Abdominal tuberculosis is the TB of the gastrointestinal tract (or digestive system) and the abdominal cavity. One of the mechanisms of abdominal TB is the ingestion of the tuberculosis bacteria by drinking fresh milk of a TB-infected cow. The TB-causing Mycobacterium tuberculosis can also move from the lungs to the intestines through the bloodstream, causing abdominal TB, says Dr. Sanjoy Mandal, who is considered to be the best gastroenterology surgeon in Kolkata. The digestive system is primarily affected in two-thirds of children. In the remaining individuals, the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) is involved. It’s unusual for only the lymph glands in the belly to be affected.
Signs and Symptoms of TB of Abdomen
Abdominal TB has a wide range of clinical manifestations. The most common symptoms are abdominal pain, weight loss, anorexia, recurring diarrhoea, low-grade fever, abdominal distension, and cough.
On inspection, the best gastro surgeon in Kolkata may detect a lump, fluid in the belly, or a doughy feeling in the abdomen. There could also be enlargements of lymph glands elsewhere in the body.
Diagnosis of Abdominal Tuberculosis
A biopsy or an endoscopy can be used to isolate the TB germ from the digestive tract, confirming the diagnosis. The Mantoux test, Chest X-Ray, Abdominal X-Rays (with or without barium), and scans such as ultrasonography and CT scan are some of the other supporting tests that may be conducted, says the gastrointestinal surgeon in Kolkata.
Complications of TB of Abdomen
Untreated TB of the intestine can cause blockage, fistula, abscess, and even perforation, resulting in peritonitis.
Treatment of Abdominal Tuberculosis
Abdominal TB requires at least 3-4 anti-TB medications for the first 2 months, followed by two anti-TB medications for the next 7-10 months.
As per the top gastro surgeon in Kolkata, Isoniazid (INH), Rifampicin, Ethambutol, and Pyrazinamide are the commonly utilised medications during the first two months of treatment (intensification phase). INH and Rifampicin are two of the most widely utilised medications throughout the next 7-10 months (continuation phase).