Tuberculosis: Symptoms and Treatment
Tuberculosis, or as it’s more commonly known, TB, is a relatively dangerous Bacterial Infection (i.e. an infection caused by the presence of bacteria in your system). While its presence and effects are mostly found in the Lungs, the bacteria can spread through the blood and lymph nodes and infect other organs in the body. Luckily, being exposed to TB bacteria may not lead to developing symptoms or becoming ill (at least not right away), because a healthy adult immune system can generally suppress the TB bacteria and leave it in an inactive state until it is treated. However, leaving a potential TB infection untreated is still highly dangerous, since any factors that the weaker the immune system, be they anything from viral infections like HIV, to natural factors like old age, greatly increase the chance of developing life-threatening TB symptoms.
How does TB spread?
TB bacteria travels and is transmitted through the air, usually because of fluids and bacteria being expelled by the coughing of a person with an active TB infection. Spending a great deal of time around someone exhibiting symptoms of TB greatly increases one’s chances of being exposed to the bacteria, though one’s risk of developing symptoms depends on the state of one’s immune system at any given time. As previously mentioned, people who are infected with TB but show no symptoms are not in immediate danger; even better, they won’t be able to spread the disease to others unless their TB infection and symptoms activate. This means there’s no need to panic if someone close to you is diagnosed with TB, but people who spend a great deal of time with the patient are strongly recommended to get tested for TB by a medical professional, especially if the patient has been exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
What Are the Symptoms of Tuberculosis?
When someone has a TB infection that has become Active, they are likely to experience a few of these symptoms and should seek advice and treatment from a qualified medical practitioner immediately.
- A general sense of feeling unwell.
- A violent and persistent Cough, possibly producing bloody mucus.
- Fatigue and Shortness of breath in the absence of heavy exercise.
- Rapid and unusual Weight Loss.
- A persistent, Low-grade fever.
- Night Sweats.
- Chest pain when breathing.
When activated by a gap one’s immune system’s defences, TB bacteria kills cells and tissue in the organs it infects, damaging and causing internal bleeding (hence the bloody mucous produced when coughing). Even worse: TB combines its symptoms with those of other infections and illnesses that strike when your immune system is weakened. Not a pretty picture to be sure, but there’s not need to worry for the well-informed, as there’s plenty you can do to protect yourself, and effective treatment to cure active TB infections have existed for decades.
What are the tests for Tuberculosis?
A reliable medical test to catch latent Tuberculosis early, when it is easy and safe to treat, is known as the Tuberculin Skin Test (TST), also known as PPD. The TST, once administered by a qualified medical practitioner, is used to test for evidence of a potentially dangerous TB infection via a small injection of protein derivative (PPD). If a red welt appears at the injection site over the course of about three days, it’s extremely likely that the patient has a TB infection, and should begin treatment immediately.
Testing whether one’s TB infection has become active (and therefore dangerous and contagious) usually involves X-raying the patient’s lungs and testing a saliva sample.
What is the Treatment for Tuberculosis?
The appropriate TB treatment depends on whether the infection is in an active or latent state.
Latent TB Infection
After going over some preventative measures the patient can take to keep the infection from becoming active, doctors will generally prescribe an antibiotic called isoniazid (INH), which keeps the infection harmless and latent, and gradually removes it over the course of about 9 months. This antibiotic may lead patients to have a higher risk of hepatitis and other side effects, especially amongst older patients, but these side effects may be prevented by taking supplemental Vitamin B6 (as found in pyridoxine). As always, regular correspondence and evaluation with one’s doctor is important to ensure one is getting the best possible treatment.
Active TB Treatment
If a TB infection progresses to an Active State, doctors will need to prescribe several kinds of antibiotics to treat the infection, alleviate the symptoms, and prevent the TB bacteria from becoming drug-resistant. The most common regimen involves taking a combination of INH, Priftin, pyrazinamide, and ethambutol (Myambutol) over the course of three months, followed by INH and Priftin to complete six to twelve months. The severity of the symptoms and the contagious nature of Active TB require that the patient be in near-constant contact with a medical professional ensuring that their disease does not become fatal, and hospitalisation may be necessary, depending on the severity of the condition, and the patient’s risk of infecting others or the likelihood that they will fail to take their medication properly without qualified medical supervision.
A form of TB, called multidrug-resistant TB, is caused by strains of the tuberculosis bacteria that, through mutation, have developed the ability to resist two or more common TB drugs. This type of TB is more likely to develop in patients who develop a TB infection for a second time in their life, and in patients who do not take their prescribed TB medicines regularly and in the correct doses.
TB Treatment and Healthy Living with Mega Oxygen Therapy
Since the bacteria responsible for TB is only spread through the air by patients whose infection has progressed to an active state, it’s clear that the best defence against getting infected in the first place is to be weary of extensive contact (as defined by your doctor, depending on what antibiotics both parties are on) with someone who has been diagnosed with an active tuberculosis infection, especially if they have developed coughing symptoms. Since tuberculosis can lie dormant for years in someone’s system without becoming active, it’s a good idea to request your doctor perform a TST, among other standard tests at least once a year, even if you don’t recall interacting with anyone exhibiting TB symptoms recently. The TST will only produce a reaction (a red welt) if you test positive for TB, so there’s no harm in testing, just to be sure.
Once one is diagnosed with a latent or active TB infection, it is of utmost importance that one keeps their body and immune system as strong and resilient against diseases as possible. Doing so allows the antibiotics involved in treating TB to do their work and eliminate the TB bacteria without giving said bacteria the chance to do any damage, either by itself or in conjunction with another illness.
There are many ways that a person living with TB can maintain their immune system and keep their body in a state that naturally keeps the TB infection in check, many of which will be discussed with and recommended by your doctor when you are diagnosed; but here is a way to keep healthy and safe from TB that your doctor may not know about…
Mega Oxygen, a unique, all-natural health supplement that combines the healing – made of a special blend of South African herbs, together with the Oxygen-infusing rocket-power of Magnesium Peroxide. When combined with water on an empty stomach, Mega Oxygen capsules release vast quantities of oxygen into the system. With your body’s oxygen levels blowing straight back to normal and beyond, your body can go right back to fighting diseases and supplying every one of your billions of cells with the oxygen they need to survive, thrive, and grow you into your ultimate self.
Learn more about this amazing product from our free E book, and browse our fantastic variety of Oxygen Products in our Store.
BUY FROM SOUTH AFRICAN STORE (ZAR)
Shipping to South Africa Only
BUY FROM INTERNATIONAL STORE (USD)
Shipping to the Rest of the World