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Jun 2021

Tuberculosis : Everything you need to know

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Jun 28, 2021

As we all know, there are so many kinds of infectious diseases on this planet that may appear anytime and make somebody fall sick within the shortest possible span of time. Unfortunately, Tuberculosis is one of those massively serious diseases that causes a massive damage in our lungs. There is a chapter of history when tuberculosis started to grow with AIDS. In other words, when AIDS terminates the immune system of the body, the person loses the ability to defeat TB and this is exactly how the disease took a bigger shape quickly. As a matter of fact, this highly infectious disease spreads through the droplets of any pre-infected person just like the new deadly respiratory disease named Covid-19. Although most of the case were handled with antibiotics, but the fatality rate has never been too low. As per information fetched and verified, there are two specific forms of this disease. Both of them are mentioned below for you with a brief.

Forms of Tuberculosis

  • Latent TB: The infection remains in your body but the natural immune system of our body stops them from spreading, but the virus is alive in your body and may get activated any time. This condition is known as Latent TB. One thing to keep in mind, Inactive TB does not mean that you are not contagious. In this specific form of TB, you don’t really feel most of the symptoms too.
  • Active TB: the most widely known form of TB that will make you fall sick with all the symptoms and you can spread this disease to the people around you. The virus in your body will keep getting multiplied and this is why it is highly recommended to seek medical attention immediately.

As a matter of fact, Tuberculosis is undoubtedly one of those diseases that may turn very serious and can even cause huge blockage in the lung functionalities. There are still a huge number of people who are suffering from tuberculosis. However, every disease is a bit easier to cure if it can be detected at the beginning stage and this is the major reason why having sound knowledge about the mentionable signs and symptoms of tuberculosis is necessary. Some of the major signs and symptoms of this disease are mentioned below for you.

Mentionable signs and symptoms of Tuberculosis

  • Cough that lasts more than three weeks
  • Weight loss
  • Chills
  • Appetite
  • Coughing up mucus and blood
  • Night sweats
  • Pain when breathing
  • Huge tiredness all the time.
  • Chest pain

Once a person gets infected, these signs and symptoms start to get visible in that person. Medication should be started before it turns serious. Fortunately, just because of aggressive development in medical technology, it has become possible to let many tuberculosis patients reach the path of cure. However, TB should still be handled with the same careness just like it used to be in the previous days. However, there are some lesser known facts about tuberculosis that most of us are still not aware of. Some of them are mentioned below for you.

Lesser known facts about tuberculosis

  • Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that keeps spreading from one person to another through the droplets.
  • You are more likely to catch this disease from a stranger than an infected person who mostly stays with you, because people with TB who are under proper treatment and medications remain no longer contagious.
  • People with HIV are at a higher risk of catching TB because HIV terminates the natural immune system of the body, so the body can’t fight tuberculosis.
  • TB also had a strain named Drug-Resistant TB. It happens when a specific antibiotic fails to kill the targeting amount of bacterias. The surviving bacterias gain herd immunity against those antibiotics and then it becomes drug-resistant. It becomes harder to terminate the disease in such scenarios.

As per information fetched and verified, TB may cause damage to so many organs and body parts. Knowingly, the kidney, spine and even brain can be affected by tuberculosis and this is one of the major reasons why this disease should never be handled casually. However, medical experts can let you know about the signs from which you can understand that tuberculosis is affecting your body parts or not. For example, you will be feeling back pain if your spine has been affected by tuberculosis. There are certain scenarios when you must consult a genuine medical expert immediately to keep yourself and your loved ones away from the potential risk factors of tuberculosis.

When to consult a doctor?

  • When some of the symptoms have already started to get visible in you.
  • When you are having HIV.
  • When you are belonging or have previously been in any continent where tuberculosis is very common such as Latin America, Asia, Africa.
  • When you are working at any healthcare point and are dealing with patients with tuberculosis.
  • When you know that you have been in contact with any infected person.
  • If you use IV drugs.
  • When you live in any specific area where so many people have been infected with this virus.

As per information fetched, not all of us can fight this disease in the same way. First of all, the strength of our natural immune system matters a lot when the matter comes to fighting this disgraceful disease. Secondly, people with certain diseases can face difficulties while fighting these diseases.

People who may have difficulties in fighting Tuberculosis

  • People with HIV
  • People who smoke
  • People who are having neck or head cancers
  • People with Diabetes
  • People with any severe form of kidney disease
  • People who are undergoing chemotherapy
  • People who are undergoing medication in the purpose of organ transplant
  • People with poor nutrition or low body weight.

Apart from that, people who are consuming drugs that are used to treat arthritis are also more likely to get this disease. A brief on the complications that may occur because of this disease are mentioned below for you.

Complications that you may face if you have TB

It is also necessary to have sound knowledge about the complications that may be caused by this disease. Spinal pain and Joint damages are very common if you are suffering from tuberculosis. Most of all, the type of arthritis that takes place because of TB is more likely to cause bigger damages to hips and knees. The worst part is that you may face an intolerable headache that may keep lasting and even cause mental changes if it continues for so long. Apart from liver and kidney complexions, so many types of heart disorders may also occur because of tuberculosis. Knowingly, a heart condition named cardiac tamponade takes place because of TB and it is well known for turning fatal.

Necessary precautions to prevent Tuberculosis

A few weeks of treatment under the careful guidance of the medical experts is enough to treat the disease. However, there are some of the most important precautionary measures that you must take to keep yourself and your loved ones away from the harmful effects of this disease. Some of them are,

  • Grow the habit of wearing a face mask every time you are stepping outside.
  • Stop smoking if possible because smokers are more vulnerable to this disease.
  • Reduce connectivity with any Tb patient you know unless it's really necessary.
  • When you sneeze or cough, use a tissue to keep your mouth covered.
  • Always keep your room ventilated as TB is more likely to spread in close areas.

Diagnosis and treatments

Two tests are commonly used to determine the presence of tuberculosis.

  • Skin test: Mantoux tuberculin skin test is widely used to detect the presence of tuberculosis. A kind of fluid is injected beneath the skin of the lower arm and the swelling of the arm is examined by medical experts after 2-3 days.
  • Blood test: When the TB protein gets mixed with your blood in a small amount, then an Interferon Gamma Release Assays test helps to determine the presence of the virus.

Many vaccination facilities are now available that can help one stay away from the deadly effects of tuberculosis. Generally, calmette-guerin vaccine (BCG) is often prescribed for infants to keep them away from this deadly disease. However, the BCG vaccine is known for being more effective in adults. Some more medications are,

  • In case of Latent TB, the patient gets isoniazid, rifapentine and rifampin.
  • In case of active TB, you may get pyrazinamide, ethambutol, and isoniazid.
  • If you have drug-resistant TB, then you may get prescribed to take one or more medicines to be applied at a time to use for a longer span of time.

Possible side effects of Tuberculosis medication

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Tingling in feet and hands
  • Numbness

Possible side effects of Ethambutol are,

  • Painful or swollen joints
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Nausea, belly pain and vomiting
  • Chills
  • Headache

Possible side effects of Pyrazinamide are

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Lack of energy
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Loss of appetite

It is always recommended to get in touch with any medical expert immediately if any of the possible side effects are felt when you are undergoing the treatments of tuberculosis. However, it should certainly be mentioned that you can effectively stop tuberculosis from getting serious and critical if you can get the presence of the disease detected at the beginning stage and take all the necessary actions at the same time. Get in touch with a genuine and reliable medical expert today to fetch more necessary information in this regard.