In-depth Understanding of Tuberculosis Disease Diagnosis and Treatment
Tuberculosis (TB) is a potentially severe condition that’s contagious. If you have TB and other underlying medical conditions, your immune system is weakened, which may be life-threatening. The bacterial infection is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis that spreads through microscopic mucosal droplets.
Early diagnosis and treatment for TB can ensure your health is restored. Your health specialist may recommend antibiotics in the treatment of TB. Ensure you complete the full prescription to ensure the infection is not drug-resistant.
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
Your immune system can harbor TB bacteria, and the symptoms are not easily identified. Your specialist has to perform a closer examination to find a distinction between the stages below:
Active TB weakens your immune system, and it’s contagious. It occurs within the first few weeks of being infected with the TB bacteria.
Latent TB is a condition where the bacteria remain in your body inactively, without showcasing any symptoms. The state of TB infection at this stage is non-contagious. Urgent treatment is vital for controlling its spread.
The following are symptoms of active TB:
- Loss of appetite
- Night sweats and fever
- Coughing up blood
- Unintentional weight losses
- Chills and fatigue
- Chest pains while breathing or coughing
- Coughs that last for more than three weeks
Tuberculosis can spread to your body parting, affecting the spine, brain, and kidneys. When TB affects your other organs, the associated signs and symptoms vary. TB of the spine causes back pain, and for kidneys, you are likely to find blood in your urine.
When You Need to See a Doctor
It would be best to seek medical attention upon unexplained weight loss, persistent cough, and drenching night sweats since the symptoms are attributed to TB. Your medical practitioner will determine whether you have TB or other medical issues.
Your health specialist may recommend you undergo screening for latent TB if you have underlying medical issues. Ensure you undergo the screening if you:
- Have had contact with a Tb infected person
- Use IV drugs
- Work for a medical facility that treats people who are at a high risk of TB.
- Have HIV/AIDS
- Originate from a locality where TB is common
- Have children who are exposed to adults that are at risk of TB
Diagnosis for TB
If you have latent TB, you are likely to have no symptoms. However, TB tests can indicate whether you are infected with TB. You need to undergo screening tests if you:
- Have symptoms that infer TB infection
- Work in a TB facility and your body is weak
- Had a close contact with an infected individual
During your appointment, your specialist will ask you about your medical history and underlying health issues. You will be examined on the signs and symptoms of TB through lung and lymph node tests. The commonly used tests for TB bacteria presence include:
- TB blood tests
- Skin tests for TB
Blood and skin tests are not sufficient for the detection of TB infection. Additional diagnostic tests, including sputum and digital X-rays, are done to indicate whether your Tb is active or latent.
Tb is treatable, with early detection and using recommended antibiotics. The prescribed antibiotics and the duration of treatment will depend on various aspects, including:
- If you have active or latent TB
- Your age and overall health
- Whether the TB strain is resistant to the administered medication
Latent TB Treatment varies, and it may involve the use of antibiotics daily for nine months or once in twelve weeks. For active TB, you’ll take several medications for about nine months. If your infection has a drug-resistant strain, specialized treatment is applied.
It would help if you prevented it from recurring by completing your prescription. If you stop taking the medication early, bacteria are likely to survive, and it’s resistant to medication. Your affected body parts determine the type of medication your doctor will prescribe.
TB Testing in Chicago, IL
At Lau Medical, we perform TB screening tests to ensure early intervention and treatment. During your appointment, our practitioners determine whether you have TB through a skin test. We carefully monitor your signs and symptoms to find out whether you have latent or active TB.
The diagnostic tests need a few appointments, since additional tests may be done to affirm your condition. Our doctors may recommend you undertake blood, sputum, or imaging tests to verify the results rendered by the skin test.
To ensure early diagnosis and treatment for TB, please make an appointment with our medical team today for TB testing. We’ll examine your health, identify underlying medical conditions, and start immediate treatment today!