Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by the bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria mostly affect the lungs (Pulmonary Tuberculosis) but can spread to other parts of the body, kidney, spine, brain, liver and so on.
Today, ILS Hospitals one of the best hospital in Kolkata and Agartala will give you detailed information regarding Tuberculosis.
The two main types of Tuberculosis are as follows:
1. Latent Tuberculosis:
It is a non-infectious, symptomless TB infection that can later progress into active TB. If you have latent TB you will require treatment to prevent it from becoming an active one.
2. Active Tuberculosis:
As the name suggests, it is an active and contagious TB infection that causes various symptoms in the patient.
Signs & Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of active TB infection are as follows:
Shortness of breath
Cough that lasts for more than 2 weeks
Weakness or Tiredness
Loss of appetite or Decreased appetite
Fever and Chills
Rapid weight loss
Lymph nodes or Swollen glands (mostly at the sides and base of the neck)
Haemoptysis or Coughing up blood.
Young children and people with weak immune system are at a higher risk of getting infected by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The causes of Tuberculosis are as follows:
Weak immune system
Breathing in the air infected by the person with TB infection
Chronic diseases, like diabetes and kidney diseases
The diagnostic tests involved with Tuberculosis are as mentioned below:
TB Blood test
TB Skin test, in which the laboratory technician injects a small amount of PPD tuberculin into the lower arm to check for swelling after two to three days
Chest X-ray, the most reliable diagnostic method
The treatment depends on whether you have active or latent TB.
1. Latent TB:
The main goal is to prevent the bacteria from becoming an active one. For that, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics as your TB treatment.
2. Active TB:
Drugs and medications for several months are recommended for treating active TB.
People diagnosed with Tuberculosis should complete their entire medication course to prevent TB bacteria from becoming drug-resistant.
Diagnosis plays a crucial role in the overall treatment and care. In fact, it is not uncommon to find long queues in the good diagnostic center just like you find in the best hospitals. To make things easier for our patients, we at ILS Hospitals, offer most advanced high-end diagnoses including Cath lab, MRI, ECG, CT scans and more, within our premises itself. Today we will discuss a special diagnosis test, namely the X-ray as we are observing the World Radiation day, on 8th November.
What is x-ray?
The credit goes to the German Physics professor Wilhelm Rontgen, who accidentally discovered it while some experiment. X-ray screening is one of the oldest diagnostic techniques in the medical realm. It uses shielded, controlled ionized radiation to pass through the human body and it produces images accordingly. Any deformity and damage can be clearly evaluated from the same.
Scope of x-rays
X-Ray tests have huge scope in various medical specialties. We list out few most common –
a) The most common use of x-ray is the diagnosis of orthopaedic deformities. It is used to identify the damages to bones and joints.
b) It also can be used to estimate the bone density and thus is quite helpful to diagnose medical conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
c) It can also detect the presence of the bone tumors. However, its nature has to be determined by further screenings.
a) It can be used to check the alignment and damage of teeth and jaws. It can also be used to check for the cavities in the mouth.
3. Thoracic and abdomen cavity
a) Several lung conditions can be detected by x-ray tests, namely tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis and sometimes even cancer.
b) It can also detect several conditions, namely blocked blood vessels.
c) It is a useful tool to detect the presence of stones in the abdominal organs.
d) It is highly useful to trace any swallowed item, particularly in the case of children.
Though the number of diagnostic center offering X-ray screening is mushrooming in every corner, not every unit is using them as per the standard guidelines. As a result, many a time, people suffer hair loss, burns, and other complications due to poorly shield x-ray radiation. At ILS Hospitals, we ensure the x-ray tests offer only the positive benefits to the patients. We will be back soon with one such special diagnosis technique and its scope.
Tuberculosis, or more commonly known as TB is a severe infectious disease affecting several organs of the body, predominantly the lungs. It is caused by the pathogen bacteria and is highly contagious as it can spread through the air when the infected person sneezes or coughs. Several reliable hospitals and government facilities provide treatment for tuberculosis, but it is important to complete the entire treatment process without a pause to ensure complete recovery.
Stages of TB
There are 2 stages of TB, each based on the status of the pathogen. This leads to a wide range of incubation period (the time period between the entry of pathogen inside the body and the initiation of its effect). Let’s understand them one by one.
Latent TB– As the term latent suggest, the pathogen stays in stealth mode as the immune system, keep them in check. As a result, no visible symptoms are found during initial stages. Thankfully the TB does not become contagious at this stage. The treatment is still crucial as it can turn active pathogens in future.
Active TB– As the term suggests clearly, this is the potentially more harmful type. It can spread rapidly within the body and also to other individuals. The time of its onset after the latent stage can vary from weeks to years.
Symptoms of TB
Some of the common symptoms of TB that affects the lungs are as follows-
- Persistent coughs for more than 3 weeks
- Sudden weight loss, often unintentional
- Presence of blood in sputum
- Chest pain or discomfort, especially during coughing
- Fever, particularly during night
- Night sweats and chills
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and breathlessness
As already discussed, the symptoms may stay hidden for long. Thus seeking diagnosis and treatment in right time often becomes challenging. However, people with HIV infection or AIDS, IV drug users, and personals involved in attending TB patients are recommended to seek immediate medical care upon the onset of 2 or more above mentioned symptoms.
As the pathogens are born in nature, the chances of getting infected with TB pathogen are pretty high for people sharing a similar surrounding. However, the strength of one’s immune system determines how rapid it can spread along with its severity. The presence of the following factors enhances the overall chances of the same.
- Weak immune system
- Immunosuppressant (usually after an organ transplant)
- Certain medication
- Kidney disorders