Tuberculosis diseases-conditions/symptoms-causes

Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious infectious disease that mainly affects your lungs. Bacteria that cause tuberculosis are spread from person to person through tiny droplets released into the air via coughs and sneezes.

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!

Once rare in developed countries, tuberculosis infections began increasing in 1985, partly because of the emergence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV weakens a person’s immune system, so it can’t fight the TB germs. In the United States, because of stronger control programs, tuberculosis began to decrease again in 1993. But it remains a concern.


Many tuberculosis strains resist the drugs most used to treat the disease. People with active tuberculosis must take many types of medications for months to get rid of the infection and prevent antibiotic resistan


  • Latent TB: Latent TB, also called inactive TB or TB infection. In this condition you have a TB infection, but the bacteria in your body are inactive and cause no symptom and latent TB can turn into active TB, so treatment is important.
  • Active TB: Also called TB disease disease spread other to another person. After infection with the TB bacteria it can occur weeks or years.

Active TB  Signs and symptoms include:

  • Coughing for three or more weeks
  • Coughing up blood or mucus
  • Chest pain, or pain with breathing or coughing
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

Tuberculosis TB affect your other body parts include:

  • Kidneys
  • Spine
  • Brain

If Tuberculosis of the spine might cause back pain, and tuberculosis in your kidneys might cause blood in your urine.


Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria microscopic droplets released into the air that spread from person to person. It can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings.

Risk factors:

Any person get tuberculosis, but certain factors can increase your risk, including:

Due to weak immune system:

If person have strong immune system often successfully fights TB bacteria. But in several condition medications can weaken your immune system, including:

In certain area traveling or living:

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Eastern Europe
  • Russia
  • Latin America

Other factors include:

  • Using substances: IV drugs or too much alcohol use weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to tuberculosis.
  • Using tobacco: Tobacco are general increases the risk of getting TB and dying of it.
  • Working in health care:  People who are ill increases your chances of exposure to TB bacteria with regular contact. Reduce your risk if you wearing a mask and frequent hand-washing greatly.
  • Living or working in a residential care facility: All at a higher risk of tuberculosis due to overcrowding and poor ventilation people who live or work in prisons, homeless shelters, psychiatric hospitals or nursing homes.
  • Living with someone infected with TB:  Who has TB increases your risk with close contact with someone.


With out treatment tuberculosis can be life threatening treated and active disease typically affects your lungs, but it can affect other parts of your body, as well.

  • Joint damage
  • Spinal pain
  • Swelling of the membranes that cover your brain (meningitis)
  • Liver or kidney problems
  • Heart disorders


  • Stay home
  • Ventilate the room
  • Cover your mouth
  • Wear a face mask

Finish your medication:

This is the most important step you can take to protect yourself and others from tuberculosis. When you stop treatment early or skip doses, TB bacteria have a chance to develop mutations that allow them to survive the most potent TB drugs. The resulting drug-resistant strains are deadlier and more difficult to treat.


In countries where tuberculosis is more common, infants often are vaccinated with bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. The BCG vaccine isn’t recommended for general use in the United States because it isn’t very effective in adults. Dozens of new TB vaccines are in various stages of development and testing.


During the physical exam, your doctor will check your lymph nodes for swelling and use a stethoscope to listen to the sounds your lungs make when you breathe.

The most commonly used diagnostic tool for tuberculosis is a skin test, though blood tests are becoming more commonplace. A small amount of a substance called tuberculin is injected just below the skin on the inside of your forearm. You should feel only a slight needle prick.


Within 48 to 72 hours, a health care professional will check your arm for swelling at the injection site. A hard, raised red bump means you’re likely to have TB infection. The size of the bump determines whether the test results are significant.

Results can be wrong:

The TB skin test isn’t perfect. Sometimes, it suggests that people have TB when they don’t. It can also indicate that people don’t have TB when they do.

You can have a false-positive result if you’ve been vaccinated recently with the bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine. This tuberculosis vaccine is seldom used in the United States but is widely used in countries with high TB infection rates.

False-negative results also can occur.

Blood tests:

Blood tests can confirm or rule out latent or active tuberculosis. These tests measure your immune system’s reaction to TB bacteria.

These tests require only one office visit. A blood test might be useful if you’re at high risk of TB infection but have a negative response to the skin test, or if you’ve recently received the BCG vaccine.

Imaging tests:

If you’ve had a positive skin test, your doctor is likely to order a chest X-ray or a CT scan. This might show white spots in your lungs where your immune system has walled off TB bacteria, or it might reveal changes in your lungs caused by active tuberculosis.

Sputum tests:

If your chest X-ray shows signs of tuberculosis, your doctor might take samples of your sputum — the mucus that comes up when you cough. The samples are tested for TB bacteria.

Sputum samples can also be used to test for drug-resistant strains of TB. This helps your doctor choose the medications that are most likely to work. Getting results of these tests can take four to eight weeks.


If you have latent TB, your doctor might recommend treatment with medication if you’re at high risk of developing active TB. For active tuberculosis, you must take antibiotics for at least six to nine months.

The exact drugs and length of treatment depend on your age, overall health, possible drug resistance and where the infection is in your body.

Most common TB drugs:

If you have latent tuberculosis, you might need to take only one or two types of TB drugs. Active tuberculosis, particularly if it’s a drug-resistant strain, will require several drugs at once. The most common medications used to treat tuberculosis include:

  • Isoniazid
  • Rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • Ethambutol (Myambutol)
  • Pyrazinamide

If you have drug-resistant TB, a combination of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones and injectable medications, such as amikacin or capreomycin (Capastat), are generally used for 20 to 30 months. Some types of TB are developing resistance to these medications as well.

Some drugs might be added to therapy to counter drug resistance, including:

  • Bedaquiline (Sirturo)
  • Linezolid (Zyvox)

Medication side effects:

Serious side effects of TB drugs aren’t common but can be dangerous when they do occur. All tuberculosis medications can be toxic to your liver. When taking these medications, call your doctor immediately if you have any of the following:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • A yellow color to your skin (jaundice)
  • Dark urine
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Blurred vision

Completing treatment is essential:

After a few weeks, you won’t be contagious and you might start to feel better. Don’t stop taking your TB drugs — you must finish the full course of therapy and take the medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

Stopping treatment too soon or skipping doses can allow the bacteria that are still alive to become resistant to those drugs, leading to TB that is much more dangerous and difficult to treat.

A program called directly observed therapy (DOT) can help people stick to their treatment regimen. A health care worker gives you your medication so that you don’t have to remember to take it on your own.

Read more…