Tuberculosis — Disease of Dampness and Hunger

“She is still alive today, tomorrow is not” — in his famous and unfinished poem dedicated to the” dreary time”, Alexander Pushkin compares autumn to a” consumptive maiden”, condemned to death. Consumption, or, in scientific terms, tuberculosis, was the scourge of the old “pre-antibiotic” times. Until the advent of antibiotics such as streptomycin and rifampicin, as well as drugs such as isoniazid and its derivatives, tuberculosis was considered an incurable disease. Drinking mineral water or koumiss (which is how consumption was treated in the XIX century) did not bring any benefit. Sooner or later the disease took its toll… The list of famous people (only famous!) who died of tuberculosis has more than a thousand names. Tuberculosis was once a major cause of death…

But, fortunately, in our time, we have learned to fight tuberculosis and, in addition, our living conditions have significantly improved. So a well-to-do modern person has almost no chance of getting tuberculosis. It is known that tuberculosis is a disease of dampness and hunger. The normal organism of the causative agent of this disease-tuberculosis Bacillus, figuratively speaking, “not in the teeth”. This cursed wand only affects weakened organisms. That is why those who went hungry for a long time, went without good warm clothes in the winter, or lived in the damp and cold, suffered from consumption. Who is currently ill with tuberculosis? Mostly those who are in prison, where living conditions and food leave much to be desired. Or those who live in so-called socially disadvantaged countries (they are still called developing countries, although in fact this definition does not apply to the country as such). Or those who reduce the stability of their body due to various bad habits. A person who lives in normal conditions, eats well, does not have bad habits and dresses according to the season in the cold season, avoiding systematic hypothermia, has almost no chance of getting tuberculosis. It is nice to know that you can easily protect yourself from such a serious, deadly disease as tuberculosis by observing certain conditions. By the way, animals also suffer from tuberculosis, so you can not eat meat and dairy products of questionable origin.

Common sense — first and foremost!

And in General, it seems that tuberculosis will soon disappear completely. Just like the natural smallpox disappeared.

Italics are mine, brains are yours!

Yes, at first glance everything that was written in italics is correct, but only at first glance.

Yes, the prevalence of tuberculosis in well-off countries is much lower today than it was a hundred years ago. If you take almost any major work of art created in the XVIII and XIX centuries, it will certainly find mention of consumption. Now, not every reader of this book will have at least one person who is ill (or has been ill) tuberculosis. So it seems that there is no tuberculosis, or if there is, it is somewhere out there, in a poor environment — in prisons or in developing countries.

Yes, one of the main risk factors for tuberculosis is the social factor — unfavorable living conditions (damp, cold), poor nutrition, non-compliance with hygiene standards. Drug use and alcoholism also increase the risk of getting sick, and increase significantly. The fact is that in contrast to flu viruses, which “mow down” everyone in a row, regardless of the state of health, the presence of bad habits and other factors, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (the scientific name of the Koch wand, named after the German scientist who discovered it) is quite difficult to cause disease in an unabated human body. A person may be infected, that is, may have a certain amount of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the body, but not have tuberculosis. This is a so-called carrier that may never turn into a disease. But as soon as the body weakens, the harmful Koch wand will immediately take its toll — it will begin to actively multiply and affect various organs. The lungs are a favorite “target” of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but not the only one. Tuberculosis can affect any organ.

Carriers are non-infectious. They do not release Mycobacterium tuberculosis into the environment, but simply store in their body a certain amount of Mycobacterium, the activity of which is suppressed by the immune system. Mycobacteria are suppressed, but not killed. Figuratively speaking, they are kept in custody, under the constant supervision of the immune system.

By the way, we note that Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a very resilient bacterium. This is not a pale Treponema, the causative agent of syphilis, which dies out of the body very soon (when the count is for minutes, when-for hours, but no more). Mycobacterium tuberculosis is afraid of direct sunlight, dryness, high temperatures and chlorine. In the wet and dark, it can last up to three years and all this time will maintain its viability thanks to the dense capsule that surrounds this malicious “stick”.

And it is not necessary to draw in the imagination of classical “wet” repeatedly described in the novels — some wet basement or dungeon. Somewhere behind the bathroom, or in a dark corner behind a wardrobe, or in the kitchen under the sink Mycobacterium tuberculosis will be a kind of sanatorium.

And one more important point, where we will finish the theoretical part. In addition to the state of the body, the number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis that has entered the body is important for the development of diseases. If there are a lot of mycobacteria, they will overcome a healthy body. More precisely, even a healthy body will not be able to suppress the active activity of a large number of mycobacteria.

