Tuberculosis - Diagnosis

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Tuberculosis.
How was the diagnosis of your tuberculosis established?
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See what others are saying

Published: September 10

I started with tuberculosis symptoms 12 months before I was diagnosed. Night sweats and a cough were the first signs, then chest pain, fevers, sputum, weakness and weight loss. I had to go to my doctors on five occasions to be told that I had a chest infection, asthma and pleurisy. Eventually, a chest X-ray and blood were taken to discover it was tuberculosis (T.B.). By that time I was really ill and weak. I recall this as a nightmare. I then was taken to two drugs after a couple of months and my symptoms came back. I had to be isolated for nearly two months and given second-line drugs such as streptomycin injections. I had a six-drug therapy which made me feel sick all of the time. It was not nice. I panic every time I have an infection or a cough. I worry that it might be back to haunt me..

Published: December 27

My husband has just been diagnosed with TB. He has been coughing for 4 years, each time he went to the doctor he just got antibiotics for URTI's or meds for hay fever. He also had the itchy spots on his shins, attributed to contact dermatitis. Tiredness was attributed to low thyroid. His arms, legs and buttocks are wasted, but his abdomen is distended. He had pain in his side, X-rays diagnosed nothing. They put the cough down to smoking. Last year he had a pneumothorax and was treated by a cardiothoracic surgeon and a pulmonologist and put on asthma pumps. More X-rays taken and shadow was seen - put down to smoking again and cancer suggested but he did not want to go in for exploratory surgery. Two more bouts of chest pain, more X-rays, another thoracic specialist, no result. Sputum test negative. COPD and emphysema attributed to smoking. 2 weeks ago, another pnemothorax, more X-rays, a CT scan, thoracotomy and biopsy and 6 days later TB was diagnosed. I don't understand why it has taken so long and so many tests to diagnose this - I have lost all faith in the medical profession and feel like we've been taken for a ride so they can milk our medical insurance. .