Home remedies for tuberculosis


Signs and Symptoms


Table of Contents > Conditions > Tuberculosis

Signs and Symptoms What Causes It? Who is Most At Risk? What to Expect at Your Provider’s Office Treatment Options Prognosis/Possible Complications Following Up Special Considerations Supporting Research

Tuberculosis (TB) is a bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacteria tuberculosis and is spread through airborne droplets from an infected person. Before the discovery of certain antibiotic drugs in the 1940s, TB was the leading cause of death in the United States. Even though TB is not as common as it once was in the U.S., there has been a resurgence in recent years due to HIV, AIDS, and the spread of drug-resistant forms of TB. It is still a major health problem throughout the world, especially in poor countries.

If you have been exposed to TB, you may be infected but have no symptoms and not be contagious. Between 20 to 30% of people exposed to a person with active TB become infected. For that reason, doctors usually distinguish between infection (or a positive TB test) and an active infection. After you are infected, your immune system will attack the bacteria. Your body may kill all the bacteria, the bacteria may remain in your body but not cause an active infection, or you may develop the disease. TB can affect other areas of your body outside of the lungs, but lung infection is most common. Typically, TB bacteria that grow in the lungs may cause:

  • Mild fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite, weight loss
  • Cough, with or without mucus and pus
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain from inflammation in the lungs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat

What Causes It?

Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes most cases of TB. The disease is spread from one person to another through airborne bacteria. However, it is not easy to catch TB. You need consistent exposure to the contagious person for a long time. For that reason, you are more likely to catch TB from a relative than a stranger. Typically, a person with TB in the lungs or the throat, coughs or sneezes, and people nearby then breathe in the bacteria. When a person breathes in TB bacteria, the bacteria can settle into the lungs and begin to grow.

Who is Most At Risk?

Because TB is only spread through inhalation of infected respiratory particles in the air (see What Causes It? section), you are not likely to contract the infection through other means, such as handshakes or sharing dishes and utensils. People with TB are most likely to spread it to people with whom they spend the most time, such as family members, friends, classmates, and coworkers. Risk factors for developing TB include:

  • Working in the health care profession or as an embalmer
  • Being born in, or spending time in, a country where TB is common (for instance, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia, excluding Japan)
  • Living in overcrowded, unsanitary settings where TB is common (for example, homeless shelters, migrant farm camps, prisons and jails, and some nursing homes or long-term care facilities)
  • Having HIV or AIDS. As HIV attacks the immune system, existing TB infections may become active, or it may make it easier for someone to catch TB. The TB bacteria, in turn, cause the HIV virus to replicate more quickly.
  • Using medications that suppress the immune system (Remicade, Enbrel)
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Organ transplantation
  • Having no or inadequate access to health care
  • Having diabetes (the risk of contracting TB is 2 to 3 times higher among people who have diabetes compared to people who do not have diabetes)
  • Having a rheumatic disease

What to Expect at Your Provider’s Office

If your doctor suspects a TB infection, you will need a skin test. A positive reaction to the test means you are likely infected with TB, although false positive and false negative results are possible. To confirm the diagnosis and determine if the infection is active, you may need to have samples taken of your sputum (mucus and other material coughed up from the lungs) or stomach fluid to check for TB bacteria, as well as a chest x-ray.

Treatment Options


TB is difficult to treat (see “Drug Therapies”) so prevention is important. Prevention of TB begins with rapid diagnosis and treatment to avoid spread to noninfected persons. In countries where TB is common, a vaccine called BCG may be administered. However, the vaccine causes a false positive on the skin test and is not very effective in adults, so it is rarely given in the U.S.

If you are at risk, you should be tested for TB every 6 months. If you test positive but have no signs of active infection, you may be given the medication isoniazid to prevent an active infection.

The most important way to keep TB from spreading is for infected people to take their medications exactly as prescribed. If you do not take all of your medications, you run the risk of developing multidrug resistant TB, which you can then spread to others. Drug resistant TB is a major health problem in the U.S. and around the world. If you have TB, keeping all of your clinic appointments is essential so that your doctor can check for side effects from the drugs and evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment. If you are sick enough with TB to go to a hospital, you may be put in a special room with air vents that keep the TB bacteria from spreading. You will most likely be prevented from leaving your room while you are contagious (about 2 weeks after treatment begins). People who come into the room will wear special face masks to protect themselves from TB bacteria and to prevent the spread of TB bacteria to others.

Treatment Plan

If your doctor suspects TB, treatment may begin before all lab tests return. This may include more than one anti-TB drug. Emergency treatment may be necessary if, for example, you are coughing up blood.

Drug Therapies

TB bacteria die very slowly. It takes 6 months to a year for the medicine to destroy all of the TB bacteria, longer for multidrug resistant TB. If you have TB, you will need to take several different drugs. You will be tested first for drug resistance to determine the most effective combination of drugs to prevent the bacteria from becoming resistant to the drugs. The most common drugs used to fight TB are:

  • Isoniazid (INH)
  • Rifampin
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Ethambutol
  • Streptomycin

Complementary and Alternative Therapies

TB should never be treated with alternative therapies alone. To cure the disease, and avoid spreading it to other people, you must be treated with prescription medications. Some complementary and alternative therapies (CAM) treatments may be useful as supportive therapies.

Even if complementary therapies are used, conventional prescription drugs must be taken exactly as directed. CAM therapies do not allow people to get by with less medicine or to skip doses. Skipping doses is a major cause of the development of drug resistant strains and greater spread of the disease.


Following these nutritional tips may help reduce risks and symptoms:

  • Eliminate all suspected food allergens, including dairy (milk, cheese, eggs, and ice cream), wheat (gluten), soy, corn, preservatives, and chemical food additives. Your health care provider may want to test you for food allergies.
  • Eat foods high in B-vitamins and iron, such as whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (such as spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell pepper).
  • Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
  • Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
  • Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially-baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
  • Avoid coffee and other stimulants, alcohol, and tobacco.

You may address nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A multivitamin daily, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, D, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
  • B-complex vitamin, 1 tablet daily.
  • Vitamin C, 1 to 3 gm daily, as an antioxidant. Higher doses may be used under a doctor’s supervision. Vitamin C may interfere with vitamin B12, so take doses at least 2 hours apart. Lower the dose if diarrhea develops.
  • Vitamin D, 200 to 400 IU daily. Several studies show that low levels of vitamin D may explain why some ethnic groups tend to be more susceptible to TB. This early research is very promising, although it is not yet known whether vitamin D can help prevent or treat TB. Many nutritionally-minded physicians recommend higher doses of vitamin D. Talk to your doctor about taking supplemental vitamin D to establish the proper dose for you.
  • N-Acetyl Cysteine, 600mg, 2 capsules 3 times daily, as a powerful antioxidant and to breakdown accumulated mucus. N-Acetyl Cysteine can interact with nitroglycerin, and can potentially slow the clotting process so it may interact with blood-thinning medications. People with asthma and allergies should speak with their physician to make sure N-Acetyl Cysteine is appropriate for them.
  • Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus and other beneficial bacteria), 5 to 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. Some probiotic supplements may need refrigeration. Some doctors are concerned about giving probiotics to severely immune-compromised patients. Speak with your physician.
  • Alpha-lipoic acid, 25 to 50 mg twice daily, for antioxidant support. People who are alcoholics and those who have nutritional deficiencies should be cautious when taking Alpha-llipoic acid. Alpha-lipoic acid may contribute to Thiamine (B1) deficiency and thus may cause serious side effects. There is some concern that Alpha-lipoic acid may interfere with certain cancer medications (chemotherapy). Speak with your physician.
  • Resveratrol (from red wine), 50 to 200 mg daily, for antioxidant effects.
  • Beta-sitosterol, 60 mg daily. Beta-sitosterol, a compound in some plants, may be helpful when given along with conventional medication, although results are not definitive.

