Tuberculosis: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment


Tuberculosis, as the name implies, is characterized by forming small nodes in the lungs. It affects the lungs mainly and some other part that is affected. It is common in some part of the country because of the season.

However, they are often large to be seen with the naked eye and are often whitish in color. It is often caused by germ or bacillus, and it is an organism that is able to grow in almost any part of the body. It is commonly carried through the air, and the most common site of infection site is the lung. From the lungs, it can spread through the blood or the lymph, and to any or all parts of the entire body system.

In children, the infection is usually seen at the lower outer portion of the lung. And in adults, it is often seen at the upper portion of the lungs and it is found more often on the right side. Lymph nodes of the portion between the lungs are often enlarged in children but not so often in adults.

The sign and symptoms of tuberculosis 

Latent TB:  It is not often noticed for several weeks. The onset of the disease is a gradual process. And in some cases, you may not notice the disease until when it becomes worst or advanced. The first thing that you will notice is weakness or tiredness. At the Early stage, you may experience loss of weight and a slight fever too.

A cough develops and continues longer than an ordinary cough. You must visit your doctor for necessary diagnosis such as an x-ray must be taken to ensure and the site is spotted in the lungs. An examination of the sputum is conducted to confirm the diagnosis of tuberculosis.

In recent time, the public health sector confirms the authority to conduct a campaign in which x-rays are taken on a small inexpensive film. And it has been confirmed to be effective,  from these x-rays, early cases may be detected and help to start the treatment early before it becomes worst or advanced.

Everyone should have such a picture taken if and when there is an opportunity through the act of primary health sector and medical or federal government clinics.

If it is treated earlier there is a good chance that there we are a good improvement and recovery of the treatment used to treat the disease.

Active TB: if it is not treated earlier the healing process may be delayed or slow response in treatment.  If left untreated the cough becomes worse and worse. Often the disease we are on and off. For example, if you are having the disease for two months untreated,  the disease may relieve you for a week and start again for another 3 months or worse. The complication of the disease may be very fatal or life treating.

Signs and symptoms of active TB include:

  • Coughing that lasts three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night Sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

Tuberculosis can also affect some other parts of your body, including your kidneys, spine or brain. When TB occurs outside your lungs, signs, and symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis of the spine may give you back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.

How does tuberculosis manipulate the lungs?

The bacteria usually grow in any size and number until they fuse together, making it one mass infection. The small part of the bacteria is not supplied with blood and eventually degenerates to the place where it becomes liquid. This also spread into the bronchus and eventually degenerate to a place where it becomes liquid. This goes into the brochure of the lungs and coughed out.

As this disease continues for a long period of time a cavity ( hole) in the center of the mass. The effect is that it destroys the portion of the lung in that area. There may be several holes in the lung, and when the sputum is coughed out, the opposite lung can easily become involved. If this goes on, so much of the lung may be destroyed and could lead to live threaten or such person may not survive it.

However, the destruction of the lung tissue is so close to the outer portion of the lung that gets destroyed the pleura. Sometimes in a case, when a cough continues,  there is a passageway in which air enters into the pleura lungs cavity. This could lead to lung collapse.

If you are suffering from the disease you may experience pain and breathing less, and further complication may occur. Having pus in the pleural cavity. If the opening through which the infection entered the cavity is not closed,  the pus may spread to the other side too, leading to a serious, if not fatal, pneumonia.

However, tuberculosis may break through a blood vessel, causing hemorrhage. This can be slightly serious. Usually, it may get stop if you lie quietly and get plenty of rest. If it enters into the vein, the infected part may go into the bloodstream and carry the infection to other parts of the body.  No organ is immune to this massive infection. In this case, there is a high temperature and the patient condition become very critical.

Causes of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic sputum inhaled through the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.
Although tuberculosis is contagious, it's not easy to catch. You're much more likely to get tuberculosis from someone you live with or work with than from a stranger. Most people with active TB who've had appropriate drug treatment for at least two weeks are no longer contagious.
  1. It is often by being breathed into the lungs with the air we inhale.
  2. It is often contracted by taken into the body with the food we eat.
  3. Many domestic animals have tuberculosis. By taking them row we can easily contract the disease.
  4. If you have tuberculosis and you handle food in the market or in the kitchen, tuberculosis germs from your nose may enter into the food and through the hands that get the food.
  5. Also, it can get into your body through an injury in your skin.

What must be done to ensure these diseases are prevented.

This start from you suffering from the disease. If you are suffering from tuberculosis disease you should know that you may transmit the disease by coughing and spitting.
However, if you cough or sneezes, a little droplet from the nose and throat are thrown out of the mouth and nose.

There are many tuberculosis germs from the droplet. Thus, as this tuberculosis germs in this droplet are mixed with the air and are breathed into the lungs healthy people could lead to them contracting the disease.

