[toc]Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a contagious bacterial disease caused by different strains of myco-bacteria. This is an air borne disease and can be communicated from person to person.
TB infection can be pulmonary which occurs in lungs, or extra-pulmonary which occurs outside the lungs. Extra-pulmonary Tuberculosis that occurs outside lungs is more common in people with low immunity or affected with HIV infection.Below are the symptoms that may be visible due to a TB infection:
Various Symptoms Of Tuberculosis
Coughing is the most common symptom of TB; if resulting from tuberculosis the cough would persist and will have phlegm. Many a time, people neglect cough and consider it to be a symptom of common cold.
However, remember that if the cough is prolonged, it may be more serious. So, if one has the condition for more than 3 weeks, it should not be self-treated but tested for TB.
Sudden Weight Loss And Fatigue
One of the most commonly ignored symptoms of latent tuberculosis is weight loss and weakness, which are often mistaken as lifestyle issues. In case the feeling of fatigue persists and loss of weight is continual one should link this with other symptoms and get pathological tests conducted.
Sensation of feeling unwell and slight fever. A patient suffering from tuberculosis might suffer from recurring fever with a temp of around 100.4°F or 38°C. Even with normal temperatures, one could feel feverish and unwell.
Blood In Mucus Or Drool
This is the most clear symptom of TB; a prolonged cough with phlegm that has blood should be reacted upon at the earliest. This condition clearly shows that the TB infection has spread in lungs and needs immediate treatment. One might also find blood on pillow, either exhaled with breath or spit with drool.
Many conditions like high blood sugar, hypertension and cardiac conditions might result in night sweating, but in all these cases it would be occasional unlike in tuberculosis, that makes one night sweat persistently. This should be monitored and correlated with other symptoms and treated accordingly.
TB might cause swollen nodes, usually around neck, but can be all over the body. These nodes might not be painful but may release fluid through skin.
A skeletal TB infection can affect bones and may cause pain. The affected joint or bone may get unusually curved and one might feel restrictive in joints while moving. Also the condition weakens bone and makes one prone to fractures. This is often confused with arthritis as it mostly affects the knee joints.
Blood in the urine, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, groin pain and abdominal pain are also symptoms of TB affecting the gastrointestinal or genitourinary system. This might cause a frequent urge to urinate during nights and a burning sensation while urinating.
Affected Nervous System
When Tuberculosis affects central nervous system it causes severe headaches, stiff neck, and a feeling of being sick. This condition affects brain and might change your mental state and vision too. In some cases fits or seizures might also happen. Prolonged tuberculosis, if misunderstood with normal cough, may prove to be disastrous in making you unwell and sometimes fatal too.
Photo Credit: http://udel.edu/~jennilou/tuberculosisoverview.html