Animal studies suggest that TB may be more severe in persons with diets rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. These studies are not comprehensive, and it is not clear whether there is a similar effect in humans. Until researchers know more, however, it may be wise to avoid omega-3 supplements (such as fish oil) if you have or are at risk for TB.


Herbs are generally available as standardized, dried extracts (pills, capsules, or tablets), teas, or tinctures/liquid extracts (alcohol extraction, unless otherwise noted). Mix liquid extracts with favorite beverage. Dose for teas is 1 to 2 heaping tsp/cup water steeped for 10 to 15 minutes (roots need longer). Although herbs should never be used alone to treat TB, some herbs may be helpful when used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment.

  • Aged Garlic (Allium sativum) extract, 600 to 1200 mg daily, for antibacterial and immune-stimulating properties. Use garlic supplements only under the supervision of a health care provider if you take blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin). Garlic may interfere with a number of medications, including, but not limited to, medications used to treat HIV and birth control pills.
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) standardized extract, 250 to 500 mg, 3 to 4 times daily. A preliminary study indicates that astragalus may be helpful in treating TB. Astragalus may interfere with some medications, including lithium. Speak with your physician.
  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) standardized extract, 150 to 300mg, 1 to 3 times daily, for immune support. Rhodiola is an “adaptogen” and helps the body adapt to stress. High doses of Rhodiola can have blood pressure lowering and blood-thinning effects, and may increase the effect of blood-thinning medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin) and aspirin. Speak with your physician.


Few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic remedies. Professional homeopaths, however, may recommend one or more of the following treatments for tuberculosis based on their knowledge and clinical experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person’s constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and intellectual makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate remedy for a particular individual.

  • Arsenicum album, for cough and chest pain, particularly from infectious causes. Symptoms worsen at night and are often accompanied by fever, chills, weakness, exhaustion, and restlessness. This remedy is most appropriate for individuals who often feel scared and anxious.
  • Calcarea carbonica, for chills, drowsiness, perspiration (especially at night), and swollen lymph nodes. This remedy is particularly appropriate for individuals who are susceptible to infection, tend to be stubborn, and crave eggs and cold drinks.


Acupuncture can help strengthen your immune system response, as well as support your lung function.

Prognosis/Possible Complications

A full course of medication can cure TB in people who do not have a multidrug resistant strain. It can be fatal in the elderly. It may also be deadly among people whose disease has spread to locations other than the lungs including miliary TB (which spreads through the bloodstream affecting many organ systems), in those with multidrug resistant strains of TB, or in those with HIV.

Possible complications of TB include:

  • Development of a multidrug resistant strain
  • TB beyond the lungs, frequently associated with HIV
  • TB-related meningitis, in children
  • Pneumothorax (collapse of a lung due to a buildup of gas between the membranes that surround the lungs)
  • Massive coughing up of blood

Following Up

U.S. public health policy requires health care providers to report cases of TB and to treat or quarantine all people infected. Most people may remain at home, but all should be kept from any new contacts for at least 2 weeks after treatment begins. The elderly and those who are acutely ill or have multidrug resistant TB should be hospitalized for the first few weeks of treatment.

It is essential to take all TB medication exactly as prescribed in order to cure TB and prevent drug resistance. Doctors will collect and test sputum samples monthly. If tests are still positive after 3 months of treatment, the infection is considered multidrug resistant and a change in medications is in order.

Special Considerations

  • Infants born to mothers with infectious TB should be separated from the mother until she is no longer contagious. The infant should then be tested for TB at 4 to 6 weeks and 3 to 4 months.
  • Women can be treated for TB during pregnancy and while breastfeeding but should avoid streptomycin and pyrazinamide.

Since effective treatment of TB depends on taking multiple antibiotic drugs for an extended period of time, it is essential that you consult with your health care provider before using complementary or alternative therapies, including taking herbs and vitamin supplements.

Supporting Research

Abubakar I et al. Controversies and unresolved issues in tuberculosis prevention and control: a low-burden-country perspective. J Infect Dis. 2012;205 Suppl 2:S293-300.

Bafica A, Scanga CA, Serhan C, Machado F, et al. Host control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis is regulated by 5-lipoxygenase-dependent lipoxin production. J Clin Invest. 2005 June 1;115(6):1601-1606.

Baker MA, Lin HH, Chang HY, Murray MB. The risk of tuberculosis disease among persons with diabetes mellitis: a prospective cohort study. Clin Infect Dis. 2012;54(6):818-25.

Bastian I, Colebunders R. Treatment and prevention of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Drugs. 1999;58(4):633-661.

Bope: Conn’s Current Therapy 2012. 1st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

Bornman L, et al. Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and susceptibility to tuberculosis in West Africa: a case-control and family study J Infect Dis. 2004 Nov 1;190(9):1631-41.

Getahun H, sculier D, Sismanidis C, Grzemska M, Raviglione M. Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis in children and mothers: evidence for action for maternal, neonatal, and child health services. J Infect Dis. 2012;205 Suppl 2:S216-27.

Goldman: Goldman’s Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011.

Huang CC, Tchetgen ET, Becerra MC, et al. The effect of HIV-related immunosuppression on the risk of tuberculosis transmission to household contacts. Clin Infect Dis. 2014;58(6):765-74.

Jones-Lopez EC, Namugga O, Mumbowa F, et al. Cough aerosols of Mycobacterium tuberculosis predict new infection: a household contact study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2013; 187(9):1007-15.

Karp CL, Andrea M. Cooper AM. An oily, sustained counter-regulatory response to TB. J Clin Invest. 2005 June 1;115(6): 1473-1476.

Kliiman K, Altraja A. Predictors of extensively drug-resistant pulmonary tuberculosis. Ann Intern Med. 2009;150(11):766-75.

Mason: Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2010.

Newton SM, Lau C, Wright CW. A review of antimycobacterial natural products. Phytother Res. 2000;14(5):303-322.

Niu HR, Lai ZH, Yuan L. Observation on effect of supplementary treatment by Astragalus injection in treating senile pulmonary tuberculosis patients. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2001 May;21(5):349-50.

Schlossberg D. Acute Tuberculosis. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2010;24(1).

Uhlin M, Andersson J, Zumla A, Maeurer M. Adjunct immunotherapies for tuberculosis. J Infect Dis. 2012;205 Suppl 2:S325-34.

Wilkinson D. Drugs for preventing tuberculosis in HIV infected persons. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2000;No. 2:CD000171.

Wilkinson RJ, Llewelyn M, Toossi Z, et al. Influence of vitamin D deficiency and vitamin D receptor polymorphisms on tuberculosis among Gujarati Asians in west London: a case-control study. Lancet. 2000;355(9204):618-621.

Wright A, et al. Epidemiology of antituberculosis drug resistance 2002 – 07: an updated analysis of the Global Project on Anti-Tuberculosis Drug Resistance Surveillance. Lancet. 2009;373(9678):1861-73.

