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10 Common Symptoms of Tuberculosis (TB)


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease that affects your lungs. The condition can become serious and can be spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Tuberculosis is a rare condition, with less than 200,000 cases diagnosed each year in the United States.

Some people with TB do not have symptoms, but some do. For those without symptoms, treatment for TB isn't necessarily required. However, those with symptoms are given lengthy treatment, which includes multiple antibiotics.

Symptom 1: Chronic Cough

Have you been coughing for more than 3 weeks? The bacteria that comes with TB grows in your lungs, causing you to cough. The cough can be dry with no mucus, or have mucus with blood in it.

Unfortunately, when those with TB cough or sneeze, they can spread this infectious condition.

Symptom 2: Coughing up Blood

There are many reasons why you may cough up blood. TB is one.

TB can cause you to cough up blood and mucus. This happens because your blood vessels are affected when the TB infection progresses.

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Symptom 3: Chest Pain

Do you feel pain in your chest when you cough or breath? TB occurs in your lungs, so it can cause chest pain. It can also cause back pain if TB is in your spine.

Doctors usually have you take a skin TB test and chest X-ray to diagnose TB.

Symptom 4: Weight Loss

Have you lost a lot of weight? And don’t know why? When TB progresses, you may experience weight loss and loss of appetite, as well as nausea and vomiting.

Of course, you are going to lose weight!

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Symptom 5: Night Sweats

Do you wake up, only to be drenched in sweat? TB can cause you to have night sweats at least a few nights every week.

Chills caused by TB may make you sweat, or fevers due to TB that spike at night can make you sweat, too.

Symptom 6: Fever

Do you have a high-temperature fever? Has it lasted for weeks or months?

Fevers are caused by TB, may last several days, and are your body’s attempt to fight the infection.

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Symptom 7: Chills

Do you get chills throughout your body?

A high fever and chills that come with TB can be caused by a primary blood infection. It has been found that females over 60 who take the medication, Isoniazid, and have preventive health care are more prone to experience chills with TB.

Symptom 8: Fatigue

Are you tired all the time? Can never get enough rest? Feel weak? Lack energy?

TB can cause chronic fatigue. Medications and exercises may help you manage and minimize it.

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Symptom 9: Shortness of Breath

Are you able to have full breaths? If not, shortness of breath is a symptom of TB – as it affects your lungs.

A post on the eHealthforum stated: “I am taking tuberculosis treatment for a month now, am using AKT4 and levoday tablets. During the initial diagnosis, I had problem of pleural effusion and the doctor removed all the collected fluid. Also during this month when I was admitted in the hospital, I developed pnemothorax and I was treated conservatively i.e. since it was minor, it was left to heal. But the problem is after 1 month of tb treatment and 3 weeks of pneumothorax episode, I am symptomatically better in all ways except I still face shortness of breath, feel the need to take deep breadths frequently.”

Symptom 10: Swollen Lymph Nodes

Lymph nodes help fight infection and are a part of your immune system. TB may spread to lymph nodes in your neck, groin, arm pits, or other areas – causing the nodes to become swollen.

Although the lymph nodes enlarge, they are not painful. According to Explaintb.org, “Sometimes, the swelling may burst and release yellowish pus that contains tuberculosis bacteria. Please ensure that you keep the oozing wound clean and covered with a dressing. Swollen nodes caused by tuberculosis should not be opened surgically, and oozing nodes should not be closed by a surgeon.”

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