Tuberculosis, or TB, is a contagious disease caused by germs that spread from person to person through tiny droplets released in the air when coughing and sneezing. This condition mainly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body such as the brain, kidneys, or spine.
At Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center, we offer services that cater to your pulmonary needs. Our pulmonologists are the best in Brooklyn, Brownsville, and East New York.
There are two types of tuberculosis:
- Latent TB – means you have a TB infection but the germ inside your body is inactive and causes no symptoms. It also means you are not contagious, but your infection is still alive and one day can become active, so treatment is very important.
- Active TB – this condition is the one that makes you sick and makes you contagious. 90% of these cases come from a latent TB infection.
As latent TB patients are asymptomatic, only a skin or blood test can confirm if you are infected with it. While with active TB, the signs and symptoms include:
- A cough that lasts more than 3 weeks
- Coughing up blood
- Night sweats
- Chest pain, or pain when coughing or breathing
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
When TB occurs outside of the lungs, the symptoms vary according to the organs involved. For example, tuberculosis in the spine can cause back pain, and when tuberculosis is in your kidneys, it can cause blood in the urine.
A healthy immune system will help you fight TB. But if you have the following diseases that also compromise your health, your body may not be able to fend them off.
- Severe kidney disease
- Head and neck cancer
- Medications for organ transplant
- Poor nutrition
- Certain drugs that treat Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis
You could also be more likely to get TB if:
- A friend, co-worker, or a family member has active TB
- You lived or traveled to an area where TB is common, such as countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa
- You work in areas where YB is common, such as nursing homes or prisons
- You work in health care and treat people who have TB
If you have active TB, it may take a few weeks or even months for the medications to take effect and not make you contagious anymore. You can follow these tips so you can keep your family and friends from being infected:
- Stay at home – quarantine yourself. Avoid spreading the germs so you can prevent infecting your friends and family
- Proper ventilation in your room – TB germs spread more quickly in a less ventilated closed areas
- Cover your mouth – use a tissue to cover your mouth when talking, sneezing, or coughing. Dispose your used tissues properly.
- Wear a face mask – this will help lessen the risk of transmission
One of the most important steps in protecting yourself and others around you from TB is by following your doctor’s order. Be consistent and rigorously follow your medication. Never skip or stop doses. In doing so, TB bacteria might develop mutations that allow them to survive even the most potent TB drugs. A drug-resistant TB is deadlier and more difficult to treat.
See your Doral Health & Wellness doctor immediately if you notice symptoms that are consistent with TB, and if you think you’ve been exposed to someone who has TB.
At Doral Health and Wellness Pulmonary Center, we offer the best possible expertise and care in all aspects of pulmonology. Our specialists make sure that our patients are well taken care of and are involved in every step of the decision-making process. We also make sure to avoid invasive tests whenever possible. We offer the best pulmonologist in Brooklyn with an unrivaled pulmonary clinic in the heart of East New York. To schedule an appointment, you can visit us 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, New York or call us at 1-347-384-5690. You can also check and visit our website at https://pulmonologistbrooklyn.com to schedule an appointment online.