Tuberculosis - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Pakistan bears a huge load of tuberculosis. According to an estimate, almost 510,000 people are diagnosed with it each year in the country. Moreover, 15000 of them turn into multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, making it more difficult to treat. 

Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection that mostly attacks your lungs. However, it can attack other parts of your body too. It is a contagious disease that spreads through respiratory droplets. 

Tuberculosis, if left untreated, can become life-threatening. Moreover, there are higher chances of recovery from it as antibiotics can help in getting rid of it. The essential factor in tuberculosis treatment depends upon how compliant you are with the regimen. If you leave the drugs in the middle of the treatment, or if you do not take the right dose of the drug, or if you are doing self-medication with tuberculosis drugs, you may get multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis. It means it will become more difficult to treat. Furthermore, if you transmit it to someone else, it would be the same strain, a multidrug-resistant one- kind of bacteria hard to get rid of. It does not respond well to antibiotics. Therefore, you must follow your healthcare provider's advice if you have tuberculosis or any other disease. 

What Causes Tuberculosis?

Inhaling a bacteria known as mycobacterium tuberculosis causes tuberculosis. You can get it if you are exposed to someone having it. The tuberculosis of the lungs is contagious, while those of other organs are not. Sometimes, you may have it in your body without any symptoms. The one, which remains silent is not transmitted from one person to another- known as latent tuberculosis.

Risk Factors

  • The risk factors for tuberculosis are as follows.

  • Being infected with it in the last 2 to 5 years

  • A weak immune system due to long-term medication intake like corticosteroids or diseases like cancer or AIDS.

  • Young children and old age

  • Injecting recreational drugs

  • People who do not get the right treatment for it earlier.

Signs and Symptoms 

The signs and symptoms of lung tuberculosis are as follows. 

  • Chest pain 

  • Cough that lasts for at least three weeks

  • Blood in sputum 

  • Night sweats 

  • Weight loss

  • Appetite loss

  • Swelling in neck

  • Difficulty in breathing

  • Fever

  • Fatigue 

Tuberculosis that infects other organs of the body may show the following signs and symptoms.

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Joints pain 

  • Abdominal pain 

  • Seizures 

  • Confusion 

  • Headache


There are two types of tuberculosis, active and latent. 

Active Tuberculosis

When your body can not get rid of Mycobacterium tuberculosis on its own and it starts showing the signs and symptoms, the type is known as active tuberculosis. At this state, you can transmit it to someone else as well. Active tuberculosis needs prompt treatment. If not given, it can lead to death.

Latent Tuberculosis 

When your body catches mycobacterium tuberculosis and does not show any symptoms, that type is known as latent tuberculosis. At this stage, you cannot pass it on to other people. Also, you may not know that you are infected if you have latent tuberculosis. However, latent also needs treatment, and it can turn into active anytime.


Your healthcare provider will prescribe you antibiotics for at least six to nine months for the treatment of tuberculosis. Do not leave the regimen in between when symptoms start to get better. If you do that, it can result in multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. Also, do not miss the dose. Since antibiotics are the mainstream treatment for tuberculosis, if not taken properly, your body can become resistant to them, making it difficult to treat. If you are unable to comply with the treatment, you must tell your healthcare provider about it. 


Tuberculosis is a contagious but treatable condition. If someone near you has lung tuberculosis, you must isolate them to avoid its transmission. Moreover, if you have a complaint of fever, headache, persistent cough, or blood in sputum, do not delay your visit to the pulmonologist. Early detection of the condition makes it easier to treat. 

Doctors For Tuberculosis

Dr. Syed Azfer Husain


35 Years

Dr. Mateen Ahmed Khan


12 Years

Dr. Abdul Wahab Gureja


12 Years

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmad Piracha


35 Years

Dr. Aamir Hassan


30 Years

Dr. Shazli Manzoor


21 Years

Dr. Abdul Razzaq Warraich


19 Years

Dr. Muhammad Tayyab Ahmed


18 Years

Dr. Mirza Ayub Baig


16 Years

Doctors for Tuberculosis in Different Cities