As a part of working at ds's coop preschool, I had to have a TB test. It came up positive, so they did a chest X-Ray to rule out active TB. That came out ok. The doctor referred me to an infectious disease specialist, who asked me a bunch of questions about my history. He said based on what I'd told him and the size of my TB reaction, it wasn't mandatory that I take the antibiotic they have for TB, but that I could go on to develop active TB unless I take the medication. The thing is, you have to take it every single day without fail for 9 months, I would still always test positive, and there is no way to know 100% whether the antibiotic worked unless I had active TB. I don't like the idea of being on an antibiotic for 9 months (I have had candida issues in the past), especially since the side effects are pretty bad -- hepatitis for one.
I should add that I'm sort of on the edge of being in the higher risk group -- I was homeless for awhile about 16-17 years ago, during which time I ate in soup kitchens several times, although I never actually stayed at a shelter. Then around 1993 I got sick with bronchitis and was treated at several medically indigent clinics, in San Francisco, during which time I remember hearing that one of the other patients had TB.
Any advice? I'm also going to see a naturopath as soon as I can get an appointment.
So if you take the meds you can't possibly get a negative TB test at any time in the future. You're not in a place where legally you "have to" take the meds. The meds have serious health risks and no definite benefits. You could develop an active TB infection if you don't take the meds, but you could also develop an active TB infection even if you do take them- it just isn't likely to happen while you're taking the meds.
It sounds like you've probably been carrying around the TB germs in your body for decades and haven't gotten sick yet. What makes you think that you're goint to get sick with TB NOW?
I would go with the naturopath and look for ways to support your immune system to minimize your chances of developing full-blown TB while at the same time protecting you from hepatitis, candida overgrowth, etc etc.
I assume you'll have regular chest X-rays and/or TB skin tests for the rest of your life to look for active TB? Why not take the meds only if they're truly indicated at a follow-up test? Would you need a larger dose or longer course of meds for an active TB infection rather than a "preventative" course?
Theres absolutley no way you should take those antibiotics. I didnt.
I recently had to do a tb scratch test here in the US, which came up positive. I knew it would because at school in England (where I am from and grew up), the BCG shot is administered as part of the immunization schedule. And once you have that shot, any scratch test for TB you do in the future will come up positive. I too then had to have a chest x-ray to prove that I didnt have TB. Taking those meds would be completely unnecessary and I would say even be harmful to your immune system!?