Duodenum in humans

  • Anatomy
  • Functions
  • How does the duodenum hurt?
  • Video on topic

The duodenum is the initial section of the large intestine. It is located immediately after the pylorus of the stomach. Its name is gut because of the fact that its length is twelve transverse fingers.

The special structure of the mucous membrane of the organ allows its epithelium to remain resistant to aggressive action of digestive juice, biliary secretion, and also enzymes of the pancreas. The bulb, the rest of the intestine and the head of the pancreas have a common blood circulation. In this article, we will examine in more detail the features of the structure and location of the intestine, and also find out how it can ache.


Most people have a diverse form. Even with the same person, the shape and location of the organ can change over time. To begin, let's talk about the structure of the duodenum.


The organ has several layers:

  • outer shell;
  • muscular layer with longitudinal and circular layers;
  • submucosa, due to which the mucosa can be collected by layers;
  • a mucous layer covered with villi.


The body has four main parts:

  • Upper, or initial. It is located approximately at the level of the first lumbar vertebra or even the last thoracic vertebra.
  • Descending. It is located to the right of the lumbar region and touches the kidney.
  • Lower, or horizontal. Goes to the right to the left, and then passes next to the spine and curves upward.
  • Ascending. Forms a bend and is at the level of the second lumbar vertebra.

Where is the duodenum? Most often it is at the level of the second or third lumbar vertebrae. Each person's location may differ and this is affected by a large number of factors, for example, age and weight. For example, in elderly people and lean organs, the organ is located somewhat lower than in young and well-fed subjects.

The photo clearly shows where the duodenum is located in a person

The gut on all sides comes into contact with other abdominal organs:

  • liver;
  • bile ducts;
  • pancreas;
  • right kidney;
  • the ureter;
  • ascending rumen.
The length of the duodenum is 25-30 cm.


Highlight the main functions of the duodenum:

  • the production of enzymes and duodenal juice necessary for normal digestion;
  • motor and evacuation function, that is responsible for the movement of food gruel;
  • secretory;
  • regulation of bile enzymes in the pancreas;
  • support for communication with the stomach. She is responsible for opening and closing the gatekeeper.
  • adjustment of acid-base balance of food. It makes the food lump alkaline.

As the duodenum is the initial section of the entire intestine, it is here that the absorption processes of nutrients coming in with food and drink are actively taking place. Here begins the stage of intestinal digestion.


After the food lump enters the initial section of the large intestine, it is mixed with bile, the secretion of intestinal walls, and also fluid from the pancreatic ducts. Then, the acidic food medium is neutralized by bile, thereby protecting the mucous membrane. In addition, bile decomposes fat and breaks it into small emulsions, which speeds up digestion.

Under the influence of the biliary secret, fat decay products dissolve and are absorbed into the intestinal walls, and complete absorption of vitamins and amino acids occurs. It should also be noted that bile regulates intestinal peristalsis, stimulating a reduction in its musculature. Thanks to this, the food lump advances faster through the lumen of the intestine and is evacuated from the body in a timely manner.

An important role is played by pancreatic juice, with which starch is digested, as well as proteins and fats. The glands of the duodenum form intestinal juice, which for the most part consists of mucus. This secret promotes better protein breakdown.

Given all of the above, we can say that the duodenum plays a huge role in digestion processes. It saturates the food lump with the necessary enzymes and ensures further digestion.

DPC provides a normal course of digestive processes

How does the duodenum hurt?

Given the fact that PDC starts from the stomach, and also opens the ducts of the gallbladder and pancreas, many of its diseases are associated with the malfunctioning of these organs:

Stomach pain and belching
  • increased gastric acidity leads to the fact that hydrochloric acidthe acid begins to erode the mucosa of the duodenum;
  • reduced gastric acidity is fraught with the fact that the gut gets rough food, which is poorly processed. This causes mechanical damage;
  • in pancreatitis and cholecystitis, there is a disruption of the production of digestive enzymes, because of this in DPC food is poorly ground;
  • for hepatitis and cirrhosis, there is a disturbance of blood circulation and as a result there is a deficiency of nutrients.

But sometimes the appearance of DKD diseases is influenced not by the existing pathologies of other organs, but by the way of life of a person. Snacks on the go and in a hurry, insufficient chewing food, overeating, too much breaks between meals - all this negatively affects the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract( GIT).