Now let’s move from theory to practice.

Do you think that you live in a safe city in a safe country, where Mycobacterium tuberculosis is simply nowhere to be found? And the migrants who come from regions that are not affected by tuberculosis? And those who have returned from places not so far away? Don’t be naive, Koch sticks are everywhere and everywhere.

A well-off family of healthy lifestyle followers moves from their regional or district home to work in Moscow and rents an apartment where a person previously lived with an open form of tuberculosis (that is, it releases bacteria into the environment). A kind of “sower” who actively and for a long time sowed Mycobacterium tuberculosis throughout the apartment. Of course, the new residents will do a General cleaning of the apartment, or the owner of the apartment will do it. But it will be a regular cleaning according to the formula “MOP plus vacuum cleaner”. It is unlikely that anyone would think to treat the entire apartment, all surfaces (!), all walls (!), all shelves in cabinets (!) with a concentrated solution of bleach. And so that you do not wash off this solution for at least three hours.

Never in my life! As a result, a huge number of Mycobacterium tuberculosis will remain in the apartment. These pests will not lie quietly in their places, but will spread with the current of air, “stick” to what is put on the shelves, and so on. Simply put, healthy organisms of new residents can receive a large dose of bacteria, sufficient for the development of the disease. What a surprise!

Let’s consider another case. A completely “socially well-off” woman, whose body was asymptomatic (that is, under the watchful supervision of the immune system) lived a certain amount of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, gained a dozen extra pounds and decided to lose them with a diet. It’s common, isn’t it? After making sure that the “soft” restrictions are of little use, the woman switched to cucumbers-tomatoes and lettuce, and even this she ate in small quantities. As a result, she not only lost extra pounds, but also sharply decreased the activity of the immune system, which needs a full protein diet to function properly. Antibodies that are formed in our body in response to the introduction of bacteria, viruses, protein toxins and other antigens are protein compounds. Bel-Ko-you-mi! And for protein synthesis, our body needs amino acids, which are formed when the proteins taken in food are broken down. Our body cannot synthesize proteins from carbohydrates and fats. That’s it!

Decreased activity of the immune system-Mycobacterium tuberculosis immediately “raised their heads”, began to actively multiply and spread throughout the body. The woman fell ill with tuberculosis, which was shocking news for her. She thought she was eating the best possible food — light, fresh, and rich in vitamins! In the popular consciousness, there is a big bias towards vitamins. The value of vitamins is raised to some incredible absolute, but the value of proteins is reduced to a minimum. There is nothing to say about fats at all — they are considered almost poisonous. But for normal life, our body needs both fat, protein, and carbohydrates.

How many people dress differently in the cold for aesthetic reasons? Yes, of course, padded pants do not look as beautiful as, say, Haute couture jeans, but constant hypothermia for one month can already affect the state of the immune system and lead to tuberculosis. A separate “risk group” is drivers. The cabin is usually warm, and you don’t have to leave it for long, so the driver is usually dressed much lighter than a pedestrian… Well, you know what I mean. For systematic hypothermia, it is not necessary to spend the night in a cardboard box under a bridge and wear leaky shoes.

More than four hundred million people on our planet aged 20 to 79 years suffer from type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and half of the patients do not know about their disease. But diabetes significantly reduces the body’s defenses. Diabetics have a much higher risk of tuberculosis than those who do not have diabetes. Some scientists believe that the risk is five times higher, and others-that as much as ten times! No matter how well-off a person is, the presence of diabetes can cause the incidence of tuberculosis. Either their own “carefully stored” mycobacteria of tuberculosis will “raise their head”, or a small number of mycobacteria obtained from outside will cause the development of the tuberculosis process.

Any weakening of the immune system, that is, any immunodeficiency condition increases the likelihood of tuberculosis. Dampness and hunger are not necessary for this. It is possible to weaken the immune system and with the help of food that is considered “healthy”, but in fact it is not.

And finally – about meat and dairy products. Cattle also suffer from tuberculosis, which is caused by the” bovine ” type of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. “Bovine” Mycobacterium can also affect the human body. In milk, it dies already during pasteurization, not to mention boiling, but raw fresh milk is not clear from which cow can be dangerous in terms of infection with tuberculosis and not only tuberculosis. “It is clear what” animals are under veterinary control and individuals with tuberculosis are detected in a timely manner. In our country, a very small number of patients with tuberculosis were infected from animals, in the vast majority of cases (more than 95%), the source of infection was a sick person.

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