Review Date: 3/24/2015
Reviewed By: Steven D. Ehrlich, NMD, Solutions Acupuncture, a private practice specializing in complementary and alternative medicine, Phoenix, AZ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare.

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If you think you’ve been exposed to someone with tuberculosis, call your doctor. You may have the disease. If you don’t have a doctor, call your local health department. They’ll give you a TB skin test or special blood test to find out whether you have it.

If the results show that you do have TB, you’ll have to get treatment. Exactly what that involves will depend on whether you have latent TB infection (LTBI) or active TB disease.

If you have LTBI, you have TB germs in your body, but they’re not active. So, your doctor might prescribe preventive therapy. This involves medications that’ll keep the germs from “waking up” and spreading.

If you have active TB disease, your doctor will prescribe several different medicines, which are needed to kill all of the TB bacteria. You’ll take these drugs for at least 6 to 9 months. That’s because it takes at least 6 months for all of the bacteria to die. The most common medications used to treat TB disease are isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide.

Be sure to take your medicine exactly as prescribed, for as long as it’s prescribed. If you stop, or don’t take it as ordered, you can get sick again. Not only that, but you run the risk of infecting others. There’s also the risk that the TB could be harder to treat a second time, as the bacteria can become drug-resistant.

TB (Tuberculosis) – Symptoms, Causes, And 14 Remedies + Foods To Eat Shaheen Naser Hyderabd040-395603080 May 15, 2019

Most of you might be familiar with TB. Tuberculosis, or TB as it is commonly called, was one of the leading causes of death in the 20th century. And just like the Nipah virus of Kerala, this disease was contagious. Even today, TB continues to stir fear and needs to be medically treated for a course of 6 to 9 months for successful recovery. Since this disease could be a difficult and stubborn one to deal with, we have 14 wonderful home remedies to help your ongoing medical treatments work better. Scroll down for more information.

Table Of Contents

  • What Is TB?
  • Types Of Tuberculosis
  • Signs And Symptoms Of Tuberculosis
  • How To Diagnose Tuberculosis
  • Causes and Risk Factors Of TB
  • 14 Home Remedies To Cure TB

What Is TB?

TB (tuberculosis) is a contagious infection known to attack the lungs, and it can also spread to other parts of the body like your brain and spine. The microbes that cause TB are bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

There are two forms of this disease.

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Types Of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is classified into two types depending on its effect on your body.

  • Latent TB: This type hints that you have TB germs in your body, but your immune system inhibits their spreading. In this case, you are not contagious and will not have any symptoms of TB.
  • Active TB: When the TB-causing germs multiply in the body of an infected individual, it hints at an active TB infection. In this case, you are contagious and can spread the infection. A majority of active TB infections are from the reactivation of a latent TB.

Once infected, patients tend to exhibit the following signs and symptoms.

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Signs And Symptoms Of Tuberculosis

  • Coughing with phlegm or blood that may last for more than three weeks
  • Tiredness
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Night sweats

Once you notice the above symptoms, it is wise to see your doctor immediately to get yourself tested for the infection.

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How To Diagnose Tuberculosis

To check for a TB infection, your doctor may listen to your lungs using a stethoscope and look for swelling in your lymph nodes. You might even be asked about your symptoms.

One of the most common tests used to diagnose TB is a skin test. In this test, an extract of the TB bacterium called PPD tuberculin is injected into the inside of your forearm. If the skin around the injected area forms a hard and red bump in a couple of days, it is likely that you have contracted tuberculosis. However, this test is not 100% accurate and is known to give a negative reading at times.

There are other diagnostic tests like blood tests, chest X-rays, and sputum tests that can be used to detect TB.

As you already know, TB is caused by bacteria. Certain factors can increase your risk of developing tuberculosis. You will find more about them in the following section.

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Causes and Risk Factors Of TB

It is the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacterium that causes tuberculosis. Being a contagious disease, tuberculosis can be easily spread through the air when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, spits, laughs, or even talks.

Some TB bacteria have now become resistant to drugs that are used to treat them. This makes multi-drug resistant TB more difficult to treat than normal cases.

Some factors can put you at risk of developing tuberculosis. They include:

  • Your family member or co-worker has developed TB
  • Traveling to areas with TB outbreak
  • Working at a hospital
  • Cancer treatments like chemotherapy
  • Low body weight or malnutrition
  • Medications for organ transplantation
  • Medications used to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or psoriasis

You may also be at higher risk of contracting TB if your immune system is weak. Hence, you cannot fight a tuberculosis infection if you are suffering from conditions like:

  • HIV or AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney diseases
  • Head and neck cancer

While it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention for treating tuberculosis, you can also try out any of the following remedies for faster and better recovery from the infection.

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14 Home Remedies To Cure Tuberculosis

  1. Vitamin D
  2. Essential Oils
  3. Adaptogenic Herbs
  4. Probiotics
  5. Green Tea
  6. Garlic
  7. Orange Juice
  8. Indian Gooseberry
  9. Walnuts
  10. Black Pepper
  11. Banana
  12. Custard Apple
  13. Mint
  14. Drumstick Leaves

How To Treat Tuberculosis Naturally

1. Vitamin D

You Will Need

500-2000 IU of vitamin D

What You Have To Do
  1. Consume foods rich in vitamin D like fish, dairy products, cheese, and eggs.
  2. You can also take supplements for vitamin D after consulting your doctor.
How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

Why This Works

Individuals deficient in vitamin D have a higher risk of developing tuberculosis (1). Vitamin D can help prevent as well as limit TB by enhancing the functioning of your immune system and aiding the production of cytokine.

2. Damiana Essential Oil

  • 3-4 drops of damiana essential oil
  • Diffuser
  • Water
  1. Add three to four drops of damiana essential oil to a diffuser filled with water.
  2. Inhale the diffused air.

Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

A study published Natural Product Communications concluded that essentials oils of Damiana (Turnera diffusa), as well as of other plants like Salvia aratocensis and Lippia americana, exhibited antimycobacterial properties against the TB bacteria (2).

3. Adaptogenic Herbs

Adaptogenic herbs are another natural remedy to help treat tuberculosis. Herbs like astragalus and rhodiola extract can be used for treating TB by enhancing your immunity. They also help with the phagocytosis of M. tuberculosis (3), (4).

You can consume these herbs by brewing a tea with them or taking supplements for them after consulting your physician.

4. Probiotics

1 bowl of probiotic yogurt

Include a bowl of probiotic-rich yogurt in your daily diet.

You must do this on a daily basis.

Probiotics exhibit a bacterium-neutralizing effect. They help inhibit the growth of M. Tuberculosis, thereby helping fight TB (5).

5. Green Tea

  • 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of hot water.
  2. Simmer and strain.
  3. When the tea cools a bit, add some honey to it.
  4. Consume immediately.

Drink green tea 1 to 2 times daily.

Tea leaves contain polyphenols called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) that are believed to inhibit the growth of M. tuberculosis bacterium. Hence, regular consumption of green tea is a great way to treat and prevent tuberculosis (6).

6. Garlic

1-2 teaspoons of minced garlic

  1. Add one to two teaspoons of minced garlic to your daily diet.
  2. You can also chew on garlic directly if you can withstand its strong flavor.

You must do this on a daily basis.

Garlic is found to inhibit the proliferation of the tuberculosis bacteria, and this is due to the antimicrobial properties of allicin (a compound found in garlic) (7).

