Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is considered to be one of the most deadly diseases in the world. It has impacted millions of people. It is especially dangerous to people who have HIV. Thankfully, TB is treatable with medication and the guidance of a doctor. Having more information about tuberculosis can be beneficial for those who are at risk for getting the disease or for those who have loved ones with TB.
TB has been around for a very long time; some say it has been affecting people for thousands of years. It’s a bacterial disease caused by a singular bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This disease infects the lungs but it could also spread to other body parts, including the brain, kidneys, bones, spine, lymph nodes, and joints. Additionally, there are different types of TB:
Latent Tuberculosis Infection – This is a type of TB in which the patient actually doesn’t develop the active disease. There are no symptoms but the infectious bacteria is present in the lungs. People who have latent TB can’t pass the disease to anyone else. This version of tuberculosis may or may not develop into active TB.
Active Tuberculosis Disease – This is a contagious form of the disease wherein the bacteria can rapidly spread from the lungs to other parts of the body. Since this bacterial disease spreads through the air, someone who has active TB can get others sick by doing things like coughing or sneezing.
Military Tuberculosis – In this type of TB, the bacteria will spread and invade the bloodstream. They spread quickly in little nodules; the bacteria can affect several organs simultaneously.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of TB?
There are several symptoms which could mean that someone has TB. Knowing about theses signs and symptoms can help patients to get medical attention as soon as possible and begin treating the disease.
Symptoms include the following:
- Chest pain
- A long lasting cough (3 weeks or more)
- Coughing up blood or phlegm (from the lungs)
- Fatigue or weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
If the disease spreads to other body parts, patients may experience other symptoms. For example, if the spine is affected, one may have back pain. Infection in the lymph nodes could cause swelling in the neck area.
Who is at Risk for TB?
TB can affect people who have weak immune systems, like young children or people who have other diseases which negatively impact the immune system. Individuals who have HIV, major kidney disease, cancer in the head and/or neck, and diabetes mellitus are at risk for developing TB. Also, people who have had problems with substance abuse could possibly get the disease.
Treatment: Tuberculosis Medication
TB can be treated through the use of tuberculosis medication. But, treatment does take quite a while. Patients who have tuberculosis may need to take medications for 6 to 9 months. The prescriptions for TB patients will vary from person to person based on the age and health status of the individual. Thanks to the tuberculosis medication options that are available, treatment for TB has proven to be effective.
Rx Helper and Tuberculosis Medication
Here at The RX Helper, we know that medication can be financially burdensome. We want to resolve that problem and help those who are underinsured or uninsured. It’s our goal to get medication in the hands of patients who need it, at little to no cost. We work with patients and doctors to help this process. Our prescription assistance programs can help provide tuberculosis medication to you or the loved one who is suffering from this disease. To find out more about this program or get information about eligibility, contact us today.