Tuberculosis Symptoms

Tuberculosis is a disease that is highly infectious and can be spread by inhaling infected bacteria transmitted in the air. Once the disease is caught, it begins to attack the lungs, and will progress to other parts of the body, such as the brain and spine. Though the disease has been aided with the treatment in advanced medicine, according to the Mayo Clinic, nearly 2 million people die every year from tuberculosis (mostly in Africa and Asia). If you have latent TB, you would never know you had the disease, until the disease begins to progress toward active tuberculosis.

  1. Early Signs

    • Symptoms of tuberculosis.

      Once tuberculosis has become active within your body, early signs may present themselves as flu-like symptoms. You may experience fever, chills, sweating (particularly at night), and digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms may include loss of appetite, feeling weak or extremely tired all the time, and noticing that you have lost weight.

    Lung Infections

    • Pulmonary symptoms.

      According to the Mayo Clinic, once tuberculosis spreads to the lungs, warning signs such as a chronic cough that lasts more than three weeks should cause concern. You may also begin to cough up blood and feel pain in your chest, which may also be felt when you try to breathe. At times, it may feel as if you can't catch your breath, or it may become difficult to breathe at all.

    Other Symptoms

    • Difficulties from tuberculosis are rare, but are usually a result of not getting treatment. Once the disease spreads to other parts of the body, such as the spine, you will begin to notice other symptoms. If your spine is affected, you will feel back pain. If tuberculosis attacks the kidneys, you may have blood in your urine.

    Complications

    • Though rare, severe complications can occur as a result of not seeking treatment. You can develop meningitis, which is an infection of the brain that could be deadly. Kidney disease can also be a complication, as well as various lung diseases, such as pleural effusion, which is fluid build-up within the lungs. Ultimately, death can occur if you let the disease continue without treatment.

    Causes

    • Mycobacterium tuberculosis

      The disease is from the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. If a person is infected with the organism and sneezes, coughs, speaks, laughs or somehow manages to spread the bacteria into the air, you can become infected. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, individuals who become infected with the disease are more likely to catch it from a loved one than from a stranger.

    Seeking Treatment

    • It is important to seek medical attention if you begin to experience symptoms such as a persistent cough, weight loss and fever. Getting proper medical attention is important not only for your own health, but it is also important to prevent spreading the disease to other people.

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