Tuberculosis: When should one seek medical advice?

Updated at: Mar 16, 2012
Tuberculosis: When should one seek medical advice?

Tuberculosis Medical Advice - The symptoms of tuberculosis do not surface until it has advanced. Therefore, availing treatment before it is too late is advised.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Communicable DiseasesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Mar 02, 2012

Tuberculosis is a common infectious disease and according to current estimates, about one third of the world's population is currently infected with TB. It is a major cause of illness and death in the developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia. Many people with the disease have non-specific signs and symptoms.

Consult your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms suggestive of some significant medical problem:

  • Cough for a prolonged duration (more than 3 weeks)
  • Unexplained or unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue, general feeling of tiredness or malaise, which lasts for more than a few days
  • Prolonged or recurrent fever
  • Sweating at night (significant sweating while sleeping at night even if the weather is cold) and chills
  • Loss of appetite

These are some symptoms, which may be observed in tuberculosis. Having these symptoms does not mean that you have tuberculosis. Similar symptoms may be present in many other diseases. Your doctor can diagnose the cause of your symptoms and treat them accordingly.


>> Tuberculosis Symptoms, Tuberculosis Treatment, Tuberculosis Prevention <<


Consult a doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Blood in cough (hemoptysis)
  • Chest pain or pain while breathing or coughing
  • Blood in your urine (hematuria)
  • Symptoms of TB infection of brain such as headaches, a stiff neck, confusion, vomiting, an altered mental state, seizures and any other neurological signs and symptoms.


Who to consult

Health professionals, who can be consulted, if you think you have symptoms suggestive of TB:

  • General practitioner
  • Pediatrician
  • Family physician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Physician assistant


When to consult if you are diagnosed with TB

  • If you develop side effects associated with TB medications such as itching, change in color of skin, dark yellow urine, tiredness, visual changes or excessive fatigue. Your doctor will discuss with you the possible side effects of your medications. Call your doctor immediately if you notice any side effect of the medications you are taking.
  • If your symptoms do not improve after a few weeks of starting medication or worsen while you are on treatment.


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