7. Orange Juice

  • 2 oranges
  • A pinch of salt
  • Honey (as required)
  1. Blend two oranges with a pinch of salt.
  2. Extract the juice and add some honey to it.
  3. Consume immediately before the juice turns bitter.

Drink orange juice twice daily for faster recovery.

Orange juice is packed with minerals and vitamins. It exhibits expectorant (cough-relieving) properties in individuals affected by tuberculosis, thereby helping them recover soon (8).

8. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)

  • 3-4 Indian gooseberries
  • Water (as required)
  • Honey (as required)
  1. Deseed three to four Indian gooseberries.
  2. Blend with a little water and extract the juice.
  3. Add some honey to the gooseberry extract and consume immediately.

You must drink this concoction once every morning on an empty stomach.

Indian gooseberries act as adjuvants to anti-tubercular drugs (9). When consumed along with tuberculosis drugs, they can weaken the side effects of these drugs and also help prevent the recurrence of TB.

9. Walnuts


  1. Consume a few walnuts daily.
  2. You can also crush the walnuts and add them to your favorite smoothie or dishes.

Do this on a daily basis.

Walnuts are rich sources of various nutrients that are beneficial for your overall health. Regular consumption of walnuts can enhance your immunity and protect your body from the ill effects of tuberculosis (10).

10. Black Pepper

  • 8-10 whole peppers
  • Clarified butter
  1. Fry the whole black peppers in clarified butter.
  2. Add a little honey and lemon to this and make a paste.
  3. Consume half a teaspoon of this concoction every few hours.
  4. You can also add pepper powder to your favorite dishes.

You must do this daily.

Black pepper contains a compound called piperine. Piperine exhibits inhibitory action against drug-resistant tuberculosis bacterium and enhances the action of anti-tubular drugs against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (11).

11. Banana

1-2 bananas

  1. Have one to two bananas daily.
  2. Alternatively, you can also blend the bananas with some milk and drink the smoothie.

You must do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Tuberculosis can make you physically very weak. This is when the role of superfoods like bananas comes into play. Bananas are packed with minerals like potassium that can instantly boost your energy and speed up your recovery (12).

12. Custard Apple

  • 2 custard apples
  • 25 seedless raisins
  • 1 ½ glasses of water
  • Sugar
  1. Extract the pulp of two custard apples.
  2. Bring it to a boil with water and 25 seedless raisins.
  3. Boil for about 10 minutes until one-third of the water is left.
  4. Strain the mixture and add a little sugar to it.
  5. Consume a teaspoon of this mixture.

You must consume this mixture twice daily – once in the morning, and once at night.

Custard apple (popularly know as sitaphal in India) is believed to have rejuvenating properties – similar to that of anti-tubular drugs used to treat tuberculosis. It is a popular Ayurvedic remedy used for TB and, unarguably, one of the best as well (13).

13. Mint

  • 1-2 tablespoons of crushed mint leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  1. Add the crushed mint leaves to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Allow the tea to cool a bit before drinking.

Do this 2 to 3 times daily for optimum benefits.

The presence of menthol imparts powerful expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties to mint leaves, which can help in treating symptoms of TB, such as chest pain and cough (14).

14. Drumstick Leaves

  • A handful of drumstick leaves
  • 1 ½ cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Add one and a half cups of water to a handful of washed drumstick leaves.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper to the mixture.
  4. Drink this every morning on an empty stomach.

You must do this once daily for about 2 months.

Drumstick leaves are antimicrobial and are known to combat strains of Mycobacterium quite well (15). This makes them an amazing remedy to combat tuberculosis and its symptoms.

For complete and successful recovery from TB, you must also follow a healthy diet along with these remedies. To help you with the same, here is a diet that throws light on what foods to eat and what to avoid if you have tuberculosis.

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Diet Chart

Best Foods For TB Patients

• Calorie-rich and healthy foods like banana, peanuts, and whole grains.
• Protein-rich foods like eggs, paneer, tofu, and soy.
• Foods rich in vitamins A, E, and C like guava, oranges, amla, tomatoes, lemon, and capsicum.
• B-complex foods like fish, pulses, nuts, milk, and whole grains.
• Foods that contain selenium and zinc, such as oysters, chicken, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds.

Foods To Avoid

• Caffeinated drinks like cola, coffee, and tea.
• Refined foods like sugar, white bread, white pasta, and butter.
• Junk foods
• High-cholesterol meat

Tuberculosis is a recurring condition, especially in its latent (asymptomatic) form. Therefore, to avoid its recurrence and prevent it from spreading to others, here are a few tips.

Prevention Tips

• Always cover your mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
• Quit smoking.
• Avoid drinking alcohol.
• Dispose of used tissues in a dustbin.
• Wash your hands after sneezing/coughing and also before and after meals.
• Do not visit others and avoid having guests until you are free of the infection.
• Stay away from crowded places.
• Keep the windows of your room open so that there is circulation of fresh air.
• Try and steer clear of public transportation until you have recovered completely.

Recovery from tuberculosis is largely based on precautionary measures. Eating right and taking some basic precautions will work in your favor when it comes to treating TB. This will also help the treatments and remedies work better.

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Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What are the precautions to be taken after TB treatment?

TB treatment lasts for months. Once you are done with the prescribed treatment, it is wise to get yourself tested again to rule out possibilities. You can follow the tips mentioned above to avoid a possible recurrence.

What are the treatment options for tuberculosis (TB)?

Your doctor may begin treatment by putting you on a course of antibiotics, which may require to be taken for as long as six months. Latent TB requires you to take just one drug, whereas, active TB may require you to take multiple drugs because of the drug-resistant strain. The most common medications used to treat TB are Isoniazid, Rifampin, Ethambutol, and Pyrazinamide.

How long does tuberculosis last in the body?

It will take at least six months to rid your body of all the TB bacteria. Although you may start feeling better within weeks of availing treatment, you need to finish the course of the treatment to get rid of all the TB bacteria.

How does a TB test work?

The most common TB test involves injecting a TB bacterium extract into the inside of your forearms. If the skin around the injected area forms a hard and red bump in a couple of days, it is likely that you have contracted tuberculosis.

When should you visit a doctor?

You must visit a doctor immediately if you develop symptoms associated with TB like repetitive cough with phlegm or blood, chest pain, fatigue, fever, weight loss, or night sweats.

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Shaheen Naser

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness. In her free time, Shaheen loves to explore the world and the different flavors/cuisines it has to offer. Photography is another hobby she has developed of late.

5 Best Foods For A Tuberculosis Patient

Nutritious foods will help in dealing with Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which can turn out to be fatal if not taken care of properly. It is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and people who are undernourished have a greater risk of developing TB. However, researchers have found a substance that may help combat this disease. The substance, called beta lactone EZ120, interferes with the formation of the bacterium’s mycomembrane. The researchers found that the substance may inhibit the biosynthesis of the mycomembrane and kills mycobacteria effectively. The symptoms of Tuberculosis include weight loss, weakness and shortness of breath. However, consumption of certain foods can turn out to be beneficial for a tuberculosis patient. A healthy with these specific foods will help greatly in dealing with this disease.
Calorie Dense Foods
Calorie dense foods that are nutrient rich can meet up the rising metabolic demands of the TB patient and can also prevent further weight loss. Foods like banana, cereal porridge, peanut chikki, wheat and ragi are quite beneficial for TB patients.
Foods Rich in Vitamin A, C and E
Fruits and vegetables like orange, mango, sweet pumpkin and carrots, guava, amla, tomato, nuts and seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin A, C and E. These foods must be included in the daily diet regime of a TB patient.

