In the year 2015, WHO estimated 10.4 million new cases of Tuberculosis and 1.8 million deaths due to this problem. Tuberculosis still remains a major cause of death, worldwide. It is a dreaded disease and the general public has an average knowledge about the disease. Remembering one thing is essential about the disease. It is completely curable with proper medical attention.
What is TB and How do you identify it?
It is an infectious disease caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that affects areas rich in blood supply and that’s why TB is more common in the lungs known as Pulmonary Tuberculosis. However, TB can occur in other areas and this kind of TB is called extrapulmonary Tuberculosis.
TB is contagious and can spread to others easily by droplet infection (inhaling air when the TB affected person sneezes or coughs). Pulmonary TB can be spread more easily than extrapulmonary TB.
TB symptoms are classic. However, initially when the person is affected he/she is unable to recognize that the ailment could be TB. TB is of 2 types, the dormant or latent TB and the active TB. People with dormant TB so not show any symptoms though they do have TB and can also spread to others. Otherwise, the following symptoms are typical of TB.
- A cough extending beyond 2 weeks with sputum appearing cloudy, thick and with or without blood
- Weight loss
- Fever with night sweats
- Shortness of breath and chest pain
- When the lymph nodes are affected there might be a swelling in the neck.
Visit a doctor if a cough extends beyond 2 weeks. TB is diagnosed using blood, sputum tests, X-ray and Tuberculin skin test (for latent TB). If the TB is extrapulmonary then biopsies, CT or MRI scans are taken.
Anybody can get Tuberculosis but there are certain risk factors that make a person more susceptible to the disease.
- Persons who are immunocompromised (who lack immunity to fight diseases) i.e. persons with certain medical conditions such as HIV, Cancer.
- Persons suffering from autoimmune diseases such as Lupus.
- Health care professionals handling patients who are suffering from TB.
- Persons living with a patient affected by TB.
- Working or staying in crowded places facilitates the spread of the bacteria.
- Drinking alcohol or abusing drugs is also a risk factor
- Lower socioeconomic groups who do not have access to the necessary healthcare and people traveling to TB affected areas which are left untreated such as Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia and Latin America.
Treatment and Prevention
In the current era, there is a therapy with prescribed drugs known as the DOT (Directly observed therapy) so that any medication is not skipped and the complete treatment is taken. If any medication is skipped it leads to what is known as MDR-TB (multidrug-resistant TB) which is very difficult to treat. The treatment can extend to a period of 2 years. And the further complicated form of TB is known as XDR-TB (Extensive drug-resistant TB). Hence, it is important to take medicines without fail on the same time every day and complete the course even if relief is obtained prior to finishing the course.
Prevention is usually done by a vaccine shot in kids known as BCG (Bacillus
It is very difficult to prevent TB but some steps can be taken to reduce the peril.
- Keep surroundings as clean as possible and try to air the rooms regularly
- Try to keep away from patients suffering from the disease. Very close contact can possibly spread the disease. If close contact is inevitable then use protective equipment such as a mask that protects one from TB.
- Education about TB and hygienic techniques to avoid its spread (such as covering nose and mouth with a handkerchief while sneezing or coughing will reduce the spread of the bacteria)
- If diagnosed with TB prompt treatment can ensure recovery of the patient.
Treatment in Homoeopathy
Doliosis D84 Turol is a Homoeopathic product that helps to reduce symptoms of Pulmonary Tuberculosis such as anorexia, weight loss, difficulty in breathing, cough and physical weakness. It restores vitality and provides a boost for the immune system to fight the disease effectively. It can be used for all ages safely, without any side effects. Also, it can be taken easily along with other medication.