Worldwide, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death and the leading cause of a single infectious agent ( according to WHO).
It is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It is preventable and a completely curable disease. People with poor immunity are susceptible to this. Common in two extremities of one’s life.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION – Aerosols
RISK – Both genders and all age groups are equally susceptible.
Usually, a lot of TB causing bacteria are present in the air we breathe but they remain latent within due to our strong immune system but once our immunity goes down it starts overpowering us.
So risk factors
- HIV patients
- One with other metabolic syndromes.
- Undernourished people
- Alcohol and tobacco abusers.
Classified mainly into two types
- Pulmonary TB – It means the lungs are infected. Common type
- Extrapulmonary TB – It means the effect of bacteria on other parts rather than the lung. This includes gastrointestinal TB, skeletal TB, Lymph node, genitourinary TB, miliary TB, Tuberculous Meningitis, pleural TB, etc.
Symptoms of active lung TB
- Chronic cough with sputum – cough for more than 21 days.
- Blood in the sputum
- Rapid weight loss
- Chest pain or shortness of breath
- Night sweats
1. Tuberculin skin test – It is not confirmatory as it can’t tell us whether the infection is latent it active. In this small amount of PPF ( purified protein filtrate) is injected on your forearm by the physician and he checks for reaction on the injected area after 48 hours. It’s considered positive if there is a reaction and negative if there is no change or reaction.
2. Blood tests – Only these can tell us whether the infection is latent or active.
3. Imaging tests – A X-ray or CT scan can tell us the presence of TB.
4. Sputum tests – The sputum is collected when you cough or swab is taken if can’t be collected through a cough. It is sent for culture. This is what tells the doctor to which antimicrobials it’s sensitive to and to which it is resistant to so that it’s easy for doctors to prescribe medications.
EXTRA PULMONARY TB
- Fever of unknown origin
- Weight loss
- Malaise or general body weakness.
- Altered mental status
- Luekamoid reaction
DIAGNOSIS – Usually Biopsy and blood tests.
New cases are treated for 6 months and if recurrent cases are treated for 8 months with first-line drugs named Isoniazid, Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol, Streptomycin. These are according to RNTCP guidelines.
There will be Drug resistance TB cases especially Multidrug-resistant TB ( MDR -TB) and this is treated with second-line drugs in two phases for 6-9 months and 18 months respectively.
Extensive Drug Resistant TB ( XDR TB) – One phase of treatment lasts for 6-12 months and another phase for 18 months.
For pregnant and breastfeeding ladies it’s different.
DIET – Balanced diet is needed to cure or prevent TB. Their foods should be rich with nutrients such as iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin- A, D, C, E, protein, carbohydrate, fats
Protein – Dairy products, meat ( properly cooked ), eggs, pulses (chana, peas, green gram, toor dal) nuts s( almonds, cashew, walnuts, Anjeera, pistachio), seeds( pumpkin seeds, gingerly seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds).
Carbohydrate and fats foods – Cereals, millets, ghee, butter, vegetable oils.
Vitamins and minerals – Green leafy vegetables, roots, all kinds of fruits.
Just maintain a safe distance from them but you don’t need to treat them like untouchables. They need your love to heal.