(Also Read: 22 Vitamins And Minerals You Didn’t Know Your Body Needs)

Vitamins and minerals have been proven to be superior and provide tremendous health benefits
Protein Rich Foods
TB patients tend to experience loss in appetite. It is very important for them to indulge in protein-rich foods like eggs, paneer and soya chunks as they are quite rich in protein. These foods can be absorbed easily by the body and can give you the required energy.

Foods Rich in B Complex Vitamins
Whole grain cereals, nuts, seeds, fish and chicken are quite rich in B complex vitamins. These foods must be consumed by a TB patient in moderation.
Food Rich in Zinc
Nuts are a great source of zinc that can provide essential nutrients to the body. Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaxseeds quite beneficial for TB patients. Include these foods in your diet that will help you in combating diseases like TB.
With Inputs from IANS

Tuberculosis Treatment: 8 Foods That Can Help You Recover Faster

The first step for someone suffering from tuberculosis is to build their metabolism


  • Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which mainly attacks the lungs
  • The first step for a tuberculosis patient to build their metabolism
  • You must eat foods that will give you energy and boost your immunity

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease which mainly attacks the lungs. It can also spread to the other parts of the body like the brain and spine. In case of chronic diseases, you may have to resort to medical treatment, but your diet can really help in supporting the process and restoring your health at a faster pace. If you are suffering from tuberculosis, it is critical to maintain a healthy diet which will eventually help in boosting our immunity and provide the necessary strength to recover.
Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr Anju Sood, shares, “The first step for someone suffering from tuberculosis is to build their metabolism. Thus, you must eat foods that will give you energy as your body becomes very weak.” She suggests that you should eat the following foods to give your body adequate nutrition:
1. Rava Ladoo or Ragi Porridge: You may lose a lot of weight due to sickness and loss of appetite. Therefore, you need to take calorie-dense foods. Rava ladoos or a wholesome porridge made with ragi grains can provide the energy needed.
2. Khichdi: A hot bowl of khichdi made with rice, dal and seasonal vegetables is one of the best ways to load up on carbohydrate, proteins and all the other nutrients required by the body. It is a complete meal in itself and is easy to digest.
3. Soybean: It helps strengthen your immune system which is necessary to fight the TB-causing bacteria.
4. Paneer: Paneer or cottage cheese can be sliced into small pieces and added to your khichdi or other meals. Paneer is a high source of protein which helps in building muscles and giving your strength.

5. Milk: Milk is also a great source of protein, providing strength necessary to perform day-to-day activities. “You can make a milkshake with mangoes and milk that combines carbohydrates with protein and is the ideal energy booster.”
Dr. Sood also states, “This is a period when your body lacks vitamin A, C and B complex which have to be restored to their normal levels for the body to recover effectively”. For this, you must include the following foods in your daily diet:
6. Fruits like Guava and Amla: These fruits are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and help eliminate toxins from the body.
7. Bright colored vegetables: These will give you the much needed strength required to combat the high dose of antibiotics that you may have to take to treat tuberculosis. The pigments that impart colour to vegetables and fruits also act as powerful antioxidants that help in fighting disease-causing free radicals. You must also include foods in rich in Vitamin A like mango, papaya, apricot and vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli.
8. Whole grains: Rich in vitamin B complex and fiber, whole grains will keep you energized and help fight fatigue and lethargy.
Following a healthy, balanced diet also ensures enhanced quality of life and productivity post recovery.

Best Food Diet To Win Against Tuberculosis

  • 04-05-2017
  • By Sehat
  • It is crucial for everyone to control their diets and keep the food and calories they take per day in check.This stands even more true for athletic people and those who are ailing. People who are already suffering from sickness need a proper diet to ensure that the medication that he/she is taking can have a proper effect. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that is common among people suffering from sinus or a severe cold for a long time. This infection occurs in the lungs of a person causing him/her to have difficulty in breathing.

    Tuberculosis is also common amongst individuals suffering from malnutrition who do not take the necessary nutrients in their daily dietary plans. It is essential for a person suffering from Tuberculosis to have a complete diet with all the necessary vitamins and protein supplements. Any lack of the essential nutrients can result in severe complications showing advanced growth of symptoms. Following the mentioned diet will help in the speedy recovery of the person with a decrease in symptoms exponentially.

    Best Food List For Tuberculosis

    People suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis can adopt the mentioned diet to reduce the symptoms as well as eradicate the infection over the course of time.

    Eating Foods with a High Calorie Content

    To ensure that the person does not lose weight excessively with the progression of Tuberculosis over time, it is important to have energy rich foods. With high calorie content foods, it can be ensured that the person does not lose a lot of weight over time. Also, these foods list will help the person maintain an active lifestyle even though he/she might be suffering from tuberculosis. Eating energy packed foods like,

    • Green vegetables
    • Oats
    • Whole grain food
    • Skimmed milk and yoghurt

    will ensure that the person has the necessary energy to go through the day without losing the aconsiderable amount of weight.

    Eating Foods with High Protein Content

    Another important dietary habit the person needs to inculcate in his/her daily life includes eating protein rich content. With a protein rich diet, a person can maintain his/her weight and can stay away from a malnutrition condition. Some of the best food items that contain a lot of protein include,

    • Eggs
    • Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
    • Soy and Tofu
    • Dry fruits like Almonds and groundnuts

    In case the person wants to take a shortcut route to get all the necessary amounts of protein without eating so many items, he/she can opt for readily available protein mix powders. These powders can be taken as a supplement after working out with water as well as milk.

    Taking Vitamin Supplements

    Taking the right amount of vitamins is very important for a person to win his/her fight against Tuberculosis. Some of the Vitamin rich foods that you can easily get in the market include,

    1. Fresh fruits like Apple, Banana and Pomegranate,
    2. Green leafy vegetables.

    To ensure that the person has enough intake of Vitamins throughout the day, it is very important for him/her to maintain a steady diet of fruits in snacks as well as meals.

    Avoiding The Following Food Items

    Just like the food items mentioned above are important to be included in the daily dietary habits of the person, there are some food items that should be avoided. The following food items are known to speed up the progress of the infection and reduce the effective working of the medication.

    • Don’t chew or smoke tobacco,
    • Drink less of the caffeinated drinks like coffee, cold drinks as well as energy drinks,
    • Avoid alcohol completely,
    • Avoid food items with high fat and high cholesterol levels.

    These items should be avoided or minimised to the best level possible to ensure effective working of the medication to treat Tuberculosis.

    Apart from this, breathing in fresh air is good for the person’s lungs. This means that the person should add activities like taking a morning walk in a park/garden to ensure oxygen-rich air is supplied to his/her lungs. Also, smoking cigarettes can severely damage the person’s lungs especially in the condition where he/she suffer from Tuberculosis. There can be some complications such as nausea and loss of appetite with Tuberculosis medication. It is essential for the person to continue the medication, regardless of the side-effects to ensure that a complete recovery is made. Patients with TB need proper rest and care. If the right diet is followed, they will be soon on the path of recovery.

