What Is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is a contagious disease, which is induced by the bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The lungs are commonly affected by tuberculosis (TB), but it may also involve other body parts as well. When the infection does not show symptoms, it is called latent tuberculosis. Almost 10% of latent tuberculosis cases develop into an active disease. If it is not treated, then 50% of the untreated cases can turn fatal.
Tuberculosis is transmitted via air. When people infected with active tuberculosis sneeze, spit, cough, or speak, they spread the infection. People suffering from latent tuberculosis cannot be contagious. Risk of active tuberculosis is more in the people who smoke or are affected by HIV/AIDS. Active tuberculosis can be diagnosed with the help of body fluid’s culture test, microscopic examination, and chest x-ray. Latent tuberculosis is diagnosed with the help of a blood test, or the tuberculin skin test.
The complication of tuberculosis includes chronic and non-chronic issues, death, in addition to severe liver, kidney, and lung problems.
Tuberculosis can be prevented by few major factors like isolating the infected person, reduced transmission, and early treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tuberculosis?
There are no symptoms of latent tuberculosis, but the active tuberculosis symptoms are as follows:
- Sometimes blood or mucus appears while coughing. (a cough for more than 3 weeks)
- Feeling chilly.
- Feeling extremely exhausted.
- Weight loss occurs.
- Increase in the body temperature.
- Appetite is lost.
- Night sweats.
Besides, lungs tuberculosis can affect other body parts as well. Symptoms vary when tuberculosis is spread out to the lungs. When left untreated, tuberculosis can infect other parts of the body via the bloodstream. A few symptoms of tuberculosis when affect other parts are as follows:
- Destruction of joints and pain in the spinal cord is experienced, when the infection reaches to the bones.
- Meningitis (swelling in the spinal cord and brain membrane) is caused when the brain gets affected by tuberculosis.
- Functioning of waste filtration gets damaged that leads to the occurrence of the blood in urine when Tuberculosis infection reaches to the kidney.
- A fatal heart condition is known as cardiac tamponade. In this condition, the ability of the heart to pump blood decreases, when tuberculosis infection reaches to the heart.
- Lupus vulgaris or Erythema nodosum (Lumpy, red rashes on the legs) occurs, when tuberculosis infection affects the skin.
What Are The Causes Of Tuberculosis?
- Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterium when enter human lungs cause Tuberculosis.
- Since tuberculosis is a contagious disease, it passes from one person to another through the air. Carriers of the infections are the tiny droplets of mucus, and saliva, which is inhaled by other people.
- Tuberculosis bacteria are engulfed by a cell known as a macrophage when it reaches to a tiny sac kind of structure in the air passage of the lungs called alveoli.
- After that, bacteria are transferred to the blood stream and lymphatic system and then spread to other body organs like kidney, brain, liver, etc.
Other causes can be as follows:
- Exposure to people suffering from tuberculosis infection.
- Exposure to the items used by tuberculosis infected person like clothes, blanket, towels, etc.
- Having a sexual relationship with the individual infected with tuberculosis can increase the chances of the transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Tuberculosis?
Some of the preventive measures of tuberculosis can be as follows:
- Keep the patient in isolation from crowded areas, colleges and schools, and other work places.
- Keep the nose, and mouth covered with a piece of cloth or handkerchief while sneezing or coughing. Before reusing that hanky again, wash them in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Carefully dispose of the used tissues, either by burning them or disposing of them in sealed bags of plastic.
- It is advised to spit in a can or a cup with a lid. Close the lid after each use. After a couple of days, burn the spit by pouring kerosene oil, and then bury it. Spitting here and there should be strictly avoided.
- Try to stay outdoors, and not in a closed, crowded, and unventilated rooms. Try to spend most of the time on the roof, courtyard, parks, and field.
- Maintain a temperature chart. One can note down the temperature two times a day. Also, maintain a weight chart bi-weekly.
- Let the natural sunlight enter one’s room as UV rays help to kill the bacteria of tuberculosis.
- Always use a disposable mask to cover your mouth, when contacting with uninfected people. Dispose of the mask after every few hours. Consider burning the used masks.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Tuberculosis?
