The human gastrointestinal tract is made up of different sections. The first part of the small intestine that joins the stomach becomes Duodenum called.
Infogram about the anatomy and location of a duodenal ulcer. Click image to enlarge.
Every adult human has an intestinal tract with an average length of about seven to eight meters, with the largest proportion being six meters in the small intestine. The first section of the small intestine is called the Duodenum designated.
The reason lies in its average length of about 30 cm, which corresponds to the length of twelve fingers placed together. Furthermore, the duodenum is the most proximal part of the small intestine, i.e. the part that is closest to the center of the body.
From an anatomical point of view, the Duodenum from the pylorus, also called the gatekeeper of the stomach. The second section of the small intestine, the so-called jejunum or empty intestine, begins at its other end.
This leads on to the third section of the small intestine, the ileum. In contrast to the beginning of the duodenum, the other transitions to the other parts of the intestine are fluid, that is, there are no sharp delimitations. The human duodenum is designed in the shape of a "C". This is different with herbivorous animals.Here the duodenum has the shape of a horseshoe.
The reason is that the foods usually eaten by humans are much more stable in consistency than those of herbivorous animals. For example, cooked pieces of meat are not completely broken down in the stomach, so that even coarser components have to pass through the duodenum on their way to the small and large intestines.
That is why the human duodenum is designed for coarser foods. The duodenum is also fused with its back wall on the abdominal cavity so that it does not change its position in the course of natural bowel movements. This is important to the extent that the C-shape could no longer be held under certain circumstances. Internally, the surface of the duodenum is greatly enlarged. This serves the purpose of absorbing as many vitamins and nutrients as possible.
So that the chyme pre-digested in the stomach can be used in the small and large intestines, Duodenum vital. Because their main task is to pass the enzymes produced in the pancreas and gallbladder into the intestine.
Without enzymes, the other sections of the small intestine would not be able to digest the chyme and filter out the necessary minerals and nutrients. For this purpose, the duodenum is connected to the gallbladder, as well as to the pancreas. In order not to damage the inside wall of the intestine too much the acidic pH value of the enzymes flowing in, the pH value in the duodenum is largely neutralized by various basic secretions.
So that the enzymes can also mix with the chyme, the duodenum has a natural mobility mechanism, albeit less pronounced than the possibilities of the other intestinal sections. While the mobility mechanism of the duodenum is conducive to the mixing of the enzymes with the chyme, the mobility mechanism of the other intestinal sections serves the purpose of the chyme moving further forward and no constipation occurs.
In addition, the duodenum has the same mucous membrane as the other sections of the intestine. This means that it is also able to remove vitamins and minerals from the food pulp. The only thing it cannot absorb is minerals and water; this task is exclusively incumbent on the penultimate section of the intestine: the large intestine.
Precisely because of the fact that pathogens that have entered through food also have the Duodenum happen, the risk of a possible disease in this section of the intestine is particularly high. The duodenal ulcer is the most common.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is a regular cause of this disease, from which around two percent of all Germans will suffer at some point in their life. Typical symptoms include sudden weight loss, bloating, abdominal pain, and irregular bowel movements.
Acute and chronic inflammations in the duodenum are also relatively common, the cause of which is often an infection with various bacteria, such as salmonella and shigella. In contrast, the frequency of duodenal carcinoma is less common. This type of cancer occurs mostly in people with Crohn's disease. Because their small intestine is chronically inflamed, the risk that the duodenal mucosa will eventually form tumor cells is higher than in healthy people.