Pulmonary Tuberculosis – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Pulmonary Tuberculosis – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments of this condition. Pulmonary Tuberculosis is a contagious, infectious disease that attacks your lungs . Latent tuberculosis means you have the germ but you are not showing symptoms and it is not contagious. You can treat Pulmonary Tuberculosis with antibiotics, but you must finish all your medications to keep it from coming back.

The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the cause of Pulmonary Tuberculosis , a contagious, airborne infection that destroys body tissue. Pulmonary Tuberculosis occurs when Mycobacterium tuberculosis primarily attacks the lungs . However, it can spread from there to other organs. Pulmonary Tuberculosis is curable with early diagnosis and antibiotic treatments.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis spread widely as an epidemic in the 18th and 19th centuries in North America and Europe. After streptomycin, an antibiotic, was discovered in 1944, people were able to treat and control the spread of Pulmonary Tuberculosis . Since then, Pulmonary Tuberculosis has been on the decline. It is at its lowest recorded rate since 1953.

That said, it’s still important to protect yourself against Pulmonary Tuberculosis . More than 9.2 million people have an active form of the bacteria , according to the American Lung Association (ALS). If left untreated, the disease can cause life-threatening complications such as permanent lung damage.

Causes of Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Pulmonary Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is transmitted through the air, through droplets from the sneezing, coughing or talking of already infected people, thus, healthy people breathing the contaminated air inhale the bacteria that lodges in the lung . After being released into the air, the bacteria can last for several hours, as long as there is no contact with sunlight.

If the person who came into contact with the bacteria is in good health, the body absorbs the bacteria and it will stay in the body for a while (latent period). Although the disease is passed from person to person, there are some factors that facilitate the contamination of tuberculosis. The spread of the bacteria depends on people’s living conditions, the level of agglomeration, housing, food and work. All these factors influence the spread of the disease.

The contagion of Pulmonary Tuberculosis depends on a few factors, such as:

  • Environmental conditions;
  • Extent of disease (people with lung lesions are more susceptible to the disease);
  • Exposure time between the patient and the healthy person.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis Symptoms: If you or someone you know has Pulmonary Tuberculosis , the following symptoms will appear:

  • Cough almost continuously;
  • Coughing up blood ;
  • Having a consistent fever, including low-grade fevers
  • have night sweats;
  • have chest pains;
  • Having unexplained weight loss.

There may also be other symptoms of Pulmonary Tuberculosis such as fatigue . Your doctor will be able to give an accurate diagnosis after reviewing all of your symptoms.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis Risk Factors: The risk of getting Pulmonary Tuberculosis is higher for people who are in close contact with those who have Pulmonary Tuberculosis . This includes being around family or friends with Pulmonary Tuberculosis or working in places such as medical facilities or institutions that house people with Pulmonary Tuberculosis .

  • These places are often:
  • Correctional facilities;
  • Group houses;
  • Asylums;
  • Hospitals;
  • Shelters.

People also at risk of developing Pulmonary Tuberculosis disease are:

  • Older adults;
  • Small children;
  • smokers;
  • People with an autoimmune disorder such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis ;
  • People with lifelong conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease
  • People who use drug injections;
  • Immunocompromised people, such as those receiving chemotherapy, chronic steroids, or who have HIV or AIDS.

Pulmonary Tuberculosis Diagnoses: During your exam, your doctor will:

  • Perform a physical exam to check for fluid in the lungs ;
  • Ask about your medical history;
  • Schedule a chest X-ray;
  • Order a medical test to confirm Pulmonary Tuberculosis .

The two medical tests for Pulmonary Tuberculosis are a Skin test and a blood test . These tests will not tell you if you have developed Pulmonary Tuberculosis , only if you have the germ. Skin testing is the most common and is less expensive, but requires two visits to your doctor. Your doctor will order a blood test if you are unable to return for a second visit.

Your Doctor may recommend:

Treatments for Pulmonary Tuberculosis: It is important to get treatment even if you do not have symptoms. You can still develop Pulmonary Tuberculosis in the future. You may only need a TB drug if you have latent TB.

If you have Pulmonary Tuberculosis , your doctor may prescribe several medications . You will need to take these drugs for six months or more for the best results. The most common drugs for Pulmonary Tuberculosis are:

  • isoniazid
  • pyrazinamide
  • ethambutol, or Myambutol, discontinued
  • Rifampicin or Rifadin and Rimactane, some discontinued brands

Your doctor may recommend an approach called directly observed therapy to ensure you complete your treatment. Stopping treatment or skipping doses can make TB drug resistant , leading to multidrug resistance.

With DOT, a healthcare professional meets with you every day or several times a week to administer your medication so you don’t have to remember to take it yourself. If you’re not on DOT, make a schedule for taking your medications so you don’t miss a dose. Here are some tips to help you remember to take your medications :

  • Take medication at the same time every day.
  • Write it down on your calendar every day to show that you took your medicine.
  • Ask someone to remind you to take your medicine every day.
  • Keep your medications in a pill organizer.

You will not need to go to the hospital unless you are unable to take your medication at home or have a bad reaction to treatment.

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