Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks on the lungs. It can also spread to other parts of the body, like brain and spine. A type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it.
SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS
Although our body may harbor the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), our immune system usually can prevent from becoming sick. For this reason, doctors make a distinction between:
- Latent TB. In this condition, one have a TB infection, but the bacteria remain in our body in an inactive state and cause no symptoms. Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection, is not contagious. It can turn into active TB, so treatment is important for the person with latent TB and to help control the spread of TB. An estimated 2 billion people have latent TB.
- Active TB- This condition makes one sick and in most cases can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after infection with the TB bacteria, or it might occur years later.
Signs and Symptoms of Active TB include:
- Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
- Unintentional weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of appetite
Tuberculosis can also affect other parts of our body, including our kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside our lungs, signs and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give us back pain, and tuberculosis in our kidneys might cause blood in our urine.
CAUSES OF TUBERCULOSIS
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
Although tuberculosis is contagious, it is not easy to catch. One are much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone live with or work with than from a stranger. Most people with active TB who have had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.
Another reason tuberculosis remains a major killer is the increase in drug-resistant strains of the bacterium. Since the first antibiotics were used to fight tuberculosis more than 60 years ago, some TB germs have developed the ability to survive despite medications, and that ability gets passed on to their descendants.
Drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis emerge when an antibiotic fails to kill all of the bacteria it targets. The surviving bacteria become resistant to that particular drug and frequently other antibiotics as well. Some TB bacteria have developed resistance to the most commonly used treatments, such as isoniazid and rifampin.
Anyone can get tuberculosis, but certain factors can increase the risk of the disease. These factors include:
Weakened immune system
A healthy immune system often successfully fights TB bacteria, but our body can not mount an effective defense if our resistance is low. A number of diseases, conditions and medications can weaken our immune system, including:
- Severe kidney disease
- Certain cancers
- Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy
- Drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs
- Some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriasis
- Very young or advanced age
Traveling or living in certain areas
The risk of contracting tuberculosis is higher for people who live in or travel to areas that have high rates of tuberculosis and drug-resistant tuberculosis, including:
- Eastern Europe
- Latin America
- Caribbean Islands
Poverty and substance use
- Lack of medical care-If one receive a low or fixed income, live in a remote area, have recently immigrated to the United States, or are homeless,one may lack access to the medical care needed to diagnose and treat TB.
- Substance use- Use of IV drugs or excessive alcohol weakens our immune system and makes one more vulnerable to tuberculosis.
- Tobacco use-Using tobacco greatly increases the risk of getting TB and dying of it.
- Health care work-Regular contact with people who are ill increases our chances of exposure to TB bacteria. Wearing a mask and frequent hand-washing greatly reduceour risk.
- Living or working in a residential care facility- People who live or work in prisons, homeless shelters, psychiatric hospitals or nursing homes are all at a higher risk of tuberculosis. That is because the risk of the disease is higher anywhere there is overcrowding and poor ventilation.
- Living in or emigrating from a country where TB is common- People from a country where TB is common may be at high risk of tuberculosis infection.
- Living with someone infected with TB- Living with someone who has TB increasesour risk.
COMPLICATION OF TUBERCULOSIS
Without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal. Untreated active disease typically affects your lungs, but it can spread to other parts of your body through your bloodstream. Examples of tuberculosis complications include:
- Spinal pain- Back pain and stiffness are common complications of tuberculosis.
- Joint damage-Tuberculous arthritis usually affects the hips and knees.
- Swelling of the membranes that cover our brain (meningitis)-This can cause a lasting or intermittent headache that occurs for weeks. Mental changes also are possible.
- Liver or kidney problems- our liver and kidneys help filter waste and impurities from our bloodstream. These functions become impaired if the liver or kidneys are affected by tuberculosis.
- Heart disorders-Rarely, tuberculosis can infect the tissues that surround our heart, causing inflammation and fluid collections that may interfere with our heart's ability to pump effectively. This condition, called cardiac tamponade, can be fatal.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR TUBERCULOSIS
Homeopathic treatment depend upon totality of symptoms and individualization of the patient.some common homeopathic medicine depending upon symptoms are
Sulphur, Arsenic album, Arsenic iod, Tuberculinum, Phosphorus, Iodum, Silicea, Sangunaria, Calcarea carb, Lycopodium, Bryonia, e.t.c