Almost any person at least once was at the reception of a therapist or dentist - everyone knows about them. But there are other narrow specialists who treat individual diseases. The phthisiatrician applies to such. This is a doctor who is addressed with a narrow range of problems. About what kind of specialist and what diseases he treats, we'll talk in this article.
Phthisiatrician. What kind of doctor and what does he do?
Recently, we have increasingly heard this word. And the culprit is the increasing number of tuberculosis diseases. After all, a TB specialist is a specialist who diagnoses and treats tuberculosis and several other diseases. It is believed that tuberculosis affects only the lungs - but this is an erroneous statement, because in the lungs there is a hotbed of inflammation that can give complications to any other organs. That is why it is so important to consult a specialist in time who understands the symptoms and treatment of this disease better than others.
What problems are addressed to the phthisiatrician?
Tuberculosis does not manifest itself immediately, but can be felt through various symptoms that we sometimes do not associate with this disease. These may be:
- A prolonged cough (more than three weeks) is the main symptom;
- pain in the interscapular region (which is sometimes mistaken for problems with the spine);
- pain when swallowing (this symptom is often confused with angina), developing hoarseness, difficulty breathing;
- rapid weight loss (which is often attributed to stress or an active lifestyle);
- rapid fatigability (especially for a long time and in the absence of large loads);
- positive Mantoux reaction in children (in this case, the consultation should be carried out by a children's TB specialist);
- increased sweating (especially during sleep);
- periodic temperature increase (indicates the development of inflammatory processes in the body);
When do you need a pediatric TB doctor
All children are tested annually Mantoux. This is a test with which help determine the reaction of the child's body 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 the child's susceptibility to this disease. Do not immediately get nervous if your child has a positive reaction to the Mantoux test. This does not mean that he is sick, but it does indicate that a TB specialist will be required to undergo an examination in order to completely exclude tuberculosis or for quick 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, if moisture gets into the injection site) or if there are diseases (ARVI). But the specialist who makes the Mantoux test must make sure in advance that there are no diseases that may 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 that are used by the TB doctor. This is, above all, the above-mentioned Mantoux test and chest radiography. These examinations should be performed annually (children are given Mantoux tests, and adults should not forget about fluorography), even if there are no warning signs.
If there are first signs of the disease, sputum examination for the presence of pathogenic microbes, microbiological cultures of various biological material (pus, urine, etc.), eye examinations, hearing tests, MRI, computer diagnostics, etc. are carried out.
For severe symptoms, a tissue biopsy is used. All these studies should be prescribed by a phthisiologist. What kind of doctor examines you, you must know for sure and must be sure of his competence and professionalism, because your health depends on it.
General Tuberculosis Information
If a phthisiologist has appeared on your list of specialists for the examination, this is not a reason to sound the alarm, but in this case it is definitely worth learning more about tuberculosis and strengthening the precautions.
This disease is transmitted by airborne droplets. Therefore, if you have to receive a TB doctor and a visit to a specialized medical institution, take care of the presence of a gauze bandage to protect the respiratory tract from infection.
According to the WHO, the probability of infection with tuberculosis of an average person on Earth is 10%. This indicator may vary depending on living conditions and the environment.
There is a myth that it is quite difficult for people in developed countries to become infected with tuberculosis, but this is not the case. In order to catch this disease, it is not necessary to spend much time in cold and wet rooms and often contact with sick people. A single contact with an infected person in a vehicle, in a store, or just on the street is enough. That is why it is worth paying special attention to regular screening for the presence of this disease - after all, no one is immune from 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 it is so important to diagnose tuberculosis in a timely manner
If a patient with tuberculosis did not turn to a specialist in time, this would not only worsen his health, but also the people around him would 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 first symptoms of the disease. Remember, the sooner tuberculosis is diagnosed, the faster it can be cured. Therefore, you should not wait until the situation worsens, but you should visit the doctor when the first disturbing symptoms appear.