Tuberculosis or TB is an age old lethal malady caused primarily by the bacterium called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. It tends to reside in those areas of the human body which are rich in Blood & Oxygen. It affects the lungs predominantly as well as other body parts.
A person infected with the germs might not have the disease actually, as the defense mechanism of the person is strong enough to prevent the growth of microorganisms further. In such a case the person is said to have Latent TB or TB bacilli. People with the infection but inactive disease do not show any symptoms. In such case they are advised to undergo a “Protein Purified Derivative Test” which will render a positive result after three months of acquiring the infection and remain positive through their lifetime.
While if the immune system of the body malfunctions due to prolonged drug/alcohol abuse, diabetes, AIDS or malnutrition then the person will no longer be able to fight against the germs and will be infected with what is called Active TB. In such case the person has potential to spread it to others by means of talking, spiting, coughing or sneezing in public.
Active TB is also classified in different forms as follow;
Primary pulmonary tuberculosis
The immune system fails to combat the initial infection in about 5% people. Within a year they develop active tuberculosis. Commonly found in infants.
Symptoms of Primary Pulmonary Tuberculosis
- A cough persisting since two weeks, with bloody mucus or sputum like ejaculation.
- Fever having a temperature more than 100.4 degree F with occasional chills.
- Night sweats
- Constant fatigue or tiredness
- Loss of appetite or hunger
- Sudden unexpected weight loss
- Swelling in neck
- Breathlessness or breathing trouble which gets worse with time
- Pain in chest with breathing trouble
Post-primary or reactivation pulmonary tuberculosis
95% of people infected successfully deactivate the disease and never let it activate. In remaining 5% the bacteria multiplies quickly destroy the lungs badly
Symptoms of Post Primary or Reactivation Pulmonary Tuberculosis
- In general a feeling of being unwell
- Fatigue & tiredness
- Deprived appetite
- Unable to manage weight
- Night perspirations
- Extra-pulmonary tuberculosis:
Tuberculosis spreads to other body parts like skin, bladder, kidney, brain, bone, spine, lymph nodes and testis irrespective of it affecting the lungs.
Symptoms are of the various extra-pulmonary tuberculosis are as follows
Tuberculosis of Spine or Pott’s disease
- Back pain accompanied with fever and anorexia
- Development of a hunchback or kyphosis
- Numbness and tingling sensation in lower back
- Sufferer tends to walk in a stiff upright manner
- Pain in legs and thighs
- Constant headache
- Stiffness and pain in neck
- Drowsiness and seizures
- Muscle weakness
- Blurred vision
- Lethargy and vomiting
Renal tuberculosis or TB of kidney
There are no particular symptoms of renal TB apart from kidney inflammation or enlargement accompanied with formation of cysts. Also there might be kidney pain with formation of lumps. Loss of appetite, fever, night chills are also present.
Cutaneous TB or tuberculosis of skin
There are many types of cutaneous TB which are Lupus vulgaris, Military TB, Tuberculid, Scrofuloderma and TB verrucosa cutis. Almost all the types of skin TB has the initial symptom of a lesion termed as tuberculous chancre. They are granular based ulcers. The lesions are generally small purplish or reddish spots mostly affecting the knees, buttocks, feet, hands and elbows. These lesions can be cured with treatment but might leave scars and even skin cancer.
Tuberculosis of bladder
- Tendency to urinate quite often
- Burning sensation on urination
- Urine might contain blood as well
Tuberculosis of lymph nodes
- Pain in neck
- Swelling of the lymph nodes
- Fluid discharge from the nodes
By the mode of bloodstream, tuberculosis spreads throughout the entire body.