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What is the cause and treatment for TB of the small intestine?

Tuesday, 14 November 2006
Answered by: Dr. Subash Gupta
Gastrointestinal Surgeon,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals
New Delhi
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Q. What does tuberculosis of the small intestine mean? What are the symptoms? Is it curable? What is the best treatment and precautions?

A.  Tuberculosis of the intestine will either cause blockage or ulceration. With blockage the main symptoms are pain, vomiting and distension; with the ulcerative variety the symptoms are mainly bleeding. It is a curable condition. Sometimes especially with ulcerative variety, anti tubercular medicines taken for 9 months will cure this. With the obstructive variety, treatment is also medicines but sometimes the symptoms are so severe that surgery has to be done first to relieve the blockage followed by medicines. While on antitubercular medicines, one must be careful about liver function tests because these medicines can cause abnormality in liver function. While the treatment is going on high residue diet should be avoided. Protein intake should be increased.

A.  Tuberculosis of the intestine will either cause blockage or ulceration. With blockage the main symptoms are pain, vomiting and distension; with the ulcerative variety the symptoms are mainly bleeding. It is a curable condition. Sometimes especially with ulcerative variety, anti tubercular medicines taken for 9 months will cure this. With the obstructive variety, treatment is also medicines but sometimes the symptoms are so severe that surgery has to be done first to relieve the blockage followed by medicines. While on antitubercular medicines, one must be careful about liver function tests because these medicines can cause abnormality in liver function. While the treatment is going on high residue diet should be avoided. Protein intake should be increased.

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