What Are the Symptoms of TB?


Quick Answer

Symptoms of tuberculosis include a loss of appetite, unplanned weight loss, coughing for three or more weeks or chest pain when coughing or breathing, according to Mayo Clinic. Some people with tuberculosis may experience fatigue, chills, fever and night sweats. TB may cause some people to cough up blood.

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Other symptoms are possible depending on which part of the body is affected by tuberculosis, notes Mayo Clinic. Kidney TB may cause bloody urine, and tuberculosis in the spinal may cause back pain. It is important to seek medical attention if unusual weight loss, fever, night sweats or a consistent cough occur, as these symptoms may be related to an underlying condition as well as tuberculosis, and tests may be necessary.

Tuberculosis can cause health complications, including death, if left untreated, states Mayo Clinic. Untreated tuberculosis usually causes complications in the lungs. Other possible complications include back pain or stiffness and arthritis in the knees or hips.

Some people with TB may experience potentially fatal heart problems due to inflammation or collected fluid in the tissues surrounding the heart, according to Mayo Clinic. TB may cause the membranes that cover the brain to swell, which can cause mental problems and persistent headaches. Tuberculosis can impair liver and kidney function, causing impurities and waste to enter the bloodstream.

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