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Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious bacterial infection that involves the lungs. It may spread to other organs.
Pulmonary TB, also known as consumption, spread widely as an epidemic during the 18th and 19th centuries in North America and Europe. After the discovery of antibiotics like streptomycin and especially isoniazid, along with improved living standards, doctors were better able to treat and control the spread of TB.
Since that time, TB has been in decline in most industrialized nations. However, TB remains in the top 10 causes of death worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with an estimated 95 percent of TB diagnoses as well as TB-related deaths occur in developing countries.
That said, it’s important to protect yourself against TB. Over 9.6 million people have an active form of the disease, according to the American Lung Association (ALA). If left untreated, the disease can cause life-threatening complications like permanent lung damage. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
The primary stage of TB does not cause symptoms. When symptoms of pulmonary TB occur, they can include:
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
You can’t get pulmonary TB by:
TB is airborne, which means you can become infected with M. tuberculosis after breathing air exhaled by someone with tuberculosis. This can be air from:
The germs can stay in the air for several hours. It’s possible to inhale them even when the infected person isn’t in the room. But usually you have to be close to someone with TB for a long period of time to catch it.
There are many risk factors for Pulmonary tuberculosis, such as:
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This may show:
Clubbing of the fingers or toes (in people with advanced disease)
Swollen or tender lymph nodes in the neck or other areas
Fluid around a lung (pleural effusion)
Unusual breath sounds (crackles)
The goal of treatment is to cure the infection with medicines that fight the TB bacteria. Active pulmonary TB is treated with a combination of many medicines (usually four medicines). The person takes the medicines until lab tests show which medicines work best.
You may need to take many different pills at different times of the day for 6 months or longer. It is very important that you take the pills the way your provider instructed.
When people do not take their TB medicines like they are supposed to, the infection can become much more difficult to treat. The TB bacteria can become resistant to treatment. This means the medicines no longer work.
If a person is not taking all the medicines as directed, a provider may need to watch the person take the prescribed medicines. This approach is called directly observed therapy. In this case, medicines may be given 2 or 3 times a week.
You may need to stay at home or be admitted to a hospital for 2 to 4 weeks to avoid spreading the disease to others until you are no longer contagious.
Your provider is required by law to report your TB illness to the local health department. Your health care team will ensure that you receive the best care.
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Pulmonary tuberculosis?
It can be difficult to avoid contracting TB if you work in an environment frequented by people with TB or if you’re caring for a friend or family member with TB.
Following are a few tips for minimizing your risk for pulmonary TB:
Anyone exposed to tuberculosis should be tested, even if they show no symptoms.
People with latent TB aren’t contagious and can go about their day-to-day lives as usual.
But if you have pulmonary TB disease, you need to stay home and avoid close contact with others. Your doctor will tell you when you’re no longer contagious and can resume a regular routine.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you. Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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