    Reviewed By:

    Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

    Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad

    This is a December 1999 file photo showing 130mg capsules of potassium iodide. Starting Thursday, July 25, 2002, Massachusetts residents who live within ten miles of a nuclear power plant can get free pills that might help protect them in case of a nuclear accident. (AP Photo/Christopher Pfuhl) (AP2001)

    A new combination of pills may knock out tuberculosis faster.

    Health officials have announced a combination that knocks out the disease in three months, rather than the nine months it usually took to remove the infection. But it only works if the person is not infectious.

    That means more people are likely to finish their treatment for latent tuberculosis, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials said.

    “New, simpler ways to prevent TB disease are urgently needed, and this breakthrough represents one of the biggest developments in TB treatment in decades,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said, in a prepared statement.

    For decades, people infected with TB bacteria but not ill have been treated with a special TB pill, isoniazid, taken once a day for nine months. It’s been the standard regimen despite problems getting people to take the pill every day.

    But in one of the largest federal trials to examine preventive tuberculosis therapy, investigators found that another regimen was just as effective. Just once a week and for just three months, patients took a larger dose of isoniazid and also a dose of another antibiotic, rifapentine.

    About 82 percent of the people in the three-month regimen completed the full treatment, while just 69 percent on the nine-month regimen did. Rates of the most serious side effects were the same for both regimens.

    What’s more, only seven cases of TB disease developed in people on the new treatment, compared with 15 in the standard group.

    “It was quite effective,” said Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, a Columbia University professor of medicine and epidemiology who was involved in the study.

    The three-month regimen is also more expensive. The medicines alone cost about $160, most of that from the price of rifapentine. Nine months of isoniazid costs less than $6.

    The costs of both regimens grow when lab tests and other aspects of care are thrown in, but the three-month regimen still ends up being more than twice as expensive as the standard treatment.

    The study was led by Dr. Timothy Sterling of Vanderbilt University and was presented Monday at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Denver.

    The CDC is working with consultants to examine the study’s results and draft new guidelines for treatment of latent TB. The guidelines should be finished later this year, agency officials said.

    Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria spread from person to person through the air. TB usually affects the lungs, and can lead to symptoms such as chest pain and coughing up blood. Globally, it kills about 1.7 million people each year.

    Thanks to antibiotics and other measures, the TB rate in the United States has been falling for years. Last year, it hit an all-time low — a total of 11,181 reported cases of TB illness.

    But more than 11 million Americans have latent TB, meaning they are infected with the TB bacteria but have not had symptoms and are not infectious.

    About 5 percent to 10 percent of people with latent TB develop the disease if not treated, meaning they are a major obstacle to eliminating TB in the United States.

    “The 11 million persons with latent TB represent a ticking bomb. They’re the source of future TB cases,” said Dr. Kenneth Castro, director of the CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination.

    Most Americans with latent TB don’t know they are infected, but testing has been targeted at groups of people who tend to have higher rates of TB infection or who are more susceptible to TB infection progressing into illness. About 300,000 to 400,000 Americans with latent TB start treatment each year.

    But many don’t stick with it, sometimes because they feel well and don’t see the need to keep taking a pill against an illness they haven’t developed. Some don’t like that they cannot drink alcohol while taking isoniazid.

    The study looked at about 8,000 people with latent TB in the United States, Canada, Brazil and Spain. They were followed for nearly three years from the time they started the study. Most of the top TB research centers in the United States were involved.

    About half were given the standard treatment, a daily 300 milligrams dose of isoniazid for nine months, and they took it on their own. The other half were put on a 900-milligram dose of isoniazid and a 900 milligram dose of rifapentine, but did it in front of a doctor or other health-care worker.

    The researchers acknowledged that follow-up studies are needed to see if patients on the three-month regimen are as faithful at taking their medicine when they aren’t being monitored.

    Also, it’s not clear how well the strategy would work in countries where TB is more common and the odds of re-infection are much higher, health officials said.

    Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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    The Right Diet to Beat Tuberculosis

    Getting Good Nutrition When You Have TB

    To give your body the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients it needs to fight active tuberculosis and regain your strength and stamina, you need to eat a diet containing a variety of healthy foods, such as:

    • Leafy, dark-colored greens like kale and spinach, for their high iron and B-vitamin content
    • Plenty of whole grains, like whole wheat pastas, breads, and cereals
    • Antioxidant-rich, brightly-colored vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, and squash, and fruits, like tomatoes, blueberries, and cherries — think of buying produce in a full rainbow of colors
    • Unsaturated fats like vegetable or olive oil, instead of butter

    Talk to your doctor about whether you have any nutrient deficiencies and if taking a daily multivitamin with minerals makes good nutrition sense for you. A recent review of the limited studies done on supplements in patients with TB showed some evidence that high-calorie energy supplements helped underweight patients gain body weight, and that zinc, combined with other micronutrients or with vitamin A, may offer nutritional help. The reviewers concluded that additional studies are needed.

    What to Avoid When You Have Active Tuberculosis

    As is always the case for good health, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat and substances you shouldn’t use.

    • Skip tobacco in all forms.
    • Don’t drink alcohol — it can add to the risk of liver damage from some of the drugs used to treat your TB.
    • Limit coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
    • Limit refined products, like sugar, white breads, and white rice.
    • Avoid high-fat, high-cholesterol red meat and instead load up on leaner protein sources like poultry, beans, tofu, and fish.

    Getting and Staying Healthy With Active TB

    Many medications used to treat active tuberculosis have side effects that can make it difficult to eat well. With some drugs, you could:

    • Lose your appetite
    • Feel nauseated
    • Vomit
    • Experience abdominal cramping

    You can’t stop taking your TB drugs, so instead talk to your doctor about what you can do to help eliminate side effects.

    Make every effort to give your body the nutrition it needs to maintain a healthy weight and build up strength to destroy the tuberculosis bacteria and reduce your risk of a relapse. Eating a varied, healthy diet, and staying away from unhealthy habits, will help you feel better, faster.

    Tuberculosis (TB) Disease: Symptoms and Risk Factors

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by bacteria that are spread through the air from person to person. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. People infected with TB bacteria who are not sick can take medication to prevent TB disease from developing in the future. Learn to recognize the symptoms of TB disease and find out if you are at risk.

    Anyone Can Get TB

    At first Shaka thought he had the flu. He had chills, was tired all the time, and had no appetite. After almost a month of night sweats, chest pain, persistent cough, and losing about 30 pounds, Shaka knew something was really wrong, and went to the doctor.

    After several more weeks of doctor visits and exams, and worsening symptoms, he was admitted to the hospital. Eventually he was diagnosed with TB.

    Shaka, TB Survivor

    Mildred, TB Survivor

    “And they came to me, and they said, we think you have tuberculosis. While I was laying there on the stretcher, I laughed as best that I could and told them that nobody gets tuberculosis. And they said, well, we think you have it,” says Shaka.

    Mildred had a similar experience. It started with a cough and sore throat. She was initially diagnosed with strep throat and was given antibiotics. But the cough continued. She also began having night sweats and a fever. One night she was up all night coughing and couldn’t keep any food down. She knew something was very wrong and went to the hospital. After six months of uncertainty, she was finally diagnosed with TB.

    “One of the main concerns I had when the diagnosis with TB was made was everybody else. As soon as you learn that you’re infectious, as soon as you learn that for the last 6 or 7 months you’ve been exposing everybody you see – and you’re thinking the Metro. You’re thinking your job, you’re thinking your family,” Mildred recalls.

