TUBERCULOSIS is a wicked disease. This disease tends to cut down people in the very prime of life. It most frequently strikes between the ages of fifteen and forty –four, just when young families need a father or mother to guide them and provide for the future.
Today the battle has changed. The picture has changed. Almost every one now has the chance of winning the battle against tuberculosis. Lifesaving medicines are now available that people in other generations did not have. But despite all these new medical advances, tuberculosis is still a very serious disease. Constant vigilance is the only certain means of protection.
Tuberculosis is communicable diseases. It is passed from one person to another through close contact.
The causative bacteria – The villain responsible is a tiny rod –shaped germ, so small that thousands of them could be laid side by side on the head of a pin. These germs may attack any part of the human body, but most frequently they are found in the lung. These tough little germs are protected by an outer layer of wax. This waxy coat prevents the normal defenders of the body from making much head-way against the invaders.
It is cause by bacterium called mycobacterium tuberculosis, germs can live for months in any cool dark places, especially, if there is a little moisture present. They can withstand drying for a time. But they are quickly killed by sunlight and heat.
Silent Battle- Tuberculosis germs are very tricky. They may remain within the body for long periods of time without giving the slightest evidence of their presence. The battle often goes on slowly and silently, with the body’s defenders gradually being beaten back. Yet there may be no noticeable weakness for a long time. Some people have been found to have advanced tuberculosis without even suspecting its presence.
How it travels-The germs usually travel by coughing, sneezing and close contact, One cough from a tuberculosis patient may spread thousands of T.B germs into the air. They can even ride on particles of dust. Once they are inhaled into the lung, they become a serious menace. Although, most germs are screened out through the normal process of breathing, there are times when a few may find their way into the lungs. Mouth breathing and kissing may provide a short cut by which the germs are carried into the body.
Once the germs arrive in the air sacs of the lungs, a fierce battle begins between the germs and the body’s defending white cells quickly surround the germs engulfing them as soon as possible. But they cannot always destroy them. The body, some how seeming its danger, then throws in its second line of defense. Larger white cells move in, building up a wall of cells and fibers against the invaders. A tiny lump or tuberculosis thus, formed. This is how the disease got its name.
If the body’ s resistance is good enough, the first invaders are usually defeated, provided there are not too many of them. But further trouble may cause from a later attack, particularly, if the individual’s resistance is down because of improper food, overwork and bad habits of living. Since the body has already been sensitized, a violet reaction may occur between the new germs and the tissues.
How to contact the disease
People living amid unhygienic conditions are always more likely to contract the disease. Contaminated air is the most frequent menace especially, during childhood.
Another way in which these germs sometimes find their way into the body is through the contamination of food and eating utensils.
Drinking unpasteurized milk may lead to tuberculosis. Cows and other animals can also, be infected with this disease.
Others are fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and various kinds of stress may gently weaken the body, so that it can no longer defend itself.
Malnutrition and over-crowded living conditions always encourage the spread of tuberculosis.
Signs and symptoms-
Tiredness and fatigue-This does not mean the normal, healthy tiredness that follows a hard days work. It is rather tiredness on little or no exertion.
Loss of weight- Anymark of weight loss should make a person suspicious enough to go and have a thorough medical examination, including an x ray of his chest.
Chronic Cough- Any cough that lasts more than a week or ten days should be thoroinvestigated
Spitting up blood: It is a real damager signal. It should be examined to rule out other diseases.
Loss of appetite
Night sweats and afternoon fever
Swellings in the neck. A general feeling of malaise and fatigue. There may also, be a sensation of pain in the chest, kidneys and or in the back
Method of detecting T.B.-The tuberculin test is the simplest method of detecting whether you body has ever had to fight the germs of tuberculosis.
The quickest and most reliable method of detecting whether there is of any tuberculosis in the lungs is to have a chest x-ray. This will show how much of the lung tissue is involved.
Treatment of Tuberculosis
Rest-Rest is most important treatment of tuberculosis. This means and body. Any type of stress will delay the process of healing. The healing process is always more rapid when the patient is at rest. Any exertion or worry will delay healing.
Fresh air is a must. A well-ventilated room or a sleeping porch will mean a lot to any one who must spend sometime in bed.
Good nutrition-A well –balanced diet is most essential in building the body’s defenses against this disease. Meals should be regular. Foods rich n vitamin more especially vitamin C should be taken. This helps to heal the damaged tissues fruits and vegetables should be a must.
Drink high-calorie protein shakes between meals or try nutritious drinks.
Walking is a good way to get exercise.
Medicine from the sun, vitamin D is very good for the patient.
Decades before the discovery of modern anti-tuberculosis drugs, There were just two recommended treatments for patients suffering from tuberculosis, sunlight and clean, dry air. Sanitoria facilities where patients rested amid the sunny weather and dry air, were food throughout switzer land Scandinavia as well as in the southwestern united states.
During that era, the body immune system was the only arsenal to fight the disease without anti-tuberculosis drugs, the only hope.
An immunologic effect of vitamin D which is produced in the skin when exposed to sun on monocytes and macrophages which are the primary cells that fight T.B infection in the body. Low levels of vitamin D increases the risk for infections.
Herbal- You can use some home remedies as an adjunct to treatment. Here are some home remedies for tuberculosis –Garlic. It is rich in sulphuric acid that destroys the germs causing TB. It also, contains allicin and ajoene, which have been found to inhibit bacterial growth plus its antibacterial properties and immune boosting effect. It is highly effective for a TB patient.
Bananas are good for the patient. It is an excellent source of nutrients and calcum.
Drumstick has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help eleiminate the TB –causing bacteria from the lungs and reduce inflammation resulting from the infection and constant coughing. Others are Indian gooseberry, oranges, custard apple and so on.
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