Tuberculosis: Know the symptoms and treatments of the airborne disease
Arpana Shah September 13, 2018
Tuberculosis is such a chronic disease if left untreated can cause death. It is a potentially serious infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. The most common form of TB is lungs TB, but it can affect other parts of the body also.
Tuberculosis can be Active or Latent
In case of latent TB, there is no specific symptom. Persons with latent TB infection are not infectious and cannot spread TB infection to others.
Active TB commonly occurs commonly in lungs and cough, chest pain, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills are some of its common symptoms.
Tuberculosis is of two types, pulmonary tuberculosis, and extrapulmonary tuberculosis. When TB affects mainly the lungs it is called pulmonary tuberculosis and when TB occurs in other parts of the body it is called extrapulmonary tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis infection can occur in body parts such as bones, joints, lymph glands, Pleura, genito-urinary tract, skin, bowel, and pericardium. It is important to diagnose Tuberculosis at early stages. There are several kinds of tests available to diagnose TB at early stages. The symptoms of TB should not be neglected as this can lead to disability or any disorder.
Tuberculosis is although contagious but it spreads only through the airborne infection. TB is curable and preventable also.
Diagnosis of TB is done on the basis of its symptoms and stages. Following are the diagnostic methods used to determine the presence of bacteria in TB
Physical Examination: Initially doctor checks the lymph nodes for swelling using a stethoscope and listen to sounds of lungs during breathing and coughing
TB Blood Test: This is called as Interferon Gamma Release Assay. This test is done to check the presence of TB germs in the body or not
Chest X-ray or a CT scan: During X-ray of chest cavities are seen in case of pulmonary TB. If the infection is not active then x-ray may come out to be normal
The above tests reveal whether the person is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria or not. Then based on these studies physician starts the treatment
Treatment of Tuberculosis involves the use of antibiotics drugs to kill the bacteria. The treatment of TB is lengthen or prolonged
Doctors usually prescribe antibiotics to kill the bacteria that cause it. . Latent TB can be treated using a single antibiotic while to treat Active TB combinations of antibiotic drugs are used as to avoid the risk of antibiotic resistance. People diagnosed with Latent TB are treated so as to avoid the risk of getting Active TB in future. Chances of curing the patient are quite high if the disease is diagnosed at early stages.
Medicines of TB have side effects too. Generally, these are not very much serious but can be dangerous if occur. These can be harmful. So if anybody experiences following Side effects then they should consult the doctor immediately
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
Long lasting fever
Patients start feeling better after a treatment of few weeks of Tuberculosis and then they feel like stopping the medicines. Although it is difficult to take these medicines for longer durations for anybody as they have a lot of side effects but stopping the course in between can cause drug resistance
The only way to get rid of TB germs is by taking TB medicines on time. You will need to stay on TB medicine for 3, 6, or 9 months, depending on what your doctor consultancy and what He/She thinks is best for you.