News Karnataka
Wednesday, July 06 2022
Health & Lifestyle

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day: 40 percent of Indians infected - 4 min read

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By: Cindrella Daryani

News Karnataka-Exclusive

March 24: March 24 observed as the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day. TB or Tuberculosis is a contagious disease caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. TB germs particularly attack lungs owing to the cough. It can also harm to other parts of the body such as bones, kidneys, brain, uterus or spine.

The disease multiplies through the contact of air when a TB person sneezes, coughs or speaks. Only a fews germs are enough to spread TB in other person.

However, TB is not transmitted through a gentle touch, hugs, or handshakes.

Symptoms of the TB are deep-rooted cough, blood in spit, fever that goes and comes, sweating in night, and loss in weight, chest pain, a cough that last for two weeks or more, loss of appetite, weakness or fatigue.

Its key diagnosis are chest X-rays but X-rays alone cannot give surity of the disease, other tests like the tuberculin skin test (TST) or blood tests, also microscopic examination and microbiological culture of body fluids.

A person with the weak immune power is more prone to get infected with the disease. Lack of nutrition, old age, pregnancy, alcohol or tobacco consumption, HIV/Aids, cancer affected etc., all such section of people can easily get TB infection. A healthy immune system can fight its germs.

Proper nutrition is required to fight with the germs of TB. Food such as fruits, green vegetables, nuts, and milk is necessary to regain the immune energy. 

Soy, beans, tomato juice, yoghurt, white mushrooms as well as dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, bitter gourd, kale, drumsticks, legumes, and broccoli are helpful. Also, lotus root has amazing properties, which can help TB patients.

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In fruits such as pineapple, orange, litchis, carrots, dry dates – which contains high iron and also fruits rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin B realted nutritious food is better to be consumed.

Moreover, thrice a day glass of milk is best, and butter, rice, bread should be avoided. Unsaturated fat oil should be consumed like olive or vegatable oil; avoid butter.

In case of non vegetarian food: White eggs and proteins from meats such as fish, chicken, goat leg (Paya) soup works well for a TB patient.

Vitamin D, C and B works as healing properties against the disease. One can take sun bath for vitamin D.

Below is the extract of the interview with NewsKarnataka, given by the well known Pulmonologist, Dr Giridhar Belur of Indiana Hospital.


Q. What are those major factors causing TB? Is it owing to the carelessness/infection/climatic conditions (pollution)?

Tuberculosis infection is prevalent in 40 percent of the general population in India, 10 percent of them (4 percent of general population) develop disease. Infection can be acquired by anybody mainly by inhaling Aerosols of the infected person. However, infection is likely to turn in to disease in reduced immune status conditions like extremes of age, smoking, alcohol consumption, malnutrition, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, cancer and long term use of systemic steroids.

Q. A person suffers loss of appetite in this disease. I personally see it a trouble where he/she will not be able to increase its immune system. Though, they can intake appetite medicines. Please detail.

Treatment of Tuberculosis with appropriate medicines in appropriate dosage improves appetite and helps to regain lost weight.

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Q. After affecting with the TB, what are those key precautions that one should intake? Are there any particular precautions that children should take? Please explain.

Needs to be extremely compliant with the medicines, since treatment is at least for six months. Need to consult doctors regularly for monitoring response to treatment and side effects of medicines. Any type of Quarantine is not recommended in country like ours where TB is endemic. However, drug resistant TB needs to be treated initially in the health care set up.

Children has to be monitored with Mantoux test and has to be closely observed for development of any symptoms. Prophylaxis for children is not generally recommended, however treating doctor has to take final call considering prevailing situation

Q. Where TB is prone to increase more, rural or urban areas?

TB is more common in overcrowded setting.

Q. What is the course duration for the disease?

Regular TB treatment is six months, but in case of drug resistant TB is up to two years.

Q. China sharply curbed TB. Do you think that in India people are unable to afford its treatment?

Government of India gives complete treatment free of cost through Revised National TB Control Program (RNTCP), so affordability is not an issue

Q. Can you please mention a few names of highly effective drugs for TB?

Rifampicin, Isoniazid, Ethambutol and Pyrazinamide

Q. Further, considering TB; anything that you would like to tell people on World TB Day?

Get evaluated early, get cured early.


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