The sputum of those who have this disease contains a lot of tuberculosis bacteria. It should never be expectorated in any place where it will have a chance to dry and become dust because the major way to spread the disease is through sputum.

Bonus: First aid kit for tuberculosis 

  1. Hand sanitizer.
  2. Clean handkerchief.
  3. Hand fan ( Always stay in a well-ventilated area).
  4. Sterile gauze.
  5. Methylated spirit.
  6. Bandage.

This is all needed when you are outside the world you can easily use them. Nobody can predict or tell if a tuberculosis patient has dropped is sputum where you are staying.

You can easily use one of those kits when it's needed,  for example, you have an injury on your leg along the road, you can easily apply your  Bandage; sterile gauze; the methylated spirit or your handkerchief, to prevent your self from the disease immediately. Instead of neglecting them which could make you infected or vulnerable to the disease.

If you who have the disease you should never cough or sneezes without a cloth or handkerchief before the mouth and nose. The handkerchief should be kept only for this purpose and not to use elsewhere. You should never swallow your sputum because it may go to the intestine and you should not handle the food that must be eating in public.

Who gets Tuberculosis? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Pulmonary Tuberculosis can affect individuals of any age; however, infants and children, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals are easily infected
  • There is no gender predilection; both males and females are affected
  • The condition is seen worldwide, although people living in low-income and middle-income countries are affected the most (per World Health Organization).

What are the Risk Factors for Tuberculosis? (Predisposing Factors)

The following are some known risk factors associated with Pulmonary Tuberculosis:
  • Age: The elderly individuals and infants are at an increased risk
  • A weak immune system, due to AIDS infection, chemotherapy, and diabetes (TB is the leading cause of death in HIV infected patients)
  • Frequent contact with infected individuals
  • Poor nutritional status
  • Living in crowded places such as slums, prisons, juvenile homes, military quarters, etc.
  • Poor sanitary conditions
  • Working in the medical profession; doctors, nurses, social workers, or healthcare providers are at a high risk
  • Excessive use of drugs and alcohol
  • Traveling to geographical regions, such as Latin America, Africa, Asia, parts of Europe and Russia, where untreated Pulmonary Tuberculosis is common
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Use of certain medications (corticosteroids and infliximab) that suppress the immune system
It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases one's chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.
Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

Home Treatment points for tuberculosis 

Diet: Of course this is one of the most important parts. Normally there may be reduced in appetite. And to get much appetite as possible use vitamin B complex daily as this helps to build your appetite.

You should always take vegetables, milk, egg, meat, wheat, and cereal or any other nutritional food.

However,  if you don't have the capacity for a normal meal, frequent feeding in smaller amounts or nourishing milk drinks between meals will be helpful to you.

  1. Of course, keep the body clean at all time.
  2. The cloth should be kept clean.
  3. Brush two times daily, morning and evening.
  4. Great effort must be made not to stress yourself too much because it could lead to fever or fatigue.
  5. In order that others should not contract the disease, the patient may have his own kitchen utensils, for example, a spoon, dishes and is own materials like towels and bedding.
  6. Keep flies out of the patient room.
  7. Flies must not touch the sputum of the patient.
  8. The major important aspect for quick response or recovery of the patient is the encouragement and cheerful.
  9. Must never lose hope or give up.
  10. Several glasses of water should be taken every day in order to assist in washing out poisoning waste matters from the body.
  11. If there is much fever, the method of using sponged with a small amount of cold water should be used every hour or more.
  12. If there is spitting of blood the patient should keep quiet and calm, it could be caused by doing vigorous exercise.
  13. If there is too much blood cloth wet with ice water should be placed at the chest.
  14. The patient must stay in a well-ventilated area.
  15. The patient should ensure he or she go to tuberculosis hospital or a federal government hospital that have specified for the treatment of the disease properly.

If you are I'll with tuberculosis, you must be careful not to use various methods of treatment or using various kind of drugs. After you have tuberculosis and has apparently recovered, you should know that there may be a recurrence of the disease,  and all method must be made to guard your health and to avoid all those things mentioned earlier which could lead to contracting the disease.



 In recent time,  a lot of treatment are available to treat tuberculosis case, feel free to contact your doctor for treatment recommendation,  there's no harm in trying.  And if there is a tuberculosis patient in your area encourage them, show them some love and even show them the treatment recommendation or take them to the hospital.


References on tuberculosis:


  1. Zachary KC. Tuberculosis transmission and control. Accessed Nov. 22, 2018.
  2. Tuberculosis (TB). Merck Manual Professional Version. Accessed Nov. 22, 2018.
  3. Dove Med. Disease condition. Accessed Nov. 22, 2018.


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Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Isreal Olabanji DST RN
Am Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues. We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news. My goal is to enlighten everyone in all aspects of health towards participating in fitness, Dental care, healthy recipes, child health, obstetrics, and more.

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