Saurabh Khedekar, 32, had a stressful life as a chartered accountant with long working hours and continuous travelling.
Last year, he found a lump in his neck, which was eventually diagnosed as primary tuberculosis. After multiple tests, the diagnosis hinted at lower immunity due to a crash diet and stressful lifestyle.
“In fact, I was under the impression that I was eating carefully, but I didn’t realise that along with weight I was also losing my immunity,” said Khedekar who had the lump surgically removed and was on medication for six months. He is now careful to follow a balanced diet, not just one low on calories and ensures a work-life balance.
Doctors said lifestyle choices such as crash diets could make people susceptible to TB. “Around 40 to 60% of young TB patients suffer from low immunity because of lifestyle issues such as weight reduction, excessive stress of exercise or work,” said Dr Ashok Mahashur from Hinduja hospital. “The air is full of bacteria and if the person does not take care, immunity breaks down and it may lead to primary tuberculosis.”
“Unless you have a compromised immunity, tuberculosis is unlikely to become a clinically significant disease. We are seeing many patients from higher economic rung of the society. The immunity gets lower due to several factors such as poor eating habits, stress and smoking,” said Dr Om Shrivastav, infectious disease specialist, Jaslok hospital.
“People must eat right, ensure they are not sleep deprived and stressed,” Dr Deepak Namjoshi from Criticare hospital.