What Is a TB Test and Why Should You Do One Today
Unbelievably, tuberculosis is quite a popular disease in the United States. It affects your respiratory system and unfortunately, it's also very contagious. Tuberculosis can be transmitted through sneezing, coughing or by sharing food or drinks with someone who already has it.
Fortunately, tuberculosis is also a preventable and curable disease. It's important to be informed about this disease and test yourself regularly. Keep reading to learn more about tuberculosis, its symptoms and how to protect yourself.
What is a Tuberculosis (TB) Test?
Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that's easily transmitted. Many people can have this bacterium in their system, but it's in a dormant state. In other words, tuberculosis doesn't manifest itself and it doesn't cause symptoms. This is known as latent tuberculosis.
For other people, the bacterium can become active. This is when the symptoms start to appear as your system is trying to fight the infection. You shouldn't ignore these symptoms as they can become worse over time.
What Are the Causes of Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium, but some people are more predisposed to this disease in comparison with others. In particular, some people with weaker immune systems can develop an active form of tuberculosis. As a result, they will experience its specific symptoms and in rare cases, develop complications.
For example, people who already have diabetes or problems with blood sugar levels are more likely to catch the TB bacterium and be affected by it. At the same time, people who are HIV-positive can be more vulnerable to tuberculosis. That's because the TB bacterium develops easier in people who already have compromised immune systems.
At the same time, people who smoke regularly and drink substantial amounts of alcohol are more likely to develop tuberculosis. These substances put a lot of strain on the immune system and as a result, the TB bacterium can spread much easier and cause a lot of damage. E-cigarette smoking can also make a person more susceptible to damage caused by the TB bacterium. Nicotine and other toxic substances found in cigarettes and e-cigarettes can cause inflammation in the lungs and this can lead to complications if the TB bacterium is present in the body.
How Is TB Diagnosed?
Tuberculosis can be diagnosed in several ways. For example, you can do a skin test and see if your body is already fighting the TB bacterium. In some cases, your primary healthcare provider will order a chest X-ray to see if your lungs are heavily affected by this disease. In the advanced stages of TB, your lungs will become damaged and your doctor will easily observe this.
However, the Quantiferon Gold TB test is currently one of the most reliable ways of detecting tuberculosis. It's a complex lab test that uses a single blood sample to detect the tuberculosis bacterium in your system. This test is 97% accurate and it helps you detect TB before it gets into its advanced stages.
What Is a Quantiferon Gold Test?
The Quantiferon test is used in conjunction with other tests to see if the TB bacterium is active in your system. Your doctor will consider your medical history and other factors to determine if indeed you're struggling with TB. For example, radiography and risk assessment tests are conducted to confirm a TB diagnosis in a particular patient. The Quantiferon test is highly accurate, but it cannot make the difference between latent and active tuberculosis.
There are three outcomes to the Quantiferon Plus lab test. A negative result means that the TB bacterium is not present in your system. A positive result means that the TB bacterium is affecting your health. You can also get an indeterminate result and this means that the test needs to be repeated to see if you have tuberculosis or not.
What Are the Main Symptoms of Tuberculosis?
Fortunately, tuberculosis is a disease that shows symptoms, so you can do something about it before it causes complications. Some of the most common symptoms of tuberculosis include fever, weight loss and weakness. At the same time, those who have tuberculosis might experience a loss of appetite and chills.
On top of these symptoms, you might also experience a persistent cough that can last for weeks. Coughing is a symptom present in many diseases including common colds and the flu. However, it usually lasts for up to two weeks in most cases. If you still cough every day for more than three weeks and it's also accompanied by pain in the chest, chances are that you might have the tuberculosis bacterium.
Another common symptom of tuberculosis is a cough accompanied by blood or sputum. This happens as the TB bacterium starts to cause considerable damage to your respiratory system. You should immediately seek medical help as coughing up blood is never a good sign.
Is There a Vaccine for Tuberculosis?
You can prevent tuberculosis in many ways. For example, avoiding excessively crowded places and taking diligent care of your health are great ways to keep the TB bacterium at bay. At the same time, you can also take advantage of the TB vaccine. The Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine is not extremely popular in the United States, but it can be administered to infants and young children to prevent tuberculosis.
Although the BCG vaccine is not 100% efficient, it provides a basic protection mechanism against the tuberculosis bacterium. This vaccine is also administered to healthcare workers in the United States and other countries. Under certain circumstances, the BCG vaccine can prevent the spreading of TB in patients who are already resistant to TB drugs and antibiotics.
Order a TB Test Today!
As you can see, tuberculosis can be a difficult disease to live with. That's why it's recommended to do a TB test every year, especially if you have specific symptoms. A TB test helps you prevent this disease and avoid all its complications.
Go to DiscountedLabs.com today and order a tuberculosis blood test! A simple test can save your life and prevent you from spreading this dangerous disease to others.
Tuberculosis - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
Tuberculosis: Symptoms and Causes