Tuberculosis; It is a curse more than a disease…never-ending cough, blood in cough are some of its symptoms. Tuberculosis is a very dangerous and prevalent disease however people still are not totally aware of it unless until they have suffered it.
We have tried to cover all aspects of TB in this article. Read it and create awareness on world TB day 24th march.
WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS?
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (MTB). Tuberculosis generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body. Doctors make a distinction between two kinds of tuberculosis infection: latent and active.
- Latent TB – The bacteria remain in the body in an inactive state. They cause no symptoms and are not contagious, but they can become active.
- Active TB – The bacteria do cause symptoms and can be transmitted to others.
Compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent, tuberculosis is the second biggest killer, globally. About one-third of the world’s population is believed to have latent TB. There is a 10% chance of latent TB becoming active, but this risk is much higher in people who have compromised immune systems i.e., people living with HIV or malnutrition, or people who smoke.
CAUSE OF TUBERCULOSIS
TB may be caused when a person pricks himself with anything infested with the germ or through inhalation of dust particles mixed with the microbes.
Mineral starvation of the body tissues is cited as the primary cause of tuberculosis.Suppressing of malaria, cold and catarrh also lead to tuberculosis.But the main cause of tuberculosis is a weakened constitution and loss of body resistance.
Lower resistance may be caused by any or all of the following factors:
- Long period of ill health
- Heredity factor
- Unhealthy environment
- Excessive use of intoxicants
- Overindulgence in sex
- Metabolic diseases like diabetes
WHO IS AT RISK?
People with compromised immune systems are most at risk of developing active tuberculosis. HIV suppresses the immune system, making it harder for the body to control TB bacteria. Tobacco use has also been found to increase the risk of developing active TB.
SYMPTOMS OF TUBERCULOSIS
Symptoms of tuberculosis depend upon the body part affected by the microbe.
Symptoms of Pulmonary tuberculosis
- Persistent cough and hoarseness
- Discharge of blood in the phlegm
- Trouble in breathing
- Chest pain indicating the involvement of pleura
Symptoms of tuberculosis of intestines
- Distension of the stomach
- Impairment of digestion
- Loss of appetite and appearance of digestive disorders
- Constipation: if small intestine is infected
- Diahorrea: if large intestine is infected.
- Pain in shoulders
- Loss of vigor, emaciation and rapid weight loss
- Body becomes pale
- High body temperature- especially in the evening
Diagnosing active tuberculosis based only on signs and symptoms is difficult, as is diagnosing the disease in those who are immunosuppressed.
- A chest X-Ray
- . Multiple sputum cultures for acid-fast bacilli
These are typically part of the initial evaluation.
- Chest CT scan
- Interferon-Gamma Release Assays (commonly known as TB Gold test)
- Tuberculin skin tests (commonly known as Mantoux skin test)
These are of little use in the developing world.
The Mantoux tuberculin test is often used to screen people at high risk for TB. It is useful to diagnose latent tuberculosis.However, those who have been previously immunized may have a false-positive test result. The test may be falsely negative in those with sarcoidosis, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, malnutrition, and most notably, active tuberculosis.
Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention and Natural Treatment
How to Successfully Treat Tuberculosis Without Drugs
Two new studies have linked vitamin D to the successful prevention and treatment of tuberculosis (TB).
The first study determined that vitamin D is key to the molecular mechanism that the body employs to fight tuberculosis. White blood cells convert vitamin D into an active form that helps make a protein that kills tuberculosis bacteria.
In the second study, Indonesian scientists compared the effect of vitamin D versus a placebo on almost 70 tuberculosis patients for some nine months. Treating tuberculosis patients with 10,000 units of vitamin D daily versus the much smaller amount (400 units) usually advocated by conventional medicine led to a 100 percent cure rate.
These findings could lead to the use of the vitamin as a means to prevent and cure the disease.
The majority of TB cases can be cured when the right medication is available and administered correctly. The precise type and length of antibiotic treatment depends on a person’s age, overall health, potential resistance to drugs, whether the TB is latent or active, and the location of the infection. Antibiotics are ususally required to be taken for a relatively long time. The standard length of time for a course of TB antibiotics is about 6 months.
People with latent TB may need just one kind of TB antibiotics, whereas people with active TB (particularly MDR-TB) will often require a prescription of multiple drugs. Some cases of MDR-TB require extensive courses of chemotherapy, which can be expensive and cause severe adverse drug reactions in patients.
