Tuberculosis

Other names: TB

DEFINITION

Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. The bacteria that cause Tuberculosis are spread from one person to another through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes. In developed countries, Tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly due to the emergence of HIV. Many strains of Tuberculosis resist the drugs most used to treat the disease.

SYMPTOMS

Signs and symptoms of active TB include coughing, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, chills, and loss of appetite.

CAUSES

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria spread through the air. HIV weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of TB. Drug-resistant strains of TB have emerged due to incomplete treatment.

RISK FACTORS

Factors increasing TB risk include weakened immune system, living/traveling in high-risk areas, poverty/substance abuse, and certain occupations or living conditions.

COMPLICATIONS

Without treatment, Tuberculosis can be fatal and affect various body parts. Complications include spinal pain, joint damage, meningitis, liver/kidney problems, and heart disorders.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

If you suspect TB, contact your doctor. Be aware of symptoms, recent travel history, medications taken, and questions for your doctor.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Diagnostic tools include skin tests, blood tests, imaging tests like X-rays/CT scans, and sputum tests to detect TB bacteria.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Medications are essential for treating Tuberculosis. Treatment duration varies based on factors like drug resistance and infection location. Common drugs include Isoniazid, Rifampin, Ethambutol, and Pyrazinamide.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

Protect family/friends if you have active TB by staying home initially and ventilating rooms. Finish your medication course completely to prevent drug-resistant strains. Vaccinations may be recommended in high-risk areas.

COPING AND SUPPORT

Treatment for Tuberculosis is lengthy but crucial. Stick with your treatment plan and seek support from healthcare professionals or therapists if needed.

QUESTIONS

  1. What causes Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria spread through the air.

  1. What are the symptoms of active TB?

Symptoms of active TB include coughing, chest pain, weight loss, fatigue, fever, night sweats, chills, and loss of appetite.

  1. How is Tuberculosis diagnosed?

Tuberculosis can be diagnosed through skin tests, blood tests, imaging tests like X-rays/CT scans, and sputum tests to detect TB bacteria.

  1. What are the risk factors for Tuberculosis?

Risk factors for Tuberculosis include a weakened immune system, living/traveling in high-risk areas, poverty/substance abuse, and certain occupations or living conditions.

  1. How long is the treatment duration for Tuberculosis?

Treatment duration for Tuberculosis varies but typically lasts at least six to nine months.

  1. What complications can arise from untreated Tuberculosis?

Complications of untreated Tuberculosis include spinal pain, joint damage, meningitis, liver/kidney problems, and heart disorders.

  1. How can you protect family and friends if you have active TB?

To protect family and friends if you have active TB: stay home initially; ventilate rooms; cover your mouth when coughing/sneezing; wear a mask around others during the first three weeks of treatment.

  1. Why is completing the full course of medication important in Tuberculosis treatment?

Completing the full course of medication is crucial in Tuberculosis treatment to prevent drug-resistant strains from developing.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help prevent the spread of Tuberculosis?

Lifestyle changes such as proper ventilation in closed spaces and covering your mouth when coughing/sneezing can help prevent the spread of Tuberculosis.

  1. How can individuals cope with a diagnosis of Tuberculosis?

Individuals diagnosed with Tuberculosis should stick with their treatment plan and seek support from healthcare professionals or therapists if needed to cope effectively.