Some of the most common myths about tuberculosis (TB)
occurs only in the lungs and is called Pulmonary Tuberculosis (PTB). TB is
diagnosed by testing your sputum and if the test is negative you don’t have to
worry. There are other blood tests, and if they are negative you don’t have TB.
The treatment of TB is four drugs for two months of which two drugs continue
for an additional four month period, after which treatment is over. In reality,
TB can affect any part of your body, from the scalp on your head to the nail on
has several members of the mycobacteria family that includes typical
mycobacteria, atypical mycobacteria and non- tubercular mycobacteria, besides
others. These can come into contact with patients from sources as diverse as
soil, water, contaminated and poorly cleaned surgical tools and instruments.
The diagnosis of Tuberculosis is based on laboratory,
radiological and clinical findings and up to 30 percent patients with active
disease may have essentially normal or inconclusive test results.Tuberculosis is also a good clinic mimic and can camouflage
well. A large number of patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease have
also got intestinal TB. Similarly, a significant number of women seeking
treatment for infertility will show evidence of TB. TB affects, with grievous
and life threatening consequences, brain, spine, genitourinary tract and joints
of patients.Infections that are drug sensitive require four to six drugs
for complete remission. Infections that are drug resistant may require up to
nine drugs for prolonged duration. It is therefore crucial to make early
diagnosis and complete treatment for optimal outcomes.The
treatment regimen varies significantly for typical and atypical mycobacteria,
and one of the reasons why patients go through prolonged suffering is a failure
to recognize an atypical mycobacteria.
TB is an eminently treatable condition that can be resolved with minimal
residue and leave patients to lead a good quality of life.