Living with Tuberculosis

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A person with tuberculosis is recommended to start treatment immediately. A few weeks after starting treatment, the patient will experience a notable improvement in physical condition and the symptoms will disappear. This is because the vast majority of bacteria that cause the disease are removed in a short time.

Until laboratory tests have confirmed the disappearance of bacteria in respiratory secretions (for pulmonary tuberculosis), the person must wear a mask and be careful when coughing, to prevent contagion.

Similarly, patients with pulmonary tuberculosis must be kept in isolation: not sharing a room and frequently ventilating the rooms where they are.

Returning to physical activity must be gradual. However, because the symptoms are diverse, the disease may be diagnosed early or at a more advanced stage, so the recovery period may vary as a result.

Returning to work should be delayed until the medical team confirms a clinical and bacteriological improvement.

There are no dietary restrictions, although a balanced, protein-rich diet is recommended, especially for patients who have experienced noticeable loss of muscle mass. Appetite recovers quickly once treatment is started.

Substantiated information by:

Alberto García-Basteiro
Jose Antonio Martinez Martinez

Published: 1 February 2023
Updated: 1 February 2023

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