptoms and seek professional medical advice if and when symptoms don’t seem to be subsiding. When duodenitis is not treated quickly, it can lead to duodenal ulcers or other complications.
If duodenitis home remedies and diet sound appealing to you, read the list below.
- High fiber: Oats, barley, lentils, carrots, beans, and soy products are known to be helpful in reducing the cause of duodenitis.
- Chamomile/Dandelion tea: Consumed either hot or cold, this tea is said to help heal many different types of infections.
- Vitamin A: Watermelon, peaches, carrot juice, oranges, blackberries, and raw cabbage are rich in vitamin A and have the ability to help reduce the risk of duodenitis.
- Yogurt: Research suggests that consuming one bowl of yogurt daily can reduce pain and help calm the intestinal system. It is thought that it can also lessen the type of pain that is linked to duodenitis.
- Buttermilk: When black pepper powder or cumin seeds powder is added to a glass of buttermilk, it is said to be a duodenitis home remedy. Drinking the buttermilk two to three times a day is the recommended dosage.
- Lemon: The juice of this fruit is known to help clear bacteria in the digestive system. Consuming a glass of lemon juice every day is considered a good daily approach for duodenitis.
- Pomegranate juice: Taking half a glass of pomegranate juice with a tablespoon of honey at least twice a day, can also help with duodenitis.
- Honey: Raw honey is said to assist in reducing inflammation in the stomach. It can be spread to other foods to make it easier to consume on a regular basis.
For centuries, certain cultures have believed that honey is good for the digestive system.
Many healthcare professionals agree that a duodenitis diet is the best treatment. This means excluding spicy foods, and bakery products, and including foods like oats and berries in your diet. Everyone is different, so avoiding foods that might irritate your stomach or cause more acid to form is common sense.
It is believed that there are certain foods that when consumed, can help treat duodenitis, including some of the following:
- Strawberries: Improve bowel movement by reducing acid formation
- Lime: A flavonoid, which helps maintain a healthy immune system and can reduce acid formation in the stomach.
- Celery: Has vitamin C and flavonoids for healthy immune and digestive systems.
- Purple grape juice: For some reason, this is more effective in dealing with duodenitis than green grapes.
- Kiwi and banana: Also known to help reduce the level of acid in the stomach
If you suffer from duodenitis, a diet that includes two to four servings of the fruits mentioned above is recommended. Vegetables that cause excess gas, such as garlic, onion, or pickled vegetables, should be avoided, and six to eight servings of starch or bread should be part of your diet. It is also important to stay hydrated. If you like meat, just remember to avoid greasy, fried meat, as well as processed meat like cold cuts and sausage.
If you want to avoid duodenitis, then you have to focus on controlling excess acid in your stomach. This could mean cutting down on certain foods or changing some lifestyle habits.
Here are some duodenitis prevention tips:
- Avoid spicy and fatty foods: These types of foods can increase the production of stomach acid and aggravate the lining of the duodenum, leading to inflammation.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can increase stomach acid production and weaken the protective lining of the duodenum, making it more susceptible to damage.
- Limit or avoid alcohol: Alcohol can irritate and erode the mucosal lining of your stomach and duodenum, causing inflammation and increasing the risk of ulcers.
- Avoid preservatives, including processed and canned foods: These foods often contain chemicals that can irritate the digestive system and exacerbate symptoms of duodenitis.
- Limit caffeine: Like alcohol and smoking, caffeine can also increase the production of stomach acid and potentially lead to duodenitis.
- Don’t take NSAIDs or aspirin unless directed: These medications can cause inflammation of the duodenum and lead to duodenitis.
- Don’t eat at least three hours before going to bed: Eating close to bedtime can lead to increased acid production in the stomach, which can then lead to duodenitis.
- Avoid any foods that cause irritation, such as a burning sensation: Foods that cause discomfort or a burning sensation in the stomach should be avoided as they can exacerbate duodenitis symptoms.
Duodenitis can be an aggravating condition and while it is true that some people are forced to give up some foods that they really like, it is worth the sacrifice.
Potential Complications for Duodenitis
If left untreated, duodenitis can lead to several complications. Chronic inflammation can cause the formation of ulcers in the duodenum, known as duodenal ulcers. In severe cases, these ulcers can bleed, leading to anemia. In rare cases, untreated duodenitis can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
When to See a Doctor for Duodenitis
You should seek medical attention for duodenitis if you experience symptoms such as fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, chills, nausea or vomiting (especially if vomit is bloody or looks like coffee grounds), dark, tarry, or bloody stools, sudden or severe stomach pain, pain that doesn’t get better with treatment, or rapid weight loss. These could be signs of a serious condition that needs immediate treatment.