Sabtu, 07 Januari 2012

Learn Tuberculosis Symptoms and Treatment

It is communicable disease that may occur in any part of the body. It is caused by a non-motile, slow growing acid-fast bacillus called the Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There are two classifications of Tuberculosis, those are Pulmonary Tuberculosis and Miliary or Hematogenous Tuberculosis. Pulmonary Tuberculosis, as the name implies, mainly involves the lungs. On the other hand, Miliary or Hematogenous Tuberculosis is non pulmonary and can affect any part of the body. Transmission is usually through the inhalation of microdroplets from an infected person. The transmission of the disease usually greatly increase when there is overcrowding, where people have poor nutritional statuses making their bodies weak against infection. The worse thing about this infection is that if the primary infection is inadequately treated then this leads to a multidrug resistant organism.

There are various tests that may be performed to diagnose the disease. The history is taken and a physical exam is conducted. A chest x-ray may also be done but will not be enough to diagnose the disease. A test called the Mantoux test or PPD may be done to rule out the disease. To confirm the disease a sputum smear from the patient will be tested for acid – fast bacillus, three positive results will confirm the disease.

Signs and symptoms are usually brought about by any type of pulmonary disease but there are hallmark signs and symptoms that may also support the diagnosis of Tuberculosis. The common signs and symptoms may include difficulty in breathing, progressive fatigue due to poor oxygenation, weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, indigestion, body weakness, productive cough, low-grade fever and chills, night sweats, and most probably blood streaked sputum.

Treatment of Tuberculosis is usually done with a multi drug therapy regimen. This multi drug therapy will be used to kill or inhibit the growth of the bacteria. The medications usually consist of Rifampicin, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol, Isoniazid, and Streptomycin. Side effects from taking the medications are usually treated symptomatically. A point to remember is that all the drugs used to treat the disease is hepatotoxic. This means that the patient's liver will take a beating from the medications. This would follow that the patient needs to regulate his dietary intake.

Remedies that one could encourage the patient to take are, firstly, to follow and finish the treatment regimen which usually takes around six to twelve months. The patient's dietary intake should be adequately managed in order to support his nutritional needs while maintaining homeostasis so as to prevent further damage to the liver. Other methods to relieve the patient's symptoms would revolve around relieving and making it easy for the patient to breathe. These may be doing nebulizations, increasing oral fluid intake, positioning, and post nebulization physiotherapy. Also instruct the patient to cover his mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and to dispose the tissues used inside plastic bags. Generally, three months after completing the treatment regimen, the patient is advised to return to the hospital to get his sputum checked for positive acid – fast bacilli.

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