Monday, April 23, 2012

“Tuberculosis & Ayurveda”

What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis or TB is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacillus which most commonly affects the lungs.

What are the symptoms of TB?
The symptoms of tuberculosis aggravate with time. It begins with cough, which later develops into chest pain, prolonged coughing and cough associated with blood. Other symptoms then set in such as fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite and weight loss

How does TB Spread? Does it spread from person to person?
The principal risk method of being infected with TB is by inhaling contaminated air containing microbes that cause this disease and yes it does spread from person to person. If you inhale the contaminated air you are prone to get TB.

What is the causal organism of TB / or which bacteria causes TB?
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative organism of TB. It was discovered by the scientist Robert Koch and hence also known as the Koch’s bacillus.

How common is Tuberculosis?
TB infection and disease are very common worldwide. About 8 million new cases of TB disease occur each year in the world, and approximately 22,000 cases are reported each year in the United States. Also, 10 million to 15 million people in the United States are infected with TB. 

What is the Relationship between TB and HIV Infection?
In many parts of the world, TB is a leading cause of death in persons with HIV infection. HIV infection weakens the immune system and makes it harder to keep the TB infection in check. Therefore, people with both TB infection and HIV infection are at very high risk of developing TB disease.

Is TB Curable?
If the disease is diagnosed in the preliminary stage and if the course of the treatment is completed as per the doctor’s advice then YES, TB can be cured. 

How can one prevent from being infected with TB?
As said, TB spreads from person to person, when an infected person sneezes or coughs in a public place and when a healthy person inhales the same infected air, the bacteria enters his body via the respiratory route and causes the infection.
·         Hence it is very necessary for a person infected to cover his face while sneezing or coughing.
·         The person should take enough care not to spit in open areas.

Do the symptoms show up immediately?  
In weakly immune person the disease symptoms may show up immediately but there are also cases of the infection showing up after a certain period of time which is known as a latent infection. It directly or indirectly depends upon the immune system of the person. 

What is the treatment for TB?
Based on the severity of the disease, the course will range from a minimum of 6 months to more.
The course must be completed even if the results might be seen in the mid course. If the treatment is discontinued in between then the chances of treating TB in the same patient may become very difficult when re-infected, hence it is very necessary to complete the entire course of medicine.
*This may be applicable in treating or curing any disease. The course of the medicine (especially antibiotics) should be completed as per the advice of a medical practioner

How do I confirm if I am really suffering from TB or if I am having just cough?
If dry cough persists for a longer period than expected it is better to consult a medical practioner and get it checked for TB.  The test that they do is to check sputum which will confirm the presence of the tubercle bacilli if positive for TB. This is however a preliminary test. 

What is the cure for TB?
WHO approved standardized and effective cure for TB, called DOTS (directly observed treatment short-course) has to be followed strictly without breaking the course duration. 
  
What is the allopathy drugs used to cure TB?
The most common and effective tuberculosis drug regimen used to treat tuberculosis is as listed below:
·         Isoniazid (INH)
·         Rifampicin
·         Pyrazinamide
·         Ethambutol and
·         Streptomycin

However according to the present situation the bacteria are becoming resistant to the following drugs and thus a lot of research and investment is been done and focused on new line of treatments. 

Can Ayurvedic Drugs cure or help in the treatment of TB?
Many of the plants have been reported that tend to possess anti mycobacterial activity.  A lot of research is being done and many of them have been found with promising results till date. These herbs in combination with the allopathy drugs also found enhancing efficacy and reducing adverse effect of allpathy drugs.

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