Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an acute or chronic infection, that can spread through the lymph nodes and bloodstream, circulatory system, and or to any organ in your body, it is usually found in the lungs. This disease is spread by inhalation of droplet nuclei when infected persons cough or sneeze.  Sites of extra pulmonary tuberculosis include the pleura, meninges, joints, lymph nodes, peritoneum, genitourinary tract, and bowel.

TB major cause is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, other strains of mycrobacteria may be involved.

Risk factors: primary infection include poverty and crowded, poorly ventilated living conditions.

For reinfection include gastrectomy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, opportunistic infections, Hodgkin's disease, leukemia, corticosteroid therapy, and immunosuppressant therapy.

Symptoms:

In primary infection, the disease is usually asymptomatic.

May experience fatigue, weakness, anorexia, loss of weight
Night sweats
Low grade fever
Persistent cough
Cough, with occasional blood in the sputum
May experience, pain the the chest, back and pain in the kidneys.

* A mantoux skin test is done to detect TB, if it shows positive, your doctor may order a chest X-ray to confirm and to see if the disease has spread.

Treatment:

If infected, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic medication for preventive measure; probably Isoniazid also called INH therapy or Rifampin (with ethambutol added in some cases), for at least 9 months.  After 2 to 4 weeks, the disease is usually no longer infectious.

If you have the active disease, your doctor may prescribe second line medication such as capreomycin, streptomycin, cycloserine, para amino salicylic acid, and or pyrazinamide.

May require hospitalization and isolation. With antibiotic treatment

Call your doctor if you experience any of the above symptoms, and or if you feel that you have been exposed.

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