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Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

30 July, 2020 Anushka Das
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease. It is usually caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Tuberculosis mainly affects your lungs, but can also affect the other parts of your body.
 
​In a few individuals, the infections show no symptoms, in which case it is known as latent tuberculosis. Only about 10% of latent infections progress to active disease. If it is then left untreated can kill about half of those affected. The symptoms of TB are a chronic cough with blood-containing mucus, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.
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Earlier, it was called "consumption" due to the loss of weight in individuals. The infection can also spread to the other organs. These infections can then cause a wide variety of symptoms in individuals. In this article, 3Meds- the best online pharmacy app in India brings to you the causes, symptoms, and treatment of tuberculosis or TB.
 

Causes Of Tuberculosis:  

Tuberculosis or TB is infectious. It is caused by a bacteria Mycobacteria tuberculosis. It can spread from a person to person. It usually spreads when a person is infected with TB disease coughs or sneezes and someone else inhales that expelled droplets.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis:

1. Pain in chest.
2. Pain can occur during breathing.
3. Cough can be chronic and sometimes there might be a discharge of blood with a cough.
4. Fatigue.
5. Fever.
6. Loss of appetite.
7. Malaise.
8. Night sweats.
9. Sweating.
10. Loss of muscle.
11. Phlegm.
12. Severe weight loss.
13. Shortness of breath.
14. Swollen lymph nodes.

Diagnosis of Tuberculosis: 

The most common way to diagnose tuberculosis is a simple skin test. A meager amount of a substance called PPD tuberculin is injected. It is injected below the skin of your forearm. Only a slight needle prick can be felt by the individual taking the test. A health professional will then check whether there is any kind of swelling found in your hand or not within 48 to 72 hours. If there is a hard, raised red lump, it means you are infected with tuberculosis. But sometimes, results can be wrong too. Like, for example, when a person has TB, this test might fail and show that he/she might not have it. Or when a person doesn’t have TB, this test might fail and show that he/she might have it. So, here the question arises why does it give a false positive report? The reason behind this false-positive test occurs usually if you’ve been vaccinated with the bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine recently.

Another question that arises is why does it give a false negative report? Often there are false-negative results. These occur in certain populations — including children, older people, and people with AIDS. It also occurs in those individuals who sometimes do not respond to the TB skin test. The result can also occur in people who've recently been infected with TB, but whose immune systems have not yet reacted to the bacteria.

There are more ways in which you can diagnose your TB:
• Blood tests: Blood tests are also used to confirm the latent or active tuberculosis. These tests are very much effective as they use sophisticated technology to measure your immune system’s reaction to TB bacteria. Only a single blood test can be very 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.

• Sputum tests.
 

Treatment of Tuberculosis: 

You must take antibiotics for at least six to nine months if you have active tuberculosis disease. The intake of drugs and length of treatment depends on various factors such as your age, overall health, possible drug resistance, and the infection’s location in your body. Some of the most common medications used to treat tuberculosis are as follows:

• Isoniazid
• Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
• Ethambutol (Myambutol)
• Pyrazinamide

Now, buy your medications online from the comfort of your home and get them delivered at your doorstep hassle-free.
After a few weeks, you may start to feel better and at that time, it might seem to be very tempting to stop taking your TB drugs. But, here you need to understand that it is very crucial that you finish the full course of therapy and take the medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you stop the treatment too soon or even in the midway or at the last day or skipping doses can allow the bacteria that are still alive to become resistant to those drugs, leading to TB that can be much more dangerous and difficult to treat. So, it’s better not to stop your medications.


Conclusion: 

Tuberculosis is infectious yet not contagious. So, cover your mouth when you cough. And consult a doctor before taking any medications as they have side effects.