TUBERCULOSIS

Doctors who treat TUBERCULOSIS or similar ailments belong to following departments:
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Chest and TB;General Medicine;

Chest and TB , General Medicine

ABOUT THE DISEASE

TB is an infection caused by a bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It usually affects the lungs however it can spread to other parts as well such as the joints, bladder, spine, brain (tubercular meningitis), bones and many others.

TB that affects the lungs is the only form of the condition that is contagious, however usually only spreads after prolonged exposure to someone with the illness.

In most healthy people, the immune system (the body's natural defence against infection and illness) kills the bacteria. However, sometimes the immune system cannot kill the bacteria, allowing it to remain in body but manages to prevent it from spreading. This is known as latent TB.

If the immune system fails to kill or contain the infection, symptoms will develop within a few weeks or months. This is known as active TB.

Latent TB could develop into an active TB infection at a later date, particularly if the immune system weakens due to any reason.

Tuberculosis

SYMPTOMS

Some of the symptoms associated with active TB are:

  • • Cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer, and can bring up blood
  • • Chest pain
  • • Fever
  • • Fatigue
  • • Unintended weight loss
  • • Loss of appetite
  • • Chills and night sweats
  • • Joint Pain (if TB affects the joints)
  • • Blood in urine along with pain during urination (If TB affects the bladder)
  • • Headache and nausea (Brain TB)
  • • Back pain and leg paralysis (TB of the spine)

CAUSES

Bacteria that cause the disease are inhaled in the form of microscopic droplets expelled into the air, that come from a person with tuberculosis, while coughing, speaking or sneezing. They dry out quickly, but the bacteria itself can remain airborne for hours.

However, the tuberculosis bacteria are killed when exposed to ultraviolet light, including sunlight.

Non-Lung TB can be caused due to ingestion of infected milk or dairy products which set up infections in the gastro-intestinal tract and also affect the reproductive systems in men and women.

DIAGNOSIS

- Montaux test
- Chest x-ray
- Sputum examination
- Quantiferon-TB Gold test

TREATMENT METHODS

This disease is completely curable by taking a course of antibiotics, usually for six to nine months.

Several different antibiotics are used in combination, mainly Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide. No medicines should be skipped in between. If the treatment is stopped in between it can lead to a drug-resistant form of TB, extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR- TB) or Mult drug resistant i.e MDR-TB, which is a very serious situation for which treatment can last as long as 18 months.

Side effects include a skin rash, an upset stomach or liver disease.

Alcohol consumption or taking acetaminophen while taking this treatment is to be avoided because this can damage the liver. Always check with your doctor before you take any other medicine because some drugs interact with these drugs and can cause side effects.

BCG Vaccination can provide effective protection against the disease.


You may also like to learn about:

Lung cancer
Pneumonia
Hemoptysis
Interstitial lung disease
Bronchitis
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


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Brain TB, need advise if the medicine is working
Hello Doctor, My mom is diagnosed with Brain TB in june. She has been tld to t...
Female 43 , Mumbai
06 26 Mins Ago
I have become resistant to firstline drug of TB - Is it serious?
Hello , I am a 26 yr old male weighing 86 kg. 6 months back i was detected wit...
Male 26 , Mumbai
29 1 Day Ago
Suffering from longlasting fever due to paraspinal TB, please advise treatment
Hi, In the month of july i had recuuring fever with high ESR 60 ..& in MRI s...
Female 34 , Panchkula
03 23 Mins Ago
Suggest best doctor for Bone TB treatment at Delhi.
Dear sir, my wife suffering from bone tb because of not able to walk . She has ...
Female 30 , Delhi
06 26 Mins Ago
My grandmother suffering from TB presently in ICU - Need second opinion.
Sir my grandmother who is 78 years old suffering from TB. She is presently in ...
Female 78 , Kolkata
28 1 Day Ago
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