How to Fight Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria. When you inhale droplets exhaled by infected individuals, you can become infected. While TB primarily affects your lungs, the disease can spread to other parts of the body. Without proper treatments the disease can be fatal. TB can easily be cured with antibiotic treatments, but it is necessary to complete your entire antibiotic regimen to prevent reinfection from occurring. Preventative measures can also be taken in order to minimize your risks of developing the disease.
Get a TB test to confirm that you have TB before starting antibiotics. Once your physician confirms that you have TB, begin taking antibiotics.
If you have latent TB (TB that is not yet active), take isoniazid. You need to take isoniazid as a preventative measure to ensure that the disease is destroyed before the TB can become active later. According to the Mayo Clinic, it will be necessary to take the antibiotics daily or twice weekly, for up to nine months.
Get monitored by your physician while on isoniazid, as it can lead to hepatitis with long-term use. Don’t use Tylenol while taking isoniazid, as the use of the medication can further increase your chances of developing liver complications.
Take the combination cocktail isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol and pyrazinamide if you have active TB. At times it is possible to develop resistance to one or two of the antibiotics. In the event that this occurs, your physician will stop your treatments for a few months.
In some cases of active TB, you will need to be hospitalized for a new course of treatment when other treatments fail. This is necessary to prevent the potential risk of spreading the disease to others. You’ll need to be tested as well during your stay at the hospital to ensure that you’re no longer contagious to others before you can leave the hospital.
If you have drug-resistant TB, you will need to take all the required antibiotics for active TB, as well as another course of antibiotic treatments. Therapy could last for up to two years. After treatment is completed, you may need surgery to remove damaged areas of your lungs.