Tuberculosis or TB is a serious contagious bacterial disease that commonly affects the lungs and then has the possibility to spread to other body parts like the spine, brain. In tuberculosis, nodules (tubercles) grow in the tissues of the lungs.
It is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
TB was a deadly disease back in the early 20th century, causing a huge number of deaths in the United States. Even it takes a long time now, but most patients are cured with antibiotics.
According to WHO (World health organization), tuberculosis is one of the top ten reasons for death worldwide. Countries like India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa, Bangladesh, and the Philippines accounts for 2/3rd of the new Tuberculosis cases.
WHATS IN IT FOR ME?
- WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS?
- CAUSES OF TUBERCULOSIS AND HOW IT SPREADS?
- WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS IN FIGHTING AGAINST TB?
- THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TUBERCULOSIS?
- HOW CAN YOU PREVENT TUBERCULOSIS?
- WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TEST AND DIAGNOSIS?
- FEW MEDICATIONS FOR CURING TUBERCULOSIS?
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TUBERCULOSIS
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS?
- Cough for a long time
- Chest pain
- Night sweats
- Coughing up blood
- Sudden weight loss
- Loss of appetite/taste
- Tiredness feeling
Above mentioned are the few symptoms that generally show up Mostly in case of active TB). See your doctor and get a check-up if you show any of these sings.
CAUSES OF TUBERCULOSIS AND HOW IT SPREADS?
It is caused by the bacteria named Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It’s a contagious disease, it spreads through the air. If someone suffering from coughs, sneezes, or exhale deeply during talking or laughing, then the tiny contaminated respiratory droplets come in contact with the air that is further inhaled by a healthy person, thus possibly making him sick or contaminated by the disease, but it isn’t easy to catch.
TB doesn’t spread through physical contact or by sharing food/drinks.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS IN FIGHTING AGAINST TUBERCULOSIS?
The person having a strong immune system can fight this bacterial infection and prevent it from further spreading.
But if you are suffering from any other vital disease then it may not be possible for your immune system to fight against the bacteria. Malaria can increase the mortality of a TB PATIENT
Following are the names of a few diseases that create complications for you to fight against TB:
- Cancers and its treatment i.e. chemotherapy
- Crohn’s disease
- Medication for an organ transplant
- Serious kidney
- HIV or AIDS
- Malnutrition and low body weight
- Apart from these, young children and babies are also in danger as their immune system is not well developed.
THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF TUBERCULOSIS?
There are two types majorly
Latent TB: In latent TB, it doesn’t show any symptoms but you have the germs present in your body.
However, if you have a strong immune system then it will stop the germ from spreading further, and also it won’t be contiguous.
But since the infection is present in your body, it may take the form of active TB one day and can become contiguous.
So checking up to a doctor is important in case you suffer from another disease that may induce the germs to take the form of active TB.
Active TB: In active TB, your immune system can’t stop the germs from spreading and multiplying, thus making you sick and it can spread to others from your respiratory droplets.
According to studies about 90% of adult cases of active TB are from the reactivation of a latent TB infection, so checking up the doctor is very essential.
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT TUBERCULOSIS?
BCG vaccine is given to children in areas prone to TB to strengthen the immunity.
People having latent TB should take their medicines timely to prevent happening active TB.
Those who have active TB, should always wear a mask and then go outside or too crowded places to prevent further spreading of the bacteria. While at home you should cover your mouth during sneezing, laughing, or coughing.
While visiting TB prone area, you should avoid going to crowded places and getting close to the people there.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TEST AND DIAGNOSIS FOR TB/TUBERCULOSIS?
- Skin test: Here the doctor injects 0.1 milliliters of PPD(Purified protein derivative) into the skin and after 2-3 days the doctors will check if you got any swelling on your skin over 5 mm in size. If you have that kind of swelling then it means you may be TB-positive. And if there is no suck swelling than you maybe TB-negative. This test should be done more than once to be confirmed as many people don’t respond to this test even if they have TB.
- Blood test: Here the TB proteins are mixed with the sample of your blood and then measured. This test is also known as IGRAs(interferon-gamma release assays). The results may be positive, negative, or indeterminate. If it comes positive then you may have to do a CT scan in order to look for changes occurring in your lungs and test your mucus. It will help determine what type of TB you have.
- Chest X-ray: Here you go for a chest x-ray when the above two tests come positive. The doctors look for spots in your lungs and if they find those spots, then it may be possible that you have TB infection. If your result comes negative then too you may have latent TB and further tests are required to confirm the disease.
- Other tests: Several other tests are necessary to be done to finalize what type of TB you have if you are infected and accordingly treatments will be started. You will be contagious (spread TB through your respiratory droplets) and having active TB if your Sputum tests positive. So you have to wear a surgical mask until your sputum tests negative. Biopsies , CT-scan ,bronchoscopy etc. Maybe done if your tests remain undetermined and unclear.
FEW MEDICATIONS FOR CURING TUBERCULOSIS?
People Who Have been diagnosed with active TB have to take a strict combination of medication for 6 to 9 months without fail.
If they fail to complete the course then TB infection could come back with even more resistance to the medication and that time it will become more difficult to treat the disease.
Following are the few common medications for active TUBERCULOSIS:
Tuberculosis is a contagious disease and can pass from one person to another. So it is important for you to know the important things to be safe and keep your loved ones safe.
Here I have told you about tuberculosis, its symptoms, causes, types, cure, prevention, and other important information you need to know to be safe and healthy and also answered some frequently asked questions about this contagious disease.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Tuberculosis
Yes, tuberculosis is curable as well as preventable if treated under the right condition.
Since TB is a contagious disease, it spreads easily through air and people residing mostly in slum areas with poor hygiene, lack of freshwater, uncovered drains and lack to good access to health care, tend to spread the bacteria fast among themselves and makes the situation of the country complicated
No, TB patients are never hospitalized except certain exceptions.
No, until and unless the doctor allows you so, you can’t go to work or school as their lies the risk of spreading the bacteria to your mates.
A bacteria named Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes TB.
There are two kinds of TB: Active tuberculosis and Latent Tuberculosis. The former is contagious and can spread it to other people.
Tuberculosis patients should avoid or limit the intake of caffeinated drinks like coffee and refined products like white bread, white rice, etc. They should also try avoiding high fat, high cholesterol red meat.
A tuberculosis patient should have leaner proteins like poultry, beans, paneer or tofu, fish, etc.
Yes, honey is very good for Tuberculosis patients as they quicken the process of healing and also suffocates the bacteria from further spreading to other body organs.
You skip medication then it is possible that your TB may come back being more dangerous and resistant to the drugs or medications that you used to take earlier.
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