Tuesday, 09 May 2006 00:00

Health Tip: Taking Care of Your Ulcer

(HealthDay News) -- An ulcer is a sore or hole in the lining of the stomach, and is characterized by a burning or painful sensation -- especially between meals when the stomach empties. Ulcers can affect men and women at any age.

Although typically associated with stress, spicy food or other dietary factors, most ulcers are now thought to be caused by a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori. A blood test and other diagnostics can help determine whether you have this infection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that an antibiotic be used if this infection is present. The antibiotic should be continued until the prescription is finished, not just until the pain has stopped. An over-the-counter antacid may help relieve symptoms.