12 Signs of Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a disease that attacks the lungs, but it can spread to the brain and spine if left untreated. The bacteria that causes tuberculosis is called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. While it’s a contagious disease, it tends to be difficult to catch unless you spend a lot of time around someone who is already infected. When an infected person sneezes, coughs, or even just talks, tiny droplets with the bacteria are sent through the air. If you breathe in these droplets, you risk infection. The disease can’t last on surfaces, so you can’t get the disease by using the same door handle or shaking hands with an infected person.

Tuberculosis comes in two types. Latent tuberculosis is one kind. This is where you have the disease, but it is inactive. You do not show symptoms, and it’s not contagious. Active tuberculosis is when the you become sick from the disease and experience symptoms. It’s possible to spread the bacteria when you have active tuberculosis. The following are a list of signs and symptoms you might experience with tuberculosis. If you think you have tuberculosis, it’s important for you to contact your doctor to be properly tested and receive adequate treatment.

1. Chest Pain

When you contract TB the bacteria tends to attacks the lungs first. Once in the lungs it will begin replicating itself. It creates hardened lumps in the lungs called tubercles that cause inflammation. These tubercles eventually collapse and leave holes and fluid in the lungs. This will continue and spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. This process causes a lot of pain especially in the advanced stages. The type of pain you experience can vary. You may feel a burning sensation. It could be a feeling of tightness or a heaviness like there’s a weight on your chest. It’s possible for the pain to materialize as a general ache in the chest. In severe cases, one of your lungs may collapse. If this happens, you will experience a sharp, stabbing pain that gets worse when you breathe, especially during deep inhales.

Chest pain is most often a sign of serious underlying health issues. Even if you don’t experience other symptoms on this list, you should consider contacting your doctor if you experience severe or ongoing chest pain. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your chest pain and offer a viable treatment plan.