Do you have a cough that is lasting for more than 3 weeks? Do you experience chest pain? You might be showing signs of tuberculosis! It is a life-threatening disease, it can lead to kidney problems, heart disorders etc. To treat it, you should know its symptoms. What are the symptoms? Read on…
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is spread when a healthy person breathes the droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze. It is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and it mainly affects the lungs.
Generally even though the virus enters the lungs it will be in inactive form. Hence the person won’t show any symptoms. When the person’s immune system gets weakened, the bacteria will get active and the person will show symptoms.
According to World Health Organisation, in 2013, tuberculosis affected 9 million people out of which 1.5 people died. A person with HIV is 26 to 31 times more likely to get infected with active tuberculosis.
What are the symptoms?
A person with active tuberculosis will show the following symptoms:
- Cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks
- Cough with yellow or green mucus
- Cough with blood in mucus
- Extreme tiredness
- Unexpected weight loss
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Pain in back or kidneys
What increases the risk?
The tuberculosis virus becomes active when the person develops weak immune system. The following conditions can weaken the immune system:
- Certain cancers
- End-stage kidney disease
- Drugs to prevent the rejection of a transplanted organ
- Certain drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and psoriasis
Malnutrition can also cause tuberculosis. People living in Sub-Saharan Africa, India, China, Russia and Pakistan are more likely to get infected by tuberculosis.
The other factors are:
- People who have recently migrated to the United States
- Alcohol abuse
- Tobacco use
- Regular contact with ill people
- People who live or work in prisons, nursing homes
- People living in crowded, unsanitary conditions
When left untreated tuberculosis can lead to spinal pain, joint damage, liver problems, kidney problems, heart disorders etc. It can also lead to swelling of the membranes that cover the brain. Hence if you experience any of the symptoms of tuberculosis, consult a family practice doctor online at eVaidya now!
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