Diet chart for Tuberculosis patients and how to treat them at home

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which mainly attacks the lungs. Let’s discuss out some appropriate foods which will eventually help in boosting the immunity and provide the necessary strength to recover.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which mainly attacks the lungs. It can also spread to the other parts of the body like the brain and spine.

It is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and people who are undernourished have a greater risk of developing TB.

In case of chronic diseases, you may have to resort to medical treatment, but your diet can really help in supporting the process and restoring your health at a faster pace.

TB is caused by bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. When a person with TB cough or sneeze, the air gets infected with germs. If another person breathes in these germs, then there is a chance that they will become infected.

What are symptoms of TB?

The symptoms of TB are very variable and depend on the type of TB. The type of TB is the part of the body which has been infected.

Tuberculosis symptoms

Major symptoms of TB are:

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Feeling tired or weakness in body
  • Losing weight
  • lack of appetite
  • High fever (38C or above) and night sweats
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood or mucus

I did a little research on TB and found many people around the globe have a number of questions like, what to eat and what not to eat in tuberculosis? What is best diet chart for a tuberculosis patient? how to take care of TB patient at home? What are standard precautions for tuberculosis?

Diet chart for TB patients

First, we’ll start with what to eat and what not to eat.

To give our body the needed vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients we need to eat a diet containing a variety of healthy foods, such as:

  • Upon arising: a glass full of warm water mixed with a half freshly squeezed lime and a teaspoon of honey.
  • Breakfast: eat a couple of fresh fruits, drink milk sweetened with honey and a few nuts, especially almonds.
  • Lunch: freshly prepared steamed vegetables and a glass of buttermilk.
  • Mid-afternoon: a glass fruit juice or sugarcane juice.
  • Dinner: raw vegetable salad and sprouts with vegetable oil with lime juice dressing.
  • Bedtime: a glass milk.

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Foods to avoid for TB patients

  • Avoid the intake of coffee and other caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks.
  • Avoid refined sugar.
  • Food containing sodium.
  • Avoid various sauces.
  • If you drink alcohol, then better to avoid this too.
  • Avoid flesh foods.
  • Try to skip tobacco in all forms like cigarettes, pipe, shisha and others.

How to take care of TB patient

How to take care of TB patients

When caring for someone with tuberculosis (TB), remember that patients with latent tuberculosis – those who don’t show any symptoms – cannot spread the disease. Only patients with active tuberculosis should be isolated until they are no longer contagious (usually for the first two weeks of treatment).

In either case, make sure that the patient does not skip regular doses of TB medication or stop taking it early.

Patients must take antibiotics for a couple of months to make sure no TB bacteria survive. TB treatments takes so long, it means patients may feel frustrated or angry. Encourage them to stay in touch with friends and family and let them enjoy their favorite activities.

What are standard precautions for tuberculosis?

In this section, let’s discuss some standard precautions for TB patients:

  • Patients and family members should be encouraged to cover their nose/mouth when coughing, sneezing or spitting and wash their hands with soap and water thereafter.
  • Use tissues to contain respiratory secretions and dispose them in the nearest waste bin.
  • Patients with signs and symptoms of a respiratory infection should be discouraged from visiting others.

Apart from all these, it is very crucial for the patient to take the medicines for treatment for the entire duration as advised by the doctor.

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Treatment for TB patients

Basically, there are two types of tuberculosis:

Treatment for Active TB

Latent and Active.

  • Isoniazid (INH): This is the most common therapy for latent TB. You typically take an isoniazid antibiotic pill daily for 9 months.
  • Rifampin : You take this antibiotic each day for 4 months. It’s an option if you have side effects or contraindications to INH.
  • Isoniazid and rifapentine: You take both of these antibiotics once a week for 3 months under your doctor’s supervision.

Treatment for Active TB

If you have this form of the disease, you’ll need to take a number of antibiotics for 6 to 9 months. These four medications are most commonly used to treat it:

  • Ethambutol
  • Isoniazid
  • Pyrazinamide
  • Rifampin

You’ll probably start to feel better after a few weeks of treatment. But only a doctor can tell you if you’re still contagious. If you’re not, you may be able to go back to your daily routine.


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