Tuberculosis is a disease which affects the lungs, is high contagious and does not exhibit any signs during the initial stages of the infection and can remain asymptomatic for very long. The disease becomes active when the immune system has been weakened at which point it may be fatal with up to fifty percent of those infected dyeing. Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria whose scientific name is mycobacterium tuberculosis. This bacterium in most cases attacks the lungs but can infect any other body part such as the kidney.
The bacterium that causes tuberculosis is spread through the air from one person to another and the bacteria gets to the air through the coughs, sneeze from a person with tuberculosis. The people who are in the surrounding place may take in the bacteria along with the air and become infected.
Research shows that about one third of the world’s population suffers from latent TB meaning they have been infected but the bacterium has not caused visible damage to the lung tissues. This could be due to the fact that the body’s immune system is strong and can be able to fight the bacteria to stop it from multiplying and infecting more tissues. A person with the latent TB does not exhibit any symptoms, feel healthy and cannot transmit the bacteria to other people. It is however worth noting that in the event that the bacteria becomes active and multiply then the symptoms will manifest.
Those who have the tuberculosis ‘disease’-a term used when the TB infection has multiplied and caused visible symptoms- can transmit the infection to others. The TB disease normally develops after about two weeks of infection and in some cases can take years in the individual and surface later when some other condition has weakened the immune system of the said person. Tuberculosis is a treatable disease with rare cases of drug resistance.
Those at Risk
Those mostly at risk of suffering from Tuberculosis are young adults in their most productive age, those infected by the HIV virus and TB is more likely to suffer from tuberculosis attacks. Those with conditions which impair the immune system are also vulnerable. Cigarette smokers are highly endangered due to the fact that tobacco smoke has a negative implication on the respiratory system.
Causes of Tuberculosis
- The cause of tuberculosis as has been mentioned above is the bacterium mycobacterium tuberculosis which is spread to the other people via the air when an infected person shouts, sneezes, coughs or songs. The individuals who happen to be around get infected.
- There is a rare kind of tuberculosis which is spread through the intake of unpasteurized milk.
- The vulnerable people are those who smoke cigarettes or have an infection of HIV or TB which makes them susceptible to Tuberculosis attack.
- Other conditions which weaken the immune system also predispose a person to TB infection due to the fact that the weak immune system is not able to fight the bacteria.
The risk of contracting tuberculosis is further heightened by:
- Regular contact with the infected people.
- Poor nutrition or diet which reduces the immunity.
- Crowded and unsanitary living conditions.
The rate of tuberculosis infection increases rapidly with the:
- Increased infections with HIV.
- Rampant increase in the number of the homeless.
- The appearance of a tuberculosis strain which is resistant to drugs.
Symptoms of Tuberculosis
- Cough which yields mucus.
- Blood in the coughed out sputum.
- Profuse sweating commonly at night.
- Unintended loss of weight.
The extra symptoms that may accompany tuberculosis are
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Pain in the chest.
- A wheezing sound during inhalation.
Home Remedies for Tuberculosis
In the event of the tuberculosis attack, medical attention should be sought very fast, however there are some natural and home remedies which can be used to pacify and curb the effects of the infection as further medical attention is sought. They include: Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- Garlic– Garlic is a powerful and absolutely natural antibiotic which will help in the fight against tuberculosis. The herb can be ground and mixed with warm water which is then taken regularly or can be chewed. The garlic also has the positive advantage of strengthening the immune system.
- Avoid Red Meat– To keep the liver and the lymphatic system in order, red meat should be eliminated from the diet and the protein foods replaced with fish and nuts in order to restore the lost weight.
- Water-A Glass of water containing two or three lemons juice can also help in cleaning the bladder and strengthening the lymph nodes.
- Try This-Antibacterial herbs such as basil, origanum, turmeric and rosemary can be used as flavoring for many dishes and still aid in the treatment of the tuberculosis.
- Try These– Other such as chamomile, calendula and peppermint can be 8used to prepare herbal tea which will also fight the bacteria causing the tuberculosis as these herbs have anti-bacterial qualities. Rooibos particularly is herb that is said to inhibit mycobacterium tuberculosis.
- Try This– Other herbs such as Ginger are helpful due to the fact that they restrain cold and flu like symptoms and strengthen the immune system. The eucalyptus is antibacterial and is used to treat myriad conditions such as the halitosis and tuberculosis. Astragalus is helpful in treating flu and cold like symptoms and also strengthens the immune system.