To identify the cause of what the organ suffers from, one can by the way it hurts:

  • duodenitis caused by Helicobacter pylori. Pain occurs at night and on an empty stomach. It disappears after taking antisecretory and antacid agents, and after eating. Unpleasant sensations can be accompanied by heartburn, belching and constipation;
  • duodenitis caused by diseases of the gallbladder and pancreas. Painful sensations arise in the right or left hypochondrium and intensify after the intake of fatty foods. Patients complain of bitterness in the mouth, nausea, and constipation, which is replaced by diarrhea;
  • is an inflammation associated with gastric cancer or atrophic gastritis. Pain and heaviness in the pit of stomach;
  • peptic ulcer. Pain in the form of colic, which are the result of a spasm of smooth muscle muscles.

By the way the duodenum hurts, you can understand the reason that the body suffers from


Duodenitis is an inflammation of the duodenal mucosa. The disease is acute and chronic, which occurs with relapses. Almost in all recorded cases of duodenitis there is a chronization of the process.

Incorrect nutrition, bad habits, chronic gastrointestinal diseases - all this can serve as an impetus to activation of the inflammatory reaction. Patients are concerned about pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, belching, heartburn, weakness. Inflammation of the duodenum can lead to peptic ulcer and even cancer.


Peptic ulcer is also accompanied by inflammation of the organ, but in addition to everything else, the appearance of ulcers on the surface of the mucous membrane. This is a chronic pathology with frequent relapses. If the disease is allowed to drift, it can lead to atrophic changes, as well as fistulas and bleeding.

Ulcer of PDK even can cause death. Incorrect nutrition, the use of potent agents, chronic duodenitis - all this can lead to an ulcer. But the most common cause is still the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

The infectious agent seriously damages the mucous membrane of the organ with the products of its vital activity. A characteristic symptom is hungry or nocturnal pain, which disappears half an hour after eating. The danger of peptic ulcer is that it can become a cancer.


These diseases affect the motor function of the organ, leading to the development of stagnant phenomena. As a result, a mass consisting of undigested food, gastric juice and digestive enzymes accumulates in the lumen of the DPC.This leads to the appearance of painful sensations, nausea and vomiting.

These are chronic pathologies, which are characterized by a change in the periods of remission and relapses. When exacerbation there is pain in the right hypochondrium, which is worse after eating. The patient has an appetite, and constipation can also disturb him.


A tumor in the DPC can have both benign and malignant nature. For a long time, the pathological process can not manifest itself at all. Cancer usually appears due to the germination of the tumor from other organs most often the stomach.

According to statistics, most often the disease appears in people of advanced age. The first symptoms of an illness come down with disorders of the digestive tract or digestive disorders. Then there are pains in the abdomen, weakness, lack of appetite, depressive state.

Non-treated organ inflammations can lead to cancer

In the treatment of ADD diseases, antibiotics, analgesics, and agents that reduce the production of hydrochloric acid can be used. Folk recipes can be used as an auxiliary therapy to relieve pain and strengthen immunity. An important role in the treatment process is proper nutrition and sufficient fluid intake.


Helminths can enter the body with food if they do not observe the basic rules of personal hygiene. Parasites can affect any organ, and for a long period of time they can not manifest themselves in any way. Most often, the duodenum is affected by nematodes. Larvae can be transmitted not only by the fecal-oral route, but even through the pores of the skin.

Helminths ultimately cause atrophic changes on the mucosa of the duodenum. As the pathological process progresses, the patient develops a skin rash, itching, abdominal pain, heartburn, and diarrhea.


Pathology causes an inflammatory reaction on the mucosal surface, without affecting the muscular layer of the organ. Erosive areas in the ultrasound study look like thickened walls. To serve as the reason of occurrence of erosions there can be stressful situations, smoking, Helicobacter pylori, errors in a delivery and many other things.

Pain problems are associated with problems with stool, eructation, and burning in the esophagus.


Chronic obstruction of the organ can develop for a number of reasons: malformations, abnormal organ rotation, vascular abnormalities. The pathology manifests itself in the form of a painful flare in the right hypochondrium. Gallstone obstruction is most often diagnosed in older women. The stone migrates through the digestive canal and gets stuck in the small intestine.

Summing up, we can say with certainty that the duodenum is the most important organ of the digestive tract, which contributes to the normal digestion of food. Support the health of this body can be through proper nutrition, which should become your lifestyle.

In case of unpleasant sensations in the area of ​​PDK, immediately consult a specialist for examination. Early diagnosis will help to avoid serious problems with the intestines.

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