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davidtrump

Tuberculosis : Your Doctor

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Coping and support

Treatment for tuberculosis is a complicated and lengthy process. But the only way to cure the disease is to stick with your treatment. You may find it helpful to have your medication given by a nurse or other health care professional so that you don't have to remember to take it on your own. In addition, try to maintain your normal activities and hobbies and stay connected with family and friends.

Keep in mind that your physical health can affect your mental health. Denial, anger and frustration are normal when you must deal with something difficult and unexpected. At times, you may need more tools to deal with these or other emotions. Professionals, such as therapists or behavioral psychologists, can help you develop positive coping strategies.

Preparing for your appointment

If you suspect that you have tuberculosis, contact your primary care doctor. You may be referred to a doctor who specializes in infectious diseases or lung diseases (pulmonologist).

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any recent life changes or international travel.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For tuberculosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
  • Do I need any tests?
  • What treatments are available? Which do you recommend?
  • What if the treatment doesn't work?
  • How long do I have to stay on the treatment?
  • How often do I need to follow up with you?
  • I have other health problems. How can I best manage these conditions together?

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • What are your symptoms, and when did they start?
  • Does anyone you know have active tuberculosis?
  • Do you have HIV or AIDS?
  • Were you born in another country, or have you traveled in another country?
  • Have you ever lived with someone who had tuberculosis?
  • Were you vaccinated against tuberculosis as an infant?
  • Have you ever had tuberculosis or a positive skin test?
  • Have you ever taken medicine for TB? If so, what kind and for how long?
  • What kind of work do you do?
  • Do you use alcohol or recreational drugs?

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