Tuberculosis is a formidable infectious disease affecting mainly the lungs. The bacilli that cause this disease tend to pass from one person to another through the smallest droplets ejected into the air when coughing and sneezing. Consider pulmonary tuberculosis: symptoms in adults, as well as the necessary actions in case of its detection.
What is phthisis or pulmonary tuberculosis?
It is a potentially fatal disease in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis, better known as the Koch Bacillus (sticks), attacks the lungs. This disease kills millions of people every year. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of infections in the first place in developing countries, which is influenced by the decline in the standard of living of the population and the development of AIDS.
Pulmonary tuberculosis accounts for about 70% of all cases. The disease manifests itself in various forms of lung damage. There are such tuberculous processes in the body:
- with the release into the environment of infectious bacilli - an open form;
- without isolation of bacilli - closed form.
In the first case, the diseased organism produces microbes that can infect others. In pulmonary tuberculosis, the spread of bacilli occurs when coughing, sneezing, expectoration of sputum.
In the second case, there is a so-called latent course of the disease, when the body was exposed to pathological microbes, but no physiological changes occurred in the affected organs. This means that there is a reaction on the part of the immune system, and there is no release of microbes into the environment.
About a third of the world's population is infected with Koch sticks, but most of them are not a source of disease for others and do not experience symptoms. The disease is in sleep mode. However, at any moment it can continue its development and move into the active phase. The identification and taking of such people for control is one of the main tasks in the prevention of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Who is affected? Risk group
Denote the circle of persons potentially or most at risk of developing pulmonary tuberculosis:
- people of the older age category;
- Small children;
- people with problems in the immune system, for example, HIV-infected;
- persons leading an immoral lifestyle;
- people living in cramped conditions, such as prisoners.
Symptoms of different forms of pulmonary tuberculosis
There are primary and secondary pulmonary tuberculosis. The first is characterized by damage to the lymph nodes, pleura, the appearance of characteristic changes in the organs. In most cases, the human body copes with this pathology without special treatment.
The result of the exacerbation of residual foci, the postponed primary form of pathology and re-infection after positive treatment is secondary tuberculosis. In this case, the prevalence of the disease occurs lymphogenous and bronchogenic route.
Onset of the disease: primary symptoms
The pulmonary form of tuberculosis can last for a long time without symptoms. The fact of infection can be quite accidentally revealed by the results of fluorography or chest X-ray. Also, an effective method of detecting pathology is the formulation of tuberculin tests or the testing of the Mantoux reaction.
Signs of tuberculosis in the early stages of an adult may be symptoms of non-specific toxicity:
- pallor of the skin;
- body temperature is about 37 degrees;
- apathetic attitude towards others;
- severe fatigue;
- excessive sweating, especially at night;
- weight loss;
- enlarged lymph nodes, both in a separate group and of a generalized nature.
From the point of view of hematology, the blood of people affected by mycobacteria is characterized by anemia, moderate leukopenia. A decrease in hemoglobin, as well as a decrease in the number of leukocytes and erythrocytes is a consequence of such factors:
- effects of toxins secreted by pathological microorganisms on the bone marrow;
- bacillus lesions.
How does the secondary form of pathology manifest?
Signs of tuberculosis in adults with the development of the disease begin to emanate from the affected organ. These symptoms appear:
- runny nose;
- chest pains;
- phlegm waste;
- breathing difficulties are possible;
- appearance of blood during expectoration.
Almost always, the first sign is pulmonary lesion in adult tuberculosis. Although there are cases of the defeat of other organs by mycobacteria in the absence of problems with the respiratory system in the patient’s medical history.
What to do if you suspect a disease?
If symptoms of tuberculosis occur or there is a possible effect of factors leading to infection, urgently need medical attention. The doctor will examine, prescribe the necessary tests, tests, studies, such as:
- computed tomography of the chest;
- chest x-ray;
- tuberculin skin samples;
- sputum examination.
Treatment, observation, diagnosis of tuberculosis is engaged in a TB doctor. The goal of therapy is to prevent the pathological effects of infection on the body and stop the release of bacilli. There are treatments such as:
- chemotherapy with various regimens of anti-tuberculosis drugs using concomitant therapy;
- surgical treatments;
- additional methods, including artificial pneumothorax, intertracheal infusion.
Lack of treatment for tuberculosis can lead to irreversible damage to the lungs, as well as to the spread of pathology to other organs. You should immediately go to the hospital in such situations:
- if there was or is there an assumption about the effects of factors leading to the infection of the body with mycobacteria tuberculosis;
- symptoms of the disease are observed;
- treatment does not lead to the elimination of symptoms;
- new symptoms develop.
Great importance is attached to the prevention of tuberculosis. For these purposes, skin tuberculin tests are widely used. A positive reaction suggests that there was contact with the bacteria of tuberculosis. But this does not mean that the active phase has already begun. Consultation with a phthisiologist is necessary to stop the development of the disease. Timely treatment is very important in preventing the spread of tuberculosis from those who have an open form of the disease to those who have never been infected.
In conclusion, we note that an important role in the treatment of pathology along with anti-tuberculosis drugs is played by high-quality and varied nutrition, as well as sanatorium-resort treatment. It is necessary to bring to the proper level of blood counts, body weight, replenishing the lack of vitamins, cleansing the body from the effects of alcohol and drugs. Health to you!