    Anyone can get TB. People with TB disease can be found in every state; in rural areas and cities; in schools, workplaces, homes; and in many other places where people are in close contact. Learn to recognize the symptoms of TB disease and find out if you are at risk.

    Latent TB Infection and TB Disease

    The bacteria that cause TB is spread through the air from person to person when a person with TB disease coughs, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected. There are two types of TB conditions: latent TB infection and TB disease.

    TB bacteria can live in the body without making you sick. This is called latent TB infection. In most people who breathe in TB bacteria and become infected, the body is able to fight the bacteria to stop them from growing. People with latent TB infection do not feel sick, do not have any symptoms, and cannot spread TB bacteria to others.

    If TB bacteria become active in the body and multiply, the person will go from having latent TB infection to being sick with TB disease. For this reason, people with latent TB infection are often prescribed treatment to prevent them from developing TB disease.

    People with TB disease usually have symptoms and may spread TB bacteria to others.

    A cough lasting 3 weeks or longer is a symptom of TB disease.

    TB bacteria most commonly grow in the lungs, and can cause symptoms such as:

    • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
    • Pain in the chest
    • Coughing up blood or sputum (mucus from deep inside the lungs)

    Other symptoms of TB disease may include:

    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • No appetite
    • Chills
    • Fever
    • Sweating at night

    TB disease can be treated by taking medicine. It is very important that people who have TB disease are treated, finish the medicine, and take the drugs exactly as prescribed. If they stop taking the drugs too soon, they can become sick again; if they do not take the drugs correctly, the TB bacteria that are still alive may become resistant to those drugs. TB that is resistant to drugs is harder and more expensive to treat.

    People with latent TB infection do not have symptoms, but may still need treatment.

    TB Risk Factors

    Anyone can get TB, but certain people should be tested for TB infection because they are at higher risk for being infected with TB bacteria, including:

    • People who have spent time with someone who has TB disease
    • People from a country where TB disease is common (most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia)
    • People who live or work in high-risk settings (for example: correctional facilities, long-term care facilities or nursing homes, and homeless shelters)
    • Health-care workers who care for patients at increased risk for TB disease
    • Infants, children and adolescents exposed to adults who are at increased risk for latent tuberculosis infection or TB disease

    Eliminating TB in the United States

    Millions of people in the United States have latent TB infection. Without treatment, they are at risk for developing TB disease. Treatment of latent TB infection is essential to controlling and eliminating TB in the United States. If you think you may have latent TB infection, TB disease, or were exposed to someone with TB disease, contact your health care provider or your TB control office. You and your health-care provider can discuss your options for testing and treatments.

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    University Michigan State University

    A centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, may help treat tuberculosis and slow the evolution of drug resistance.

    A new study shows the ancient remedy artemisinin stopped the ability of TB-causing bacteria, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, to become dormant. This stage of the disease often makes the use of antibiotics ineffective.

    The study is published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology.

    Robert Abramovitch uses a synthetic biosensor that glows green in response to conditions that mimic TB infection, something he developed earlier in his research. (Credit: Michigan State)

    “When TB bacteria are dormant, they become highly tolerant to antibiotics,” says Robert Abramovitch, a microbiologist and assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University. “Blocking dormancy makes the TB bacteria more sensitive to these drugs and could shorten treatment times.”

    One-third of the world’s population is infected with TB and the disease killed 1.8 million people in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Is this drug combo the answer to resistant malaria?

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis, or Mtb, needs oxygen to thrive in the body. The immune system starves this bacterium of oxygen to control the infection. Abramovitch and his team found that artemisinin attacks a molecule called heme, which is found in the Mtb oxygen sensor.

    By disrupting this sensor and essentially turning it off, the artemisinin stopped the disease’s ability to sense how much oxygen it was getting.

    “When the Mtb is starved of oxygen, it goes into a dormant state, which protects it from the stress of low-oxygen environments,” Abramovitch says. “If Mtb can’t sense low oxygen, then it can’t become dormant and will die.”

    Can take 6 months to treat

    Abramovitch indicated that dormant TB can remain inactive for decades in the body. But if the immune system weakens at some point, it can wake back up and spread. Whether it wakes up or stays ‘asleep’ though, he says TB can take up to six months to treat and is one of the main reasons the disease is so difficult to control.

    “Patients often don’t stick to the treatment regimen because of the length of time it takes to cure the disease,” he says. “Incomplete therapy plays an important role in the evolution and spread of multi-drug resistant TB strains.”

    The research could be key to shortening the course of therapy because it can clear out the dormant, hard-to-kill bacteria, he adds. This could lead to improving patient outcomes and slowing the evolution of drug-resistant TB.

    Tool determines in 1 day if TB treatment is working

    After screening 540,000 different compounds, Abramovitch also found five other possible chemical inhibitors that target the Mtb oxygen sensor in various ways and could be effective in treatment as well.

    “Two billion people worldwide are infected with Mtb,” Abramovitch says. “TB is a global problem that requires new tools to slow its spread and overcome drug resistance. This new method of targeting dormant bacteria is exciting because it shows us a new way to kill it. ”

    The National Institutes of Health, MSU AgBioResearch, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the research. Other researchers from Michigan State, Sweet Briar College, and the University of Michigan collaborated on the study.

    Source: Michigan State University

    Tuberculosis (Koch’s Disease) – Herbal Remedies, Home Remedies

    Tuberculosis is a serious disease. It is caused by a tiny germ called tubercle bacillus. The germ enters into the body through the nose, mouth, and the windpipe, and settles down in the lungs. It multiplies by millions and produces small raised spots called tubercles.

    Causes and Symptoms of Tuberculosis

    Tuberculosis may occur anywhere in the body but, more commonly, it affects the lungs, intestines, bones, and glands. Pulmonary tuberculosis or tuberculosis of the lungs is by far the most common type of tuberculosis. It tends to consume the body and the patient loses strength, color, and weight Other symptoms are a rise in temperature-especially in the evening, a persistent cough and hoarseness, difficulty in breathing, pain in the shoulders, indigestion, chest pain, and blood in the sputum.

    Lowered resistance or devitalisation of the system is the chief cause of this disease. Causes are unhygienic food, contaminated water, exposure to cold, loss of sleep, impure air, a sedentary life, overwork, use of tobacco, liquor and other harmful drinks. These factors prepare the ground for the growth of germs of various kinds, including tubercle bacillus. These germs may be present in the body but are quite harmless for those who are endowed with vitality and natural resistance.

    Home Remedies for Tuberculosis

    1. Milk Diet

    The chief therapeutic agent needed for the treatment of tuberculosis is calcium. Milk is the richest food source for the supply of organic calcium to the body and should be taken liberally. In fact, an exclusive milk diet is considered highly valuable in tuberculosis. However, a preparatory fast for three days, consisting of raw juices, preferably, orange juice, is essential before the milk diet is begun. The procedure is to take half a glass of orange juice diluted with an equal quantity of water every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For the full milk diet, the patient should have a glass of milk every two hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first day, followed by a glass and a half every hour on the second day. Thereafter, the quantity can be gradually increased until the patient takes a glass every half an hour. Usually, six liters of milk should be taken every day. In the case of women, five liters should be sufficient raw milk, that is, milk which has not been pasteurized, produces the best results, provided it is clean and pure. Milk should be kept cool and away from dust, flies, odours, and sunlight It should be gently stirred before use to ensure an even distribution of cream. It should be sipped very slowly so as to be thoroughly mixed with saliva which dilutes it and, to a great extent, promotes its digestion. Nearly eight to six weeks of a full milk diet is necessary for the success of the treatment A considerable amount of rest is necessary with a milk diet and the patient should lie down for about two hours twice a day.

