Tuberculosis(TB): causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & prevention

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Dr. Preeti Sharma

Tuberculosis(TB): causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & prevention

In this video our expert pulmonologist Dr. Preeti Sharma is talking about Tuberculosis(TB). Also she is answering some very common questions that people usually ask like:

  • What is Tuberculosis? 
  • How does it happen? 
  • What are its symptoms, causes, treatment & diagnosis?
  • Is tuberculosis contagious

Tuberculosis is a contagious infection that mainly affects the lungs, but it may also affect other body organs like the brain,  spine, muscle, intestine, and even bones. We can have any type of TB. 

Tuberculosis Causes(टीबी  के कारन) & Why does it happen?  

It happens because of the infection of bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. If any person with active TB and some other person comes in close contact with this active TB patient, they may also have this disease. TB is more common in homeless people who stay in crowded places, are HIV infected, are drug abusers, or are malnourished. When we contract the TB bacteria, it is unnecessary to have TB since we have our immunity, which fights against it. Those who are immuno-compromised have more chances of having active TB infection. We will talk further about the stages of TB. Now our expert will talk about the symptoms of TB.

Tuberculosis Symptoms(टीबी  के लक्षण) & How will we know that we have symptoms of TB?

The main symptom of TB is fever in the evening. Even one may have night sweats or chills. If you have had a cough for more than three weeks, it is essential to get screening for TB. You may have pain in the chest, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, and weight loss. So if you observe these symptoms, you must check yourself for TB. 

How can we diagnose TB?

If the patient comes with this history, experts examine their phlegm, which most government centers do almost free. First, experts take a sputum sample and send it for an AFB stain. Nowadays, experts have new techniques to identify resistant TB, more commonly by a gene expert test performed in sputum or phlegm. So this phlegm is tested in two ways. Then, experts perform the patient’s X-ray to analyze the extent of infection in the lungs.

Tuberculosis Treatments(टीबी  का  इलाज): How can the doctor treat this? 

First, we understood the causes of TB or the possible symptoms, and accordingly, experts diagnosed it. Treatment is done under two phases: 

  • One is the intensive phase, and the other is the maintenance phase. Its treatment is long-lasting, almost for six months, and the patients are divided into different categories based on whether they have had a TB infection before this or not. The medicines prescribed in the intensive phase is to stop the multiplication of bacteria, so it doesn’t spread. Moreover, those who are spreading this TB by aerosols. Suppose any patient with active TB coughs or sneezes, or even if they talk without wearing a mask, they may spread this bacteria in the room. So it is the role of the intensive phase to stop this kind of transmission. So in the intensive phase, to control the transmission of bacteria, such medicines are given to prevent the multiplication. It takes two months for completion, and it is under the DOTS procedure. 
  • Next comes the continuation or the maintenance phase, which lasts for three months. There are three types of medicines in this phase. So every patient must complete its treatment efficiently; the patient must take the medication properly; otherwise, it may turn into a life-threatening situation. There are many chances of developing resistance in this bacteria. Like in our country, there is an increase in multidrug-resistant TB cases. So the medicine dose must be accurate; the patient must take medicine on time and complete their regime.

Tuberculosis Prevention(टीबी  के निवारण)

What do we have for its prevention? 

First, to prevent TB, doctors have campaigns like the BCG vaccination camp, in which the vaccine is administered to the child at birth itself. Secondly, if our atmosphere is overcrowded and things that we can prevent and things like nourishment and nutrition must be adequate, we need to focus on these things so that we don’t get infected by TB. 

We need to take care of our immunity and have a balanced diet. Even if we are exposed, our TB should stay in a latent state rather than the active stage. Lastly our experts would say that if any of you have these symptoms, you must visit a doctor, get yourself screened for TB, get treatment, take the medicines properly; otherwise, this disease can be life-threatening.

Thank you 

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