Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments
Exploring how to understand tuberculosis is very important. The stigma behind the health problem is one that many people are worried about. When you know the facts about it though you will be able to understand it, to watch for signs of it, and to know what to expect if you or someone you know is diagnosed with it.
Tuberculosis can result when a particular type of bacteria enters the lungs. This type of bacteria is called mycobacterium. While the lungs are usually the first part of the body affected, most people don’t realize that the bacteria can continue to spread to other parts of the body as well. This includes the spin, brain, and the kidneys. Early intervention and treatment is necessary to prevent that from happening.
While it is true that people can die from tuberculosis that doesn’t happen as often as it did in the past. Today there are ways to treat it if a person seeks medical attention early on. Understanding the warning signs can encourage you to talk to your doctor about it and for additional testing to take place.
Tuberculosis can be spread through particles in the air. They can be transferred when a person coughs or sneezes. This is another reason why it should be diagnosed quickly. Then individuals with it can take precautions against exposing other people to it.
Part of how to understand tuberculosis is that there may not be any symptoms. Some individuals end up with a form of it where they have the bacteria in the body but no symptoms. They aren’t going to be able to pass it along to anyone else. However, without treatment the bacteria can get worse and then they can become sick. That is why anyone that may have been exposed to tuberculosis should ask their doctor for testing to be conducted.
For other people the bacteria is very high in the body and they are contagious. They can exhibit various symptoms. Without effective treatment though the symptoms will only continue to get worse.
These symptoms include:
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
- Persistent coughing that is dry in nature
- Coughing up mucus or blood
- Feeling of heaviness in the chest, especially while laying down
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
- Night sweats
- Joint pain
The Diagnosis for Tuberculosis
With how to understand tuberculosis you should also have a good idea of what will take place to test for it. There are two main types of tests conducted out there to give medical experts a clear indication of what the medical concern is. The first one is a skin test that requires a type of fluid to be injected into the skin known as tuberculin. After a period of 48 hours that area of skin is evaluated for changes in it. If there is no change tuberculosis isn’t present.
The second type of test involves blood work. Once the blood is taken from the body it is evaluated to see how the immune system is able to react to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. This is the newest type of test so don’t be surprised if your doctor requests for both of them to be done.
The treatment for it will require the use of various medications for a lengthy period of time. This can range from 6 to 12 months. The types of medication offered will depend on the severity of the tuberculosis. Other health problems have to be evaluated too, especially if the person is already taking medications for them on a regular basis.