Symptoms of TB

TB (short for tuberculosis) is a deadly form of bacterial infection, and that’s why individuals strive to have an understanding of TB symptoms: to make certain the illness will not develop into something worse. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the bacterium that causes this condition. The lungs are most commonly affected, but infection (generally tubercules) also can spread to other areas of the body. This bacterium is highly contagious and is often transmitted through air-borne. The tiny droplets containing the bacteria are automatically released in the air whenever an infected individual coughs; with individuals within 10m of the infected person becoming at risk of infection. People living in congested areas, HIV-infected patients, people with a poor immune system, individuals who are homeless and people who are addicted to alcohol, are among those who are at a greater risk of getting this medical condition. Unfortunately, TB symptoms are only noticeable when the illness has developed to its later stages.

Symptoms Of Tuberculosis

An individual becomes asymptomatic considering that the bacterium remains dormant for a few months up to a few years from the moment it makes its way into the individual’s body. Throughout this moment, the person’s immune system does its job to stop the bacteria from growing and causing the usual TB symptoms. TB Symptoms develop when the bacteria awake from its inactive state, totally evading the body’s immune system as it quickly divides and disperses. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis disperses in the respiratory system, an early TB symptom that is inherently present is a chronic dry cough which doesn’t resolve itself even after many weeks, or at least greater than 30 days. In some cases, infected people may cough up bloody mucus which might even be associated with chest discomfort. Afterwards, the individual may experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath upon mild exertion–indicating damage to the lungs.

Usual signs of tuberculosis which make it hardly separated from other typical diseases include:

. Chills
. Unexplained weight loss
. Fever
. Night sweating
. Exhaustion and physical weakness
. Lack of desire for food

As the bacteria begins spreading to other body areas, certain symptoms will develop according to what body organ has been affected. When the kidneys are involved, the person might experience a bright red or bloody urine accompanied by pain in the kidney. Swelling of the base and side of the neck may suggest parotid gland or lymph node involvement; while TB symptoms for a spinal infection could be observed with an extreme back pain and can even be associated with total vertebral dysfunction. The tuberculosis symptoms seen in HIV- infected individuals are practically the same, except that the disease progresses considerably faster (due to HIV-infected patients’ weak immune systems) which are usually characterized by more severe signs and symptoms when compared to non-HIV patients.

TB symptoms in children are hardly noticeable. Signs of infection might even be absent in a chest x-ray. During this time, the only notable and apparent symptom is persistent coughing, typically mistaken as just a normal cough condition. TB symptoms begin to appear as the disease progresses are generally similar to the TB symptoms present in older people including chronic tiredness, unplanned weight loss, high temperature, sweating, and so on.

Treating Tuberculosis Symptoms

A test called the Tuberculin skin-test is given to people who are believed to be infected by TB bacteria. This test will be done through intradermal injection that contains a part of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and the injected site is then observed after a few days. Any inflammation or hardening of the injected region suggests contact with the TB bacteria. On the other hand a Tuberculin skin-test is not enough to confirm a TB infection, there are cases that people get positive tuberculin test results because they have been given with BCG vaccine (vaccine which contains Mycobacterium tuberculosis) during their infancy. Some other clinical and diagnostic tests such as sputum collection chest x-rays is completed as part of regular procedure.

Antibiotics are normally given since TB is an infection due to bacteria. And also, since Mycobacterium tuberculosis is multiplies in a fast rate and can easily adapt to the medications used, it inevitably develops drug resistance/ immunity. The antibiotic treatment usually involves various medicines including isoniazid, rifampin, and ethambutol. They are usually used in conjunction with each other to avoid the bacteria from developing drug resistance. Within the first few months of treatment, these drugs should be taken on a daily basis to prevent being resistance to the drug. Later on, the medication dosage is reduced to a few times a week. This treatment regimen will continue for a period of six to nine months.

Usually, the treatment course varies with the person’s age and extent of infection. Nonetheless, HIV patients often develop the drug-resistant type of tuberculosis; in that particular case the treatment method could be given from 18 months to 2 years with a periodic change in the medicines to make sure that the TB bacteria will not become resistant. In the same manner, treatment of TB in children is practically the same, however, with the exception of ethambutol being prescribed due to possible adverse effects.

Therefore, an individual can certainly understand the relevance of understanding about TB symptoms so that a timely and effective regimen could be immediately started, drastically helping the chances of treatment. The time taken for treatment will likely be reduced with a lower number of bacteria present. And finally, to to completely get rid of the TB infection, a person should finish the regimen to make sure total elimination of bacteria, as well as to avoid MDRS (Multi-Drug Resistant Strains) from developing.

Mike Morrison is an experienced patient who writes regarding the symptoms of tb in both males and females.