stomach pH and peptic ulcer disease

  1. In my textbook, they are explaining that the protective alkaline viscous mucus of the stomach is lost in an older adult because of the increase in stomach pH. So this makes the older person more susceptible to peptic ulcer disease.
    An increase in pH would make it alkaline, wouldn't it?
    Does the older adult have a more alkaline stomach pH?
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   GingerSue
    I thought that it was acid that results in peptic ulcer disease,
    and that would be a decrease of pH.
  4. by   bekindtokittens
    That doesn't make much sense to me either.

    My textbook explains that 80% of all PUD cases are caused by H. pylori, and this infection is common in the elderly. H. pylori destroys the mucosa which produces the protective mucus coating. Then the unprotected parts of the stomach and duodenum are damaged by the stomach acid.

    Now I'm interested to know the answer to your question! I hope someone else can explain it.
  5. by   sharkdiver
    Gastric acid is essentially hydrochloric acid (HCl). The normal pH in the human stomach lumen is in the range of 1-2 pH. Each pH unit represents a 10 fold change in concentration, so an acid solution at 1 pH is 10 times stronger than one at 2 pH.
  6. by   GingerSue
    Quote from sharkdiver
    so an acid solution at 1 pH is 10 times stronger than one at 2 pH.
    yes, that is what I mean.
    When the pH increases that means it is less acidic (becomes alkakline).
    And the textbook is saying that in an older person the pH increases. So that would make it more alkaline. Is an alkaline environment going to result in peptic ulcer disease?
  7. by   GingerSue
    maybe it's the choice of words:
    to say that it increases could mean the number - like 1 or 2, etc - so 2 is increased, 3 is even more increased (heading toward alkaline)
    increased could maybe mean strength - so as strength is more concentrated then that could be heading toward acidic
    Maybe it's the way it was worded that is a bit unclear.