TB medication can be toxic to the liver, and although side effects are uncommon, when they do occur, they can be quite serious. Potential side effects should be reported to a doctor and include:
1. Dark urine
4. Loss of appetite
5. Nausea and vomiting
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO TAKE FULL COURSE OF TREATMENT
It is important for any course of treatment to be completed fully, even if the TB symptoms have gone away. Any bacteria that have survived the treatment could become resistant to the medication that has been prescribed and could lead to developing MDR-TB in the future.
Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) may be recommended. This involves a healthcare worker administrating the TB medication to ensure that the course of treatment is completed.
A few general measures can be taken to prevent the spread of active TB.
1. Avoiding other people by not going to school or work, or not sleeping in the same room as someone, will help to minimize the risk of germs from reaching anyone else. Wearing a mask, covering the mouth, and ventilating rooms can also limit the spread of bacteria.
2. Vaccines – The only available vaccine as of 2011 is Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG). In children it decreases the risk of getting the infection by 20% and the risk of infection turning into disease by nearly 60%. The immunity it induces decreases after about ten years.
Millions of people die every year due to TB. People need to be aware about it. World TB day is observed on 24 March each year to build public awareness about the global epidemic of TB and efforts to eliminate the disease. Let’s fight this battle together, and make our planet a healthier place.
Natural cures for tuberculosis
The treatment must start with the isolation of the patient or by removing him to sanatorium, if it has been detected in advanced stage.
Prescribed natural cures:
- Non pasteurized Milk: TB is generally associated with depletion of natural Calcium in the body. Calcium is the main therapeutic agent needed for treatment of TB and raw milk is the richest source of organic calcium.
- Custard apple + seedless raisins: The pulp of one custard apple mixed with 15 seedless raisins should be slowly boiled in water till most of the water has evaporated. The leftovers should be mixed with one tea spoon of powdered sugar candy and pinch of cardamom and cinnamon. 2 teaspoons of this concoction taken thrice a day helps rejuvenate the body is regarded as one of the most effective natural cures for tuberculosis.Alternatively, a readymade ayurvedic concoction of custard apple namedsitaphalasava is prescribed.
- Drumstick leaves: Soup prepared by boiling drumstick leaves taken with little salt, pepper and lime juice increases the body resistance against TB infection.
- Garlic: Twenty grains of garlic with six ounces of milk and two pounds water boiled till it reduces to a quarter of the original quantity, given in two doses during the day is used widely in Ayurveda as a natural remedy for TB.
- Indian gooseberry: 1 tablespoon of Indian gooseberry juice with honey, taken in the morning promotes vitality and increases body resistance to fight TB germs.
- Pineapple: Aids in dissolving mucus and is effective in treatment of tuberculosis.
- Green Banana: Juice of green banana is used by many naturopaths in curing TB.
- Dried fruits: particularly dried grapes and almond are used to vitalize the body for curing TB.
- Orange Juice: Orange juice with a pinch of salt alleviates expectoration and protects the body from further infections.
- Mint: One tea spoon fresh juice of mint with equal amount of honey, half tea spoon amount of pure malt vinegar mixed in half a glass of carrot juice helps develop body resistance against tubercle bacillus.
Herbs for tuberculosis treatment
- Ash Gourd: Pulp of the fruit is boiled while constantly adding sugar syrup till it hardens into a delicious sweet.Used to cure general debility and o increase weight in tuberculosis.
- Celery (Scientific name: Apium graveolens, Indian name: Ajwain ka patta or Ajmod): Celery has an antispasmodic property which is used specially for curing pulmonary TB
- Linseed: 1 table spoon of powdered linseed soaked overnight in a glass of water served in the morning with lime juice is used to counter the ill effects of TB
- Marigold: Used for treatment of scrofula or the TB of glands
- Winter Cherry: Decoction made of the root of winter cherry, honey and long pepper is used to treat pulmonary TB and scrofula. long-term use is not recommended as the root has narcotic properties.
Plenty of milk, pulses especially black gram, butter, eggs, gourds of various varieties, beetroot, spinach, onion, raw green vegetables, wholemeal bread and fruits.
Foods to be avoided
- White bread, white sugar
- Refined cereals
- Curd, buttermilk
- Ripe banana & Guava
- Food with preservatives
- Tea, Coffee and alcohol
- Condiments like pickles, sauces
- All devitalizing foods
Sources and References:
- Science February 23, 2006
- Acta Med Indones January-March 2006; 38(1): 3-5
- com February 23, 2006