Tuberculosis Symptoms, Transmission, and Diagnosis

What are some typical tuberculosis symptoms?

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease which mainly affects the lungs, but can also attack the spine, brain, alimentary canal, kidneys and other parts of the human anatomy. The signs and symptoms very much depends on the organ that is affected.

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A note about Tuberculosis Symptoms, Transmission, and Diagnosis

In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.

In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis –

  • Tuberculosis of the lungs may exist without symptoms in the early stages, but can be detected via chest x-ray on a routine examination. Tuberculosis of the lungs is often accompanied by symptoms like fever, fatigue, and sputum production, blood in sputum, weight loss and loss of appetite. Sputum is matter which is expectorated from one’s respiratory tract, mixed with saliva, and can be spat from one’s mouth. Examples are mucus and phlegm.
  • Glandular tuberculosis symptoms may manifest as swelling of the glands in the neck, fever, and is known as lymph node tuberculosis.
  • Tuberculosis of the spine is accompanied by symptoms of back pain, deformity of spine and weakness in the lower limbs. These are tuberculosis symptoms which one may not realize are caused by this disease.
  • Tuberculosis meningitis manifests signs of fever, headache, vomiting and drowsiness.
  • Tuberculosis arthritis manifests with symptoms of joint pain and joint swelling.
  • Genitourinary tuberculosis symptoms include flank pain and infertility.

    Transmission of Tuberculosis

    Air is the carrier of this disease and normally this happens when an infected person, an active carrier of TB of the lungs, sneezes or coughs, thereby passing on the bacteria to a healthy person, who may get infected.

    The tubercle bacilli reach the terminal air spaces in the lungs, if the hosts’ immune system is not strong. Here, the bacilli multiply but may be controlled in the lungs by the body's white blood cells.

    Sometimes, infected white cells carry the bacteria to the lymph nodes and from there to the blood stream. This can lead to manifestation of disease in other parts of the body.

    Is Tuberculosis Contagious?

    Is tuberculosis contagious? Yes, but also no. While tuberculosis of the lungs and throat is infectious, tuberculosis of the kidney or spine is not infectious.

    Also, there is a difference between latent tuberculosis and active tuberculosis, which are two main forms of the disease. Latent tuberculosis is not contagious because it has not yet become a full blown infection.

    Active tuberculosis, on the other hand, is the stage of TB which is very contagious and persons with this form of the disease can spread it to other people who are nearby. Persons with active TB thus must be isolated.

    If a person’s immune system is weak, latent tuberculosis could turn into active tuberculosis. This commonly takes place among AIDS patients, whose immunity have been compromised and are not strong enough to fight the infection.

    Generally, the spread of disease and transmission of tuberculosis happens when infected persons spend time with family, friends and others in their environment.

    Tuberculosis Diagnosis

    When the typical tuberculosis symptoms are present, the contraction of the disease can be confirmed via a formal diagnosis. Here are some pointers of tuberculosis diagnosis.

  • The diagnosis and determination of extent of the disease is mainly done via a chest x-ray.
  • Staining or culture of the sputum sample can confirm the presence of pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • The Mantoux test (also called the tuberculin test) provides information about exposure to the bacillus, but is not used to diagnose the presence of active disease. Conversely, a negative tuberculin test is not conclusive evidence about the absence of disease.
  • When sputum sample does not give evidence of presence of tuberculosis bacillus, a bronchoscopic examination will provide clarity.
  • Histopathology (where affected tissue is microscopically examined) is also one of the methods of diagnosis as it will show evidence of TB such as caseating granuloma if the disease is present.

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