Tuberculosis facts are rather astounding in terms of the seriousness, spread and odd latency of the condition. It is a very serious illness, although an active and often life threatening infection may only occur in one out of every ten people who carry the infection. The remainder of infected people remains asymptomatic without any of the tuberculosis symptoms that accompany the condition. Unfortunately, in those that do develop the serious and active infection, half of all untreated cases may end in death.
A tuberculosis test done on the skin is one of the most common methods of diagnosing the condition. However, those who have been given the tuberculosis vaccine may encounter a false positive, making the decision to begin or delay tuberculosis treatment a difficult call to make. This can be further exacerbated because while the infection almost always affects the lungs, it can also affect other organs or organ systems, thus displaying varied symptoms. Further testing including samples of sputum or tissue as well as various types of blood work may be implemented in these cases.
Because of tuberculosis contagious properties in that it is highly transmissible from person to person, early identification is key to both successful tuberculosis treatment and preventing the spread of the infection. It is transmitted through the air from the coughs and sneezes of infected persons and is considered to be easily spreadable, particularly in environments where infections are common, such as in hospitals. Because of this, a tuberculosis vaccine exists for persons that are at higher risk both of being exposed to and contracting the illness.
The symptoms of tuberculosis include persistent coughing (frequently coughing up blood) weight loss, fatigue, night sweats and a loss of appetite. Unfortunately, many of these symptoms can be present in other conditions, which can delay tuberculosis treatment because the symptoms may not specifically point to tuberculosis. For instance, bloody phlegm may occur in various types of lung disease such as bronchitis and lung cancer, and fatigue and weight loss are consistent with a variety of illnesses.
Once a diagnosis has been made, tuberculosis is always treated with antibiotics. Most commonly, multiple types of antibiotics are used. This is because the disease has proven resistant to single antibiotics and thus, treatment in this method may not be as effective. Multiple antibiotics increase the chances of successful tuberculosis treatment and also reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance. However, this treatment often lasts for months or years following the initial onset of active infection.
There is no known effective natural treatment method for tuberculosis. It is a very serious illness that can often lead to death if not treated promptly and properly. However, recent studies have shown that a natural option may exist for tuberculosis prevention. Vitamin D, commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, has shown in studies to potentially be useful in preventing the disease. These studies suggest that the vitamin may work on a molecular level to kill the bacteria that comprise tuberculosis.
Vitamin D may be a long overlooked method for preventing TB and with more research may even be able to play a role in tuberculosis treatment. However, there are some side effects to consider when supplementing the everyday essential. High doses of vitamin D are linked to kidney disease and are not safe in pregnant or breast feeding women. Additionally, excessive amounts of vitamin D may lead to a buildup of calcium in the blood, which can cause various health complications.
Tuberculosis treatment relies solely on the use of antibiotics to eradicate the bacteria that cause the infection. Treating the condition otherwise can contribute to serious health risks. However, natural approaches may be useful in preventing the condition, and they certainly can contribute to overall better health. Since poor health is a risk factor for contracting the illness in the first place, a healthy diet and good amounts of physical activity are essential to making a body as unappealing as possible to the infection. Additionally, a well rounded balance of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay healthy may help to thwart the efforts of the highly contagious bacteria. These efforts are further valuable in instances where the chance of infection is greater, where additional precautions can mean the difference between good health and a potentially life threatening case of tuberculosis.