Eat Healthily, Stay Fit To Ward Off Tuberculosis
Unhealthy lifestyle and poor diet can up your risk of contracting tuberculosis by 50%.
Poor living conditions, including crowded and poorly lit and ventilated accommodations, make it easy for TB bacteria to stay alive for longer duration and spread easily, experts said.
We hear a lot of talk about TB and the need to treat the last infected person. However, not much is spoken about the need for prevention. In many cases, a healthy lifestyle can help an individual keep the disease at bay," pulmonologist Vaibhav Pandharka of India's Columbia Asia hospital said.
Most of us tend to believe that tuberculosis is a disease that largely affects poor people living in slums and unhygienic conditions. While the disease does have an impact on a sizable number of individuals from economically deprived strata, wealthy people are certainly not immune to it.
Infectious diseases expert Mahesh Lakhe said, "Having a weakened immune system doesn't mean you will contract TB. But it certainly means that you become more vulnerable to the infection, especially if you are exposed to someone who is coughing out TB bacteria which can happen anywhere — in a train or a marketplace or even a classroom or a hostel."
"Poor diet, low consumption of fruits and vegetables, high-stress levels, lack sleep and exercise are factors that weaken the body against illnesses. Similarly, pregnant women, children and seniors also have weak immune systems that make them more susceptible to infections present in the environment. Smoking and consuming excessive alcohol can also augment your risk," Lakhe said.
The World TB Day is observed every year on March 24. This year's slogan is 'United to end TB'.