Encyclopedia

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis – what it is

It is an infectious disease that is caused by the bacterium Mycobacteriumtuberculosis.

The disease mainly affects the lungs, but it is possible to damage the organs of the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, etc.

When a person is infected with tuberculosis, the bacteria in the lungs multiply causing pneumonia. The patient experiences chest pains and a constant cough accompanied by bloody sputum.

Lymph nodes in the area of ​​the heart and lungs expand. And as the bacteria try to spread to other parts of the body, they are blocked by the body’s immune system.

Immune cells form a connective tissue or fibrosis around the bacteria that limits the infection. Prevents from affecting other organs and also from transmission to other people.

Tuberculosis is usually classified as latent and active when:

  • In the latent form, the bacteria are not active, but are in the human body and are not contagious;
  • In the active form, the bacteria are active and the infected gets sick and becomes contagious to those around him.

Currently, medical science is at a crossroads in its fight against tuberculosis, as treatment methods with certain medications have become ineffective.

The bacteria causing the disease are now resistant to most drugs used so far.

What are the causes of the disease

One of the main causes of tuberculosis is the presence of the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is transmitted from person to person through airborne infection.

When an infected person coughs, sneezes or spits, small droplets containing bacteria are dispersed into the environment.

When another person inhales these droplets, the bacteria have a chance to reach the lungs. However, not everyone who is exposed to the bacteria will get TB. N

having a strong immune system can destroy bacteria before they cause disease.

In some people, when the bacteria enters the body, the immune system manages to control it and it remains in a latent state.

In this case, the person becomes a carrier of the bacterium, but does not develop an active form of tuberculosis and is not contagious to others.

However, in certain situations the immune system fails to deal with the bacterium, and this leads to the development of an active form of tuberculosis. In this case, the person becomes contagious and is able to transmit the disease to other people.

In addition, risk factors for contracting and developing tuberculosis include low socioeconomic status, poor housing conditions, chronic diseases such as AIDS, diabetes, and other diseases that reduce the immune system.

Recent studies also show that malnutrition can increase the risk of contracting tuberculosis.

Signs and symptoms – what to look out for

Most people who become infected with Mycobacteriumtuberculosis have no symptoms. However, if symptoms do occur, they are most often:

  • Weight loss for no apparent reason;
  • Fatigue;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Fever;
  • Night sweats;
  • Chills;
  • Loss of appetite.

Symptoms specific to lung conditions are:

  • Cough that lasts more than 3 weeks;
  • Chest pains;
  • Painful breathing;
  • Pains when coughing;
  • Bloody sputum.

Treatment of tuberculosis

The treatment of tuberculosis is a complex process that depends on several factors, including whether the disease is active or latent, as well as the possible resistance of the bacteria to antibiotics.

If TB is latent, meaning the bacteria are in the body but not active and causing no symptoms, the antibiotic isoniazid is often prescribed.

This type of treatment usually lasts from 6 to 12 months and aims to prevent the disease from progressing into an active state.

When TB is active and causing symptoms, it is treated with a combination of drugs.

The main medications used in treatment include isoniazid, rimfapicin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide.

In some cases, streptomycin is also added, especially if the bacteria has spread to other organs.

Although drug therapy for tuberculosis is effective, it often requires long-term medication, usually 6 to 9 months.

One of the biggest challenges to successful treatment is lack of consistency in taking prescribed medications.

Many patients stop taking the medication as soon as they feel better or experience side effects.

However, this can lead to a relapse of the disease and an increased risk of developing resistant strains of tuberculosis.

Monitoring and support from health professionals is essential to achieve successful results in the treatment of tuberculosis.

In some cases, when the patient has a resistant strain of tuberculosis, it is necessary to apply more medications to the standard medical therapy. This type of treatment requires a long period of time and specialized medical supervision.

The scientific community continues to explore new opportunities to improve the treatment of tuberculosis.

Some recent studies suggest that vitamin C may have beneficial effects in combination with standard drug therapy.

Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties and supporting the immune system, which can help the body fight infection.

However, before this type of combination treatment can be implemented, further research and clinical trials are needed to confirm its effectiveness and safety.

How to prevent the disease

In Bulgaria, the mandatory immunization calendar includes the anti-tuberculosis BCG vaccine, which must be administered to newborns and young children.

Excellent ways to prevent tuberculosis are also:

  • Eating healthy food that supports good immunity;
  • Regular tests for tuberculosis if you live or work in a high-risk environment.

If you are already infected and do not want to create a danger of infecting other people, it is best to stay at home. And ensure regular ventilation of the room where you spend most of your time.

Which are the vulnerable groups that require more attention

Some of the people may fall into the so-called risk groups, where the chances of infection are extremely high.

This includes in the first place all people who have severe diseases that compromise the resistance of the immune system.

Anyone who has to share dormitories or work spaces for an extended period of time can be alert and watch for the appearance of alarming symptoms.

Of course, this also includes children who are part of the day care system. This necessitates strict monitoring of hygiene, as well as of sick children, even in the presence of vaccinations.

There is no way to miss the people who are hospitalized. The concentration of viruses and bacteria is extremely high and can be contagious not only for patients but also for hospital staff.

Social workers also fall into this group due to the fact that every day they have to communicate with many different people, and some of them also have to visit within their home.

Special attention should also be paid to representatives of minorities, as well as to people living in poor living conditions. The simple lack of running water can have a huge impact on people’s lives and living conditions.

The fact that the natural mutation of the tuberculosis virus leads to its constant change should not be underestimated, and as a result, many of the drugs no longer work. < /em>

So even with the tremendous advances of modern medicine, tuberculosis can be extremely difficult to treat.

Added to this is the natural mutation of the tuberculosis agent, which makes it more durable in the environment and under unfavorable conditions, as well as more resistant to treatment.

Alternative treatment

Alternative methods of treating various diseases are often the subject of discussion and interest for people looking for different approaches to improving their health.

Although conventional medicine has great importance and superiority, some people turn to alternative methods as a complementary or alternative option. Among them is the proposed treatment of tuberculosis by walking in the mountains at high altitude.

The supposed basis of this alternative treatment is related to nature and the good effect on our health.

Mountain areas are known for lower concentrations of pollutants and cleaner air, which can have a positive effect on the respiratory system and overall health.

Walking at high altitude, according to scientists and doctors, also contributes to our physical health.

This is an intense physical activity that supports blood circulation, stimulates the cardiovascular system and increases the supply of oxygen to the body.

Also, being at high altitude can affect the immune system and help boost immunity.

It is important to note that alternative treatment methods are not a substitute for traditional medicine. They should not be used without consultation with a doctor and diagnosis by a competent specialist.

Tuberculosis is a serious disease that requires specialized treatment and regular medical supervision.

When interested in this type of alternative treatment, it is important to conduct additional research and studies of cases that have undergone such treatment.

Scientific rationale and empirical evidence are essential to establish the effectiveness and safety of alternative methods.

Getting into nature and walking in a mountainous area can be beneficial for many people, but for some groups of people, such as pregnant women, people with serious health problems or chronic diseases, it can be dangerous and incompatible with their state of health.

In conclusion, alternative treatment methods can be interesting options, but before trying them, it is essential to consult a health professional and not replace traditional medicine with such alternatives.

Health is the most important thing, and it must be carefully supported and treated to ensure good functioning and quality of life.

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