Almost any person at least once was at a reception with a therapist or dentist - everyone knows about them. But there are other narrowly specialized specialists who are engaged in the treatment of certain diseases. To such concerns and the phthisiatrist. This is a doctor who is treated with a narrow range of problems. About what kind of specialist he is and what diseases he treats we will talk about in this article.
Phthisiatrician. What kind of doctor and what does he do?
Recently, we are increasingly hearing this word. And the whole blame for the growing number of tuberculosis diseases. After all, a phthisiatrist is a specialist who is involved in the diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis and several other diseases. It is generally believed that tuberculosis affects only the lungs - but this is an erroneous statement, because there is a foci of inflammation in the lungs that can complicate any other organs. That is why it is so important to seek advice from a specialist in time, who is better versed in the symptoms and ways of treating this disease.
What problems are addressed to the TB specialist?
Tuberculosis does not manifest itself immediately, but can manifest itself through various symptoms, which we sometimes do not associate with this disease. These can be:
- a prolonged cough (more than three weeks) - this is the main symptom;
- pain in the interblade area (which is sometimes mistaken for problems with the spine);
- Pain when swallowing (this symptom is often confused with sore throat), developing hoarseness, shortness of breath;
- Rapid weight loss (which is often attributed to stress or an active lifestyle);
- Fast fatigue (especially over a long time and in the absence of heavy loads);
- a positive Mantoux reaction in children (in this case, a child TB specialist should be consulted);
- excessive sweating (especially during sleep);
- a periodic increase in temperature (indicates the development of inflammatory processes in the body);
In which cases do I need a child phthisiatrician
All children are given an annual Mantoux test. This is a test by which the reaction of the child's organism is determined to receive a small dose of the causative agent of tuberculosis. It is absolutely harmless (in the absence of contraindications) and helps to adequately assess a child's predisposition to the disease. Do not be nervous right away if your child has had a positive reaction to the Mantoux test. This does not mean that he is ill, but it indicates the need for the passage of the examination, which the phthisiatrician will appoint, for the complete elimination of tuberculosis or for early treatment at an early stage.
It is also worth remembering that the Mantoux reaction can be false-positive if some rules are not followed (for example, when moisture gets to the injection site) or if there are diseases (ARVI). But a specialist who makes a Mantoux test must first ascertain that there are no diseases that can affect the test results.
In any case, only the doctor will be able to confirm or deny the diagnosis.
Methods for diagnosis of tuberculosis
To date, a variety of diagnostic methods are available, which the phthisiatrician uses. This, above all, the aforementioned Mantoux test and chest X-ray. The survey should be performed annually (children are given the Mantoux test, and adults should not forget about fluorography), even if there are no alarming symptoms.
If there are first signs of the disease, sputum examination is conducted for the presence of pathogens, microbiological cultures of various biological material (pus, urine, etc.), eye examination, hearing tests, MRI, computer diagnostics, etc.
With severe symptoms, they resort to tissue biopsies. All these studies should appoint a phthisiatrist. What kind of doctor examines you, you should know for sure and must be sure of his competence and professionalism, because it depends on your health.
General information on tuberculosis
If a phthisiatrist has appeared on your list of specialists for the examination, this is not a reason to sound an alarm, but definitely in this case it is worth to learn more about tuberculosis and to strengthen precautions.
This disease is transmitted by airborne droplets. Therefore, if you are to receive a phthisiatrician and visit a specialized medical institution, take care of the presence of a gauze dressing to protect the respiratory tract from infection.
According to WHO, the probability of tuberculosis infection of the average inhabitant of the Earth is 10%. This indicator can vary depending on living conditions and the environment.
There is a myth that it is quite difficult for people in developed countries to get tuberculosis, but this is not true. In order to catch this disease you do not need to spend much time in cold and wet rooms and often contact sick people. It is enough to have one contact with the infected in the transport, in the store, and just on the street. That is why it is worth paying special attention to regular examinations for the presence of a dany disease, because nobody is insured against tuberculosis.
Also remember that there is a latent form of tuberculosis. This is the period when a person is already infected but has no symptoms and can not infect others. For the diagnosis of the disease in such cases and need a TB. About doctors you need to read before the first appointment, because of their professionalism affect your life.
Why is it important to diagnose tuberculosis in a timely manner?
If a patient with tuberculosis does not turn to a specialist in time, it will not only worsen his health, but also the surrounding people will be at risk of infection. This is the main reason for which you should not forget about regular examinations, such as Mantoux test and fluorography, as well as visits to the doctor in case of the presence of the first symptoms of the disease. Remember, the earlier TB is diagnosed, the faster it can be cured. Therefore, do not wait until the situation worsens, and you should visit the doctor when the first alarming symptoms appear.