Symptoms & Complications of TB

Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick with TB disease.

Symptoms of TB disease depend on where in the body the TB bacteria are growing. TB disease symptoms may include:

  • A bad cough that lasts 3 weeks or longer
  • Shortness of Breathe and pain in the chest
  • Coughing up blood or sputum (phlegm from deep inside the lungs)
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • No appetite
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Sweating at night

Symptoms of TB outside the lungs (extra pulmonary TB) vary widely depending on which area of the body is infected. For example, back pain can be a symptom of TB in the spine, or your neck may get swollen when lymph nodes in the neck are infected.

While anyone can get TB disease, some people who are infected with TB bacteria are more likely to get sick.

You have a higher chance of getting TB disease if you

  • Have HIV infection
  • Have been infected with TB bacteria in the last two years
  • Have other health problems that make it hard for your body to fight disease
  • Abuse alcohol or use illegal drugs
  • Were not treated correctly for TB infection or TB disease in the past
 

An initial infection can be so mild that you don't even know you have an infection. In a person who has a healthy immune system, the body usually fights the infection by walling off the bacteria into tiny capsules called tubercles. The bacteria remain alive but cannot spread to surrounding tissues or other people. This stage is called latent TB, and most people never go beyond it.

A healthy immune system often successfully fights TB bacteria, but your body can't mount an effective defense if your resistance is low. A number of diseases and medications can weaken your immune system, including:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Diabetes
  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Certain cancers
  • Cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy
  • Drugs to prevent rejection of transplanted organs
  • Some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and psoriasis
  • Malnutrition
  • Very young or advanced age
  • Substance abuse. IV drug use or alcohol abuse weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to tuberculosis.
  • Tobacco use. Using tobacco greatly increases the risk of getting TB and dying of it.

Complications

Without treatment, tuberculosis can be fatal. Untreated active disease typically affects your lungs, but it can spread to other parts of the body through your bloodstream. Examples of tuberculosis complications include:

Spinal pain - Back pain and stiffness are common complications of tuberculosis.

Joint damage- Tuberculous arthritis usually affects the hips and knees.

Swelling of the membranes that cover your brain (meningitis). This can cause a lasting or intermittent headache that occurs for weeks. Mental changes also are possible.

Liver or kidney problems. Your liver and kidneys help filter waste and impurities from your bloodstream. These functions become impaired if the liver or kidneys are affected by tuberculosis.

Heart disorders. Rarely, tuberculosis can infect the tissues that surround your heart, causing inflammation and fluid collections that may interfere with your heart's ability to pump effectively. This condition, called cardiac tamponade, can be fatal.

View Comments ()

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What to Read Next

Signs of Tuberculosis in Men, Women & Children

Home remedies for TB

© 2017 help206.com. All rights reserved. | Disclaimer | Privacy policy | Advertise with us
Help206.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.