Certain habits that should not be performed when suffering from tuberculosis as follows:
- Do not share bed or room with a healthy person.
- Do not throw one's used clothes here and there as it might spread the infection to others.
- Do not have a sexual relationship with the individual who is infected with tuberculosis, until the infection persists.
- Do not leave the treatment incomplete, even if you start feeling better after a few months. This can lead to drug resistant TB, which is more dangerous than normal TB.
What Are The Best Foods For Tuberculosis?
A few significant nutrients that should be consumed by tuberculosis patients are as follows:
- High-calorie food: Beneficial tuberculosis foods should be rich in nutrients and high in calorie to complete the rising demand of the metabolism, and to avoid losing weight. High-calorie foods may include cereals, banana, almond butter, goat cheese, peanut butter, avocado, porridge, and peanuts.
- Foods rich in protein: Consumption of high protein diet is advised to the tuberculosis patients. Due to tuberculosis, a lot of muscle mass is lost. To avoid this loss, one must include protein in his/her diet. Some of the protein-rich diet, which one must consume when suffering from tuberculosis, is eggs, fish, pulses, milk products and milk, and meat. When the patient suffers from low appetite in tuberculosis, he/she must consume drinks rich in protein.
- Pineapple: Pineapple is a very beneficial fruit for health. Drinking pineapple juice can help to aid the recovery from tuberculosis and clear the mucus. Hence, it is a good food for patients suffering from tuberculosis.
- Vegetables bright in color: These vegetables may provide the strength needed to fight with the extreme antibiotic dosage that is taken while treating tuberculosis. Such fruits and vegetables have strong pigments that are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help in eliminating the free radicals, which cause diseases. Such foods are normally rich in vitamin A such as broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, apricots, papaya, and mango.
What Are The Worst Foods For Tuberculosis?
Some of the foods that one must avoid when suffering from tuberculosis are as follows:
- Foods containing oil: Oily foods like fried chicken and beef, bacon, onion rings, and French fries contribute to saturated fats in large amount. Saturated fats not only cause heart diseases and diabetes but also aggravate the symptoms accompanied by tuberculosis. Fatigue, abdominal cramping, and diarrhoea are the tuberculosis symptoms that can be worsened by the consumption of saturated fats.
- Refined Carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates like sugar and flour contribute to empty calories (empty calorie foods mean high-calorie foods with zero or no nutritional values). Limiting the refined carbohydrate consumption may not be that harmful, especially if one is limiting his/her intake to low fibre foods because of diarrhoea. It is recommended to avoid such foods to the tuberculosis patients so that the symptoms do not worsen further. Sources of refined carbohydrate are cereals, bread, pasta, instant rice, soft drinks, jam, jelly, etc.
- Trans-Fatty Acids: Certain kinds of fats are produced by adding hydrogen to the vegetable oil. Such fats are called trans-fats or trans-fatty acids. These are quite unhealthy in nature. Therefore, one must consider eliminating these fats from his/her diet if suffering from tuberculosis. Some fats consisting of trans-fats are cakes, pies, muffin, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, cream filled candies, French fries, vegetable shortenings, cake frostings, waffles, pancakes, fried chicken, ice-creams, ground beef, and margarine.
- Alcohol and caffeine: Alcohol and caffeine may make sleeping and resting difficult that may result in slow curing of tuberculosis. The high amount of alcohol or caffeine intake can show fluid flushing or diuretic effects. It also prevents one from consuming healthy beverages like fresh juices, low-fat milk, and water. One can consume green tea, which is caffeine free. Green tea is a rich antioxidant source.
What Are The Medicines For Tuberculosis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Tuberculosis?
- Keep oneself hydrated, as it reduces fatigue and drinking enough water subsidies coughing.
- Get the vaccine done: There is a vaccine to prevent tuberculosis, known as BCG (Bacille Calmette Guerin), consult one’s doctor to learn about the need for the vaccine.
- Take precautionary measure to prevent tuberculosis if someone in the family is infected with tuberculosis. Cover the face with a disposable mask while talking to the patient. Wear disposable gloves while touching their used items and dispose of the mask and glove by burning them, after the usage.