TUBERCULOSIS

INTRODUCTION

Tuberculosis is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis.

TB is spread from person to person through air.

tuberculosis spread through droplet infection.

tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly because of the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person's immune system so it can't fight the TB germs. In the United States, because of stronger control programs, tuberculosis began to decrease again in 1993, but remains a concern.


SIGN AND SYMPTOMS

  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks

  • Coughing up blood

  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Night sweats

  • Chills

  • Loss of appetite

RISK FACTOR

Weakened immune system

A healthy immune system often successfully fights TB bacteria, but your body can't mount an effective defense if your resistance is low. A number of diseases, conditions and medications can weaken your immune system, including:

  • HIV/AIDS

  • Diabetes

  • 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

  • Malnutrition

  • Very young or advanced age

COMPLICATION

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 complication

  • 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 your brain (meningitis). This can cause a lasting or intermittent headache that occurs for weeks. Mental changes also are possible.

  • Liver or kidney problems. Your liver and kidneys help filter waste and impurities from your bloodstream. These functions become impaired if the liver or kidneys are affected by tuberculosis.

  • Heart disorders. Rarely, tuberculosis can infect the tissues that surround your heart, causing inflammation and fluid collections that may interfere with your heart's ability to pump effectively. This condition, called cardiac tamponade, can be fatal.

INVESTIGATION AND DIAGNOSIS

Blood tests

Blood tests may be used to confirm or rule out latent or active tuberculosis. These tests use sophisticated technology to measure your immune system's reaction to TB bacteria.

A blood test may be useful if you're at high risk of TB infection but have a negative response to the skin test, or if you've recently received the BCG vaccine.


Imaging tests

If you've had a positive skin test, your doctor is likely to order a chest X-ray or a CT scan. This may show white spots in your lungs where your immune system has walled off TB bacteria, or it may reveal changes in your lungs caused by active tuberculosis. CT scans provide more-detailed images than do X-rays.

Sputum tests

If your chest X-ray shows signs of tuberculosis, your doctor may take samples of your sputum — the mucus that comes up when you cough. The samples are tested for TB bacteria.

HOMOEOPATHIC THERAPEUTICS

  • Tuberculinum

  • phosphorus

  • Ars. iod

  • iodum

  • carbo animalis