Tuberculosis Treatment Questions Answered
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that most commonly affects the lungs, but it has been known to affect other areas of the body as well. Infectious diseases such as TB can be passed from person to person and is thought to affect around two billion people worldwide. Even though it is contagious it is often only found in those continuously around an infected person. A person can be a carrier of TB but not actually be sick or be able to transmit the virus to others. There are certain groups of people that seem to be at higher risk than others like those who live in crowded or highly populated areas, IV (intravenous) drug users and those who work in health care and law enforcement. Read below where Experts have answered questions regarding Tuberculosis.
What are the stages of Tuberculosis?
There are basically three different stages of Tb below is a list of these stages.
• Primary – Is the beginning stages where patients most often are not experiencing symptoms. If treated in this stage it is possible to stop symptoms from occurring and prevent the disease from becoming contagious.
• Secondary TB – Is generally when the symptoms start to occur, symptoms often mean that the disease has become contagious
• Extra-pulmonary Tuberculosis – Is generally when the disease spreads to other organs.
Can Tuberculosis affect the liver?
Tuberculosis can occur in almost any bodily organ even when it has not affected the lungs. Tb of the liver is somewhat uncommon although it can occur. Symptoms are somewhat the same as other liver diseases and may include nausea, loss of appetite, yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal pain and an unusual change in stool color. TB of the liver is not an air borne contagion like the version that affects the lungs. However, in certain situation it can be transmitted through blood.
What are the risk factors for Tuberculosis?
Healthy immune systems make it possible for most people to fight off the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis. However there are many people that seem to be at greater risk than others rather it is from weaker immune systems, working environment or poor living conditions. Below is a list of conditions and situations that are thought to put people at greater risk:
• Health conditions – Cancer, HIV or AIDS, Diabetes, and ending stages of kidney disease
• Age – The youth as well as the elderly seem to be at greater risk of contracting the Tuberculosis virus
• Long-term tobacco use
• Substance abuse – Those who use illegal drugs and alcohol
• Those with little to no access to health care
• People who live in third world countries such as India, Africa, Mexico and China
• Living and work factors such as those who live in or work in prisons, nursing homes and immigration centers
What are the symptoms of Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis (TB) symptoms often vary depending on what stage it is in. Generally in the inactive stage of TB patients often have no symptoms at all. In most cases the symptoms are found when the bacterium has become active. Below is a list of symptoms and what stages they may be experienced.
Symptoms and signs that the Tuberculosis has become active:
• Weight loss
• Night sweats
• Chest pain
• And coughing up blood
Progressive TB symptoms often include metastasis, which means the disease has spread to:
• The bones
Often, when there are no symptoms present this often means that the TB has yet to become contagious. The ability to spread the disease often only comes after the Tuberculosis symptoms.
Can TB be contracted from a room?
Studies have shown that the Tuberculosis virus can remain active in a room even after the infected person has left. Since these studies were done in the control environment of a hospital it is yet unknown how long the virus would remain active in a home setting. Patients with active Tuberculosis are most often kept in quarantine away from others in attempt to keep the infection from spreading.
Tuberculosis a generally considered a lung disease however, when left untreated it can spread and affects almost any other organ in the body. In the beginning stages patients may not know they have it however as the disease progresses the signs and symptoms occur. In many cases the symptoms are what lead to diagnosis, but by this time the disease has progressed to the stages where it has become contagious. When questions arise regarding Tuberculosis, turn to the Experts that can help answer these questions and more.