Introduction
 Pulmonary tuberculosis is a serious contagious bacterial infection mainly involving the lungs and may spread to other organs of the body. Many strains of tuberculosis can resist the effects of the drugs most commonly used to treat the disease.
 
Causative organism
Bacteria ‘Mycobacterium tuberculosis’ is the causative organism of tuberculosis. Susceptible person can easily catch tuberculosis once exposed.
The bacteria spread from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, laughing, talking, singing etc.
Substance abuse. Long-term drug or alcohol use weakens our immune system and makes us more vulnerable to tuberculosis.
Drug-resistant Tuberculosis

Risk factors
  • Elderly people
  • Advanced Age
  • Infants
  • Weakened immunity ( as in case of AIDS, chemotherapy etc)
  • Coming in frequent contact with patient
  • Poor nutrition
  • Living in crowded or unhygienic conditions
  • Lack of medical care
  • Substance abuse

 Clinical Features
  • Cough
  • Haemoptysis
  • Fever with night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Clubbing of the fingers or toes (softening of nail bed)
  • Enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the neck or other areas
  • Unusual breath sounds (crackles)

Pathophysiology of tuberculosis
The tubercular bacteria spreads through droplet infection and remains dispersed in the air for hours. The bacilli when inhaled by a susceptible person, settle throughout the airways. Some of them are trapped in the upper respiratory tract by the mucociliary action.

 The remaining bacteria escape and reach the lung spaces. Here the body’s defensive cells play an important part of engulfing these bacteria’s. Some few who escape this undergoes division slowly. The primary infection starts with inflammation in some part of the lung.
 
 Various inflammatory cells play role in formation of the disease. There occurs cavity formation in the lungs which contains the active bacteria’s, inflammatory cells, pus, debris etc. where the bacteria remain in latent stage. TB can remain in an inactive (dormant) state for years without causing symptoms or spreading to other people.

 On reactivation secondary tubercular infection can occur. This bacterium is transferred to other sites through either blood or lymphatic in the body.
 Once infected with M. tuberculosis, 3% to 5% of persons whose immunity is suppressed develop active disease (i.e., secondary progressive tuberculosis) within 2 years and an additional 3% to 5% later on during their lifetime. Overall, there is a lifetime risk of re-activation of 10%, with one half occurring during the first 2 years after infection.
 
Investigations
  • Complete blood count
  • X-ray chest
  • Sputum examination & culture
  • Tuberculin skin test
  • CT scan chest
  • Bronchoscopy
  • Thoracocentesis

 
Complications
  • Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Tuberculosis pneumonia
  • Pleuritis
  • Spread to other organs
  • Like spine, bones, brain

Treatment
DOTS Therapy: Directly-observed Treatment Short-term is the suggested treatment for treating tuberculosis. You can usually cure active TB by taking several medicines for a long period of time. People with latent TB can take medicine so that they do not develop active TB.

Role of Homeopathy..
The immune system plays an important role in the mechanism of development of Tuberculosis. A person with weak immunity or susceptible to bacteria are liable to get tubercular infection.

 Homoeopathic medicines when given in minute doses stimulates body’s immune system, helps the body to generate the defensive cells against the disease, thus raising the immunity to combat the disease. Homeopathic treatment should be taken alongwith DOTS Therapy: Directly-observed Treatment Short-term.
 
 Homoeopathic  medicine not only clear up the infection but also alleviate inflammation in the air passages, relieve discomfort, pain and pressure caused by coughing by opening the airways in the lungs and aid in loosening the bronchial secretions making elimination of mucus easier helping the person to breathe better and naturally.

 Medicine also helps to reduce the severity, frequency and duration of the disease. It also helps in preventing further complications and improves the general health of the person. The constitutional approach furthermore boosts up the immune system of the patient hence preventing recurring infections.

 More over the medicine combats with post effects of disease such as weakness, loss of appetite, loss of interest in work etc.
 
 What is needed for homoeopathic treatment?
 Role of homoeopathy comes in where the conventional line of treatment is not effective and the bacteria’s are resistant to the conventional drugs. In case of tuberculosis where the patient presents with symptoms in acute stage, an acute remedy is prescribed considering acute totality. Acute medicine in a minimum dose will help to reduce the cough, fever, breathlessness etc.

 In chronic tuberculosis, where the system is very much weaken by the disease process, constitutional homoeopathic medicine is given considering the patients emotional, intellectual and behavioral aspect along with physical aspects of the person such as desires, aversion, thirst, stool, urine, sleep, discharges, reactions to heat and cold, perspiration etc. A deep-acting constitutional medicine corrects the constitutional defects.

 Other benefits of Homoeopathy
Homeopathic remedies are non-habit forming and have no addictive characteristics.
Since it treats in totality, it leads to a long-lasting cure, rather than a temporary suppression of symptoms.
Homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle, devoid of any side effects.It is the ideal medicine for people of all ages.

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