Tuberculosis Causes and It’s Relation with Alcohol & Malnutrition


What are the main causes of Tuberculosis?

Tuberculosis symptoms, Tuberculosis causes, prevention of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis also called TB is basically caused by a type of bacterium which is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It spreads when a person is suffering with active TB disease in their lungs coughs or sneezes and some other person inhales the expelled droplets, which contain Tuberculosis bacteria.

TB can also be spread in a similar way to a normal cold or the flu, this isn’t as contagious. For example, the infections of TB usually spread between the members of a family who live in the same house. It would also be very unlikely for you to become infected if you are sitting next to an infected person on a bus or train. Not everyone suffering with TB is said to be infectious. Small children suffering with TB or some people suffering with a TB infection that occurs outside the lungs which is called extra-pulmonary TB doesn’t spread the infection.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis:

In case your body harbours any tuberculosis (TB) causing bacteria, your immune system can usually prevent you from becoming sick.

If it is so, for this reason, your doctors make a distinction between:

The Latent TB: Generally in this condition, you have a TB infection, but the TB causing bacteria remain in your body in an inactive state and they do not cause any symptoms. The Latent TB, is also called inactive TB or TB infection, is not contagious. This may also turn into active TB sometimes, so treatment for TB is very important for the person suffering with latent TB and it may help to control the spread of TB. It is estimated that approximately 2 billion people have latent TB.

The active TB: This condition of Active TB makes you sick and in most of the cases it can spread to others. It can occur in the first few weeks after an infection with the TB bacteria, or it might also occur few years later.

Few Signs and symptoms of active TB that can be seen include:

  • Coughing that lasts for about three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood
  • So much chest pain, or pain might be with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss or becoming lean
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills

Tuberculosis might be caused due to Malnutrition: 

After a long time, now  it has been known that there is a link between Tuberculosis & nutrition.

Also, there is a two way link between Tuberculosis & malnutrition. That is TB makes malnutrition much worse, and malnutrition in return makes TB worse.

Malnutrition is generally considered to refer to those people who tend to have an insufficient intake of food. Also, malnutrition strictly refers to the people who are having either under nutrition or equally to the people who have too much food. That is in reference to the people who are obese. So when it is in the context of Tuberculosis it is usually to refer to the people who are under nourished, which is people getting insufficient nutrients from their food they consume daily.

Most individuals who are suffering with active TB generally tend to experience weight loss. Weight loss among people who are suffering with Tuberculosis can be caused by several factors, which include reduced food intake which might be due to loss of appetite, nausea and sometimes abdominal pain.

Similarly, under nutrition also equally weakens the body’s ability to fight any kind of disease. So basically under nutrition increases the likelihood that will tend to develop into active TB disease.

Also, food insecurity and malnutrition in people who will be in close contact of a patient with active TB, have more chances of increasing their risk of developing TB.

A person suffering with TB should aim to have atleast three meals and three snacks each day in order to increase the amount of food they eat. 

Alcohol consumption is a risk factor for tuberculosis:

Alcohol consumption is an important risk factor for tuberculosis, which is particularly heavy consumption. A meta-analysis which is conducted by Lönnroth et al, which generally includes studies that are published up to the year 2007, that indicates that alcohol consumption of more than 40gms of ethanol per day or diagnosis of an alcohol use disorder also resulted in a nearly three-fold that increases the risk of tuberculosis. On the basis of the meta-analysis, alcohol consumption was then estimated to be responsible for approx 10% of all incident cases and many deaths which occurs due to tuberculosis.

In particular, the meta-analyses of the dose–response relationship are of the some special importance, as the effects that have been long suspected and are then observed for other infectious diseases. Also, in addition to the alcohol-attributable tuberculosis the burden of the disease can now be re-estimated which is based on the updated risk relations, which may then guide the decision makers towards the prevention and treatment interventions.

Alcohol consumption was then operationalised as the alcohol use, alcohol dosage and the alcohol-related problems. Alcohol use then corresponded to the measurements of lifetime or no current use, as well as some other qualitative and then some frequency-based measurements. The past alcohol use then denoted the measurements of former use i.e. not current use. Alcohol dosage is then referred to the measurements of ethanol i.e.pure alcohol intake in grammes per day. The midpoints of ethanol intake categories were then calculated, whereas approximately three-quarters of the second-highest category’s range was then added to the lower limit of open-ended categories. 


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