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What are the symptoms of intestinal tuberculosis?

Answered by: Dr Venk Mani

Consultant Gastro-enterologist Physician, Leigh Infirmary, England

Q. My 27 years old friend has been suffering from low appetite and weight loss. After undergoing tests, he has been diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) in the small intestine. The doctor has said that he has to take a 6 months course, following which he will be fine. Are weight loss, low appetite and indigestion symptoms for this disease? Is it curable?

A.  The symptoms in the beginning of the infection can be very non-specific and vague, but continues. Tiredness, weight loss and lack of appetite are the early symptoms of the infection and can precede bowel symptoms by several months. Once diagnosed, the treatment should continue for at least six months and your friend should follow his/her specialist's advice. The outlook is good and complete cure obtained with appropriate and complete therapy. After treatment further follow up by a specialist is needed to ensure that the illness has not left behind any rare complication like small bowel stricture.

A.  The symptoms in the beginning of the infection can be very non-specific and vague, but continues. Tiredness, weight loss and lack of appetite are the early symptoms of the infection and can precede bowel symptoms by several months. Once diagnosed, the treatment should continue for at least six months and your friend should follow his/her specialist's advice. The outlook is good and complete cure obtained with appropriate and complete therapy. After treatment further follow up by a specialist is needed to ensure that the illness has not left behind any rare complication like small bowel stricture.

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