Millions of people worldwide struggle with active TB (tuberculosis) every day. It is possible to treat the disease with the right combination of medications, provided the patient is careful to take them every day. While taking these medications, it is possible to improve their efficiency by making changes to your diet.
Below are some useful ideas and tips to give your body the nutrients it needs to fight this illness.
What to Eat
The first step in changing your diet is to introduce healthy, nutritious foods into your meals. TB can actually be encouraged by poor nutrition, and while fighting TB your body can become malnourished, creating a vicious cycle.
To avoid this, there are several different foods you can eat to keep yourself healthy:
- Dark, green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, as they’re full of iron and vitamin B.
- Whole grains, such as pastas, breads and cereals.
- Brightly colored vegetables, such as carrots and peppers, and fruits like blueberries and cherries. These fruits are full of antioxidants.
- Swap saturated fats such as butter for vegetable or olive oil.
What to Avoid
As well as introducing healthy foods into your diet, there are some foods that should be avoided to aid recovery:
- Foods that are hard to digest, as they cause acidity and respiratory irritation.
- High-fat red meat, which can be replaced with leaner meats such as poultry, as well as fish, tofu and beans.
- Eat fewer refined foods, like sugar, white bread and white rice.
- Also limit your consumption of caffeinated drinks, such as coffee.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco altogether, as alcohol can help bring on liver damage in conjunction with certain medications.
Supplements May Help
In some cases, supplements may be able to help you take in more nutrients and fight your illness. Some supplements will help you gain weight when you eat. Vitamin D has also been shown to help create proteins in the body that help kill TB bacteria.
Speak To Your Doctor
Before going ahead with any of this advice, it’s highly recommended you speak with your doctor. Every person is different, and your doctor can advise you on whether you have any nutritional deficiencies and how you can combat them.
They’ll also know what will work best with the medication you are currently taking.
As you’ll be treated to for a period of time, usually up to nine months, they’ll be keeping a close eye on your recovery and will know what’s best for you.
A change in diet won’t cure TB on its own, but it can certainly aid the process. As with any illness, when you have TB a good diet can set your body up to fight it efficiently, meaning you’ll be in recovery much more quickly.
Reviewed 19.12.2017 – dead link removed