    2. Custard Apple

    Custard apple is regarded as one of the most valuable remedies for tuberculosis. It is said to contain the qualities of rejuvenating drugs. Ayurvedic practitioners prepare a fermented liquor called sitaphalasava from this fruit, when in season, for use as a medicine in the treatment of this disease. The pulp of two custard apples and twenty-five seedless raisins should be boiled in water on a slow fire. When about one-third of the water is left, it should be filtered, and then mixed with two teaspoons of powdered sugar candy, and a quarter teaspoon each of the powder of cardamom, cinnamon, and certain other condiments.

    3. Indian Gooseberry

    The Indian gooseberry is another valuable remedy for tuberculosis. A tablespoon each of fresh amla juice and honey, mixed together, should be taken every morning in treating this disease. Its regular use will promote vigour and vitality in the body within a few days.

    4. Pineapple

    Pineapple juice is beneficial in the treatment of tuberculosis. It has been found to be effective in dissolving mucus and aiding recovery. This juice was used regularly in the past in treating this disease when it was more common than it is at present One glass of pineapple juice is recommended daily.

    5. Banana

    Bananas are considered useful in tuberculosis. According to Dr J. Montelvz of Brazil, South America, the juice of the plantain or the ordinary cooking bananas works miracles in the care of tuberculosis. He claims to have cured patients in an advanced stage of this disease with frequent cough, abundant expectoration and high fever in two months, by this ‘Treatment

    6. Orange

    Oranges are useful in the treatment of tuberculosis. A glass of orange juice should be mixed with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of honey and taken daily by the patient. Due to its saline action in the lungs, it eases expectoration and protects the body from secondary infections.

    7. Drumstick

    A soup prepared from drumstick leaves has been found valuable in this disease. This soup is prepared by adding a handful of leaves to 200 ml of water which has been heated to a boiling point The water should then be allowed to boil for five minutes more. After that it should be removed from the fire and allowed to cool. A little salt, pepper, and lime juice may be added to this soup. This drink should be taken first thing every morning.

    8. Bottle Gourd

    The use of bottle gourd is considered as an effective remedy for tuberculosis. Fresh juice taken empty stomach increases immunity which helps to fight with tuberculosis.

    9. Mint

    The fresh juice of mint has also been found to be useful in this disease. A teaspoon of mint juice, mixed with two teaspoons of pure malt vinegar and an equal quantity of honey, should be stirred in 120 ml of carrot juice. This should be given as a medicinal .tonic thrice daily in the treatment of tuberculosis. It liquefies the sputum, nourishes the lungs, increases body resistance against infection, and prevents the harmful effects of anti-tubercular drugs.

    Dietary Considerations

    The patient should avoid all devitalizing foods such as white bread, white sugar, and refined cereals; puddings and refined, canned, and preserved foods. He should also avoid strong tea, coffee, condiments, pickles, and sauces.

    Other Measures

    The patient should completely rest his mind and body. Any type of stress will delay healing. Fresh air is always important in curing the disease, and the patient should spend most of the time in the open air and sleep in a well-ventilated room. Sunshine is also essential as tubercle bacilli are killed rapidly by exposure to the sun’s rays. Other beneficial. steps towards curing the disease are avoidance of strain, slow massage, deep breathing, and a light occupation to ensure mental diversion.

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    Before the advent of antituberculosis chemotherapy, a diet rich in calories, proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins was generally considered to be an important, if not essential, factor in the treatment of tuberculosis. The introduction of specific antituberculosis drugs, however, has so radically altered the management of the disease that the role of diet has to be reconsidered in the light of the recent advances in treatment. An evaluation of the influence of diet in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis with isoniazid plus p-aminosalicylic acid was recently undertaken by the Tuberculosis Chemotherapy Centre, Madras, in the course of a controlled comparison of home and sanatorium chemotherapy for tuberculous patients from a poverty-stricken community in Madras City. Despite the fact that during the year of treatment the home patients subsisted on a markedly poorer diet, were physically more active and, on the average, gained less weight than the sanatorium patients, the overall response to treatment in the home series closely approached that in the sanatorium series, although there was a tendency for tubercle bacilli to disappear earlier in the latter. Direct evidence has been presented that none of the dietary factors studied (calories, carbohydrates, total and animal proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins) appears to influence the attainment of quiescent disease among tuberculous patients treated for one year with an effective combination of antimicrobial drugs, and that initial chemotherapy of patients at home can be successful even if the dietary intake is low throughout the period of treatment.

    Tuberculosis: How to create a healthy, balanced diet plan for TB patients

    Tuberculosis: How to create a healthy, balanced diet plan for TB patients&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspGetty Images

    Key Highlights

    • Basically, a person with tuberculosis should focus on eating a healthy, well-planned balanced diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables
    • It has been shown that being malnourished or underweight increases a person’s risk of getting tuberculosis
    • Here’s how to create a healthy, balanced diet plan for a person with tuberculosis

    New Delhi: Tuberculosis, an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs, is now much better understood. The disease is preventable as well as curable with proper treatment. Generally, the treatment for active TB takes up to a year of daily antibiotics to help eradicate the infection and prevent complications. During treatment, TB patients need to eat a healthy diet. While there’s no specific food for tuberculosis, a balanced diet that includes plenty of whole foods can help the body fight the disease better and speed up the recovery process.

    Basically, a person with tuberculosis should focus on eating a healthy, well-planned balanced diet consisting of a variety of fruits and vegetables. The fact is that when you have tuberculosis, your body needs healthy, adequate nutrients more than ever. It has been shown that being malnourished or underweight increases a person’s risk of getting tuberculosis. It also increases the risk of reinfection or relapse of TB after treatment.

    How to create a healthy diet plan for a person with tuberculosis

    Eating a nutritious diet containing a variety of healthy foods will provide the body with the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and other antioxidants it needs to fight the disease. A healthy eating plan can be achieved by including the following food groups in your diet:

    • Vegetables and fruits – leafy greens and antioxidant-rich fruits such as spinach, carrots, squash, peppers, tomatoes, blueberries, cherries, oranges, lemons, etc.
    • Whole grains – whole-wheat cereals
    • Proteins – meat, poultry, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, legumes and beans, milk and milk products
    • Healthy fats – unsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds, etc.

    Additionally, a person with tuberculosis should avoid or limit certain foods and things:

    • Alcohol – in any form is bad as it raises the risk of drug toxicity
    • Limit caffeine and carbonated drinks
    • Limit intake of refined products, including sugar, white rice and white bread
    • Avoid or cut back on high-fat, high-cholesterol red meats
    • Avoid tobacco and tobacco products
    • Do not stop or skip meals
    • Take TB medicines regularly and complete the full course of treatment as prescribed by your doctor.

    Initially, TB medicines can cause some side effects, which may lead to nausea, stomach upset, or loss of appetite. In such cases, always consult your doctor about what can be done to deal with side effects. A healthy diet and staying away from unhealthy habits will help you feel better fast and regain your health.


    Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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