Now rare in Western countries but still common in Asia, Africa, and Caribbean, and becoming so among AIDS sufferers; tuberculosis bacillus (a type of bacteria) is spread by droplet infection or through milk which has not been TB-tested, and mainly affects lungs, but also brain (see Meningitis), kidneys, or bones. A single attack may confer immunity, but residual bacteria can lie dormant for many years until reactivated by general ill health or undernourishment; the initial attack may produce no symptoms at all, or be mistaken for a mild case of Influenza; symptoms of the secondary stage (once known as consumption) include slight Fever, night sweats, fatigue, Weight Loss, a dry Cough which eventually produces pus or bloody sputum, breathlessness, and sometimes chest pain, but these tend to onset extremely slowly.
If TB is suspected, see your medical doctor; a prolonged course of antibiotics may be necessary, together with rest and time off work, and a better diet. If brain is affected, symptoms will be those of Meningitis (severe headache, stiff neck, intolerance of light); appropriate action is to consult your doctor if there is no improvement 2 hours.
Although the homeopathic remedies below can be self-prescribed, sufferers are advised to put themselves under the care of an experienced homeopath.
Specific remedies to be taken every 2 hours for up to 10 doses when symptoms are acute
- Fever and weight loss Bacillinum 30c
- Fever, head sweats, hands and feet feel cold and clammy, person weak and apprehensive Calcarea 30c
- Person wrung out and exhausted, chilly and worried, thirst for sips of water Arsenicum 30c
Immunization: BCG vaccination is offered shortly after birth to babies considered most at risk, and again in early teens. If BCG is contra-indicated because of eczema, asthma, or immune system deficiencies, Tuberculinum nosode 30c can be given. See your homeopath.
Self-help: Increase level of potassium-rich foods in diet (raw vegetables and fruit) and ensure good levels of protein (from wholegrains and pulses as well as fish and meat). Get plenty of rest and fresh air.