- Orange Juice– A half glass of orange juice diluted with an equal amount of water is a strong home made medication taken every two hours serves as a strong remedy for the tuberculosis disease
- Calcium– Since the primary element required in the treatment of tuberculosis is calcium, milk forms a very wonderful remedy for the tuberculosis disease and should be taken in abundance in intervals of two hours between 8am and 8pm. This will go along way in remedying tuberculosis.
- Indian Gooseberry– The Indian gooseberry equivalently is highly valuable in the treatment of tuberculosis. Tablespoon of then fruits juice and another of honey taken each morning has wonderful effect in treating tuberculosis.
- Pineapple Juice– Pineapple juice is also a good home remedy. Pineapple juice has a way of dissolving the clogged mucus. A glass of the fruits juice has positive results as far as the treatment of the tuberculosis is concerned.
- Rest- The importance of rest during the period one is ailing from tuberculosis can not be underscored. The patient should take quality time and rest enough to give the body the energy it requires to fight the disease.
- Apple– The pulp of custard apple and about 25 seedless raisins boiled together in a slow fire. the accruing juice is then mixed with sugar cardamom and cinnamon to make an effective home remedy for tuberculosis.
- Green Tea– In order to boost the body’s immunity, green tea has been used for a number of years. The tea is usually prepared from the leaves of the camellia plant and is usually boiled with hot water and taken. Green tea is also available in capsule form. The tea should not be overly consumed because it has adverse side effects such as headaches, tremors and irritability. It is recommended that adults take no more than five tea cups a day.
- Goldenrod– Goldenrod has been used to treat tuberculosis for the longest time. This is because it has pain relieving and anti inflammatory properties. It also possesses antiseptic properties. This makes it effective in treating tuberculosis.
- Astralgalus– Astragalus, according to recent studies, has been shown to be an effective treatment for tuberculosis. It is a Chinese medicine that originated in Korea and Mongolia. 250 to 500 mg of the drug should be taken on a daily bass about three or four times a day. Herbalists warn that the drug should not be taken by those that are taking immune-suppressants because they may not work effectively.
- Garlic– Garlic has been used widely over the years to help boost the immune system. It has also been known to display anti bacterial properties. The herb can be taken raw or cooked. However, when consumed in large quantities, it can cause bad breath, pungent body odor and even heart burn. The herb can also be consumed in powder form or in capsules form. These form of the herb help to reduce some of the side effects that come with consuming the original form of the herb. Garlic however should not be used by people who have a bleeding disorder.
Diet for Tuberculosis
- Being that one way of treating tuberculosis is dependent on the heavy intake of milk, it follows that the diet for the tuberculosis should be majorly milk. The preparatory stage however is primarily composed of the administration of fruit juices majorly the orange juice which is given after every one hour. This is followed the next day by putting the patient on a diet of exclusively milk which is first given in one hour intervals then the interval slightly increased with an increase in the amount taken periodically. The idea is to maintain the patients daily milk consumption at six liters.
- One full teaspoon of mint juice plus a teaspoon of honey and a two teaspoons of malt vinegar added to a cup full of carrot juice then mixed well should be taken thrice a day as a remedy for tuberculosis. This taken along with the doctors prescription serve to strengthen the walls of the lungs and expel the congestion while at the same time adding the body the strength to endure the effects of the drugs.
- Bottlegourd is one of the best vegetables when it comes to increasing the body’s resistance to diseases. A dish of this should be prepared daily during the period of illness as a way of increasing the bodies resistance to diseases.
Prevention of Tuberculosis
In the event that you have been diagnosed with tuberculosis, it is advisable to take the appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the infection to other family members. This can be done by:
- Covering the mouth when coughing, laughing or sneezing.
- Keep the windows open for the free flow of air.
- Any used tissues and handkerchiefs should be disposed in enclosed packages which are tight enough.
- Keep away from the school, or college or the place of work until your health advisors inform you that it is safe to go.
- Sleep in a separate room away from the other members as you may sneeze during sleep and affect the other members of the family.
For those who are not yet infected, the vaccination against the mycobacterium tuberculosis is available and is very effective in immunizing the children and young adults against infection by the tuberculosis bacteria. This vaccination however has no benefits to those over the age of thirty five and hence is not administered to them. Before one is vaccinated the mantoux skin test is carried out to determine whether one has latent tuberculosis and a positive test feedback is a disqualification from vaccination.
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