Abdominal Tuberculosis: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Abdominal Tuberculosis: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

Abdominal Tuberculosis (TB) takes a toll on the gastrointestinal system of the body and impacts the peritoneum, the abdominal lymph nodes and sometimes the intestine itself or rarely, in some cases, abdominal TB can affect the kidney, liver and pancreas. Abdominal Tuberculosis can be seen in both adults and children and can be dangerous for people as it can lead to complications such as acute obstruction of bowel or rupture of the bowel which in some cases also may be life-threatening for people.


In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Aniket Mule, consultant internal medicine at Wockhardt Hospitals on Mira Road, shared, “The main cause of Abdominal Tuberculosis can be the ingestion of germs of tuberculosis. Are you aware? Tuberculosis from the lungs can spread to the abdominal area leading to Abdominal Tuberculosis. It can give a tough time to one’s overall well-being. It will interfere with one’s ability to do the daily chores with ease.”


Taking about the symptoms of abdominal TB that one should not ignore, Dr Aniket Mule said, “If you are detected with abdominal TB then there can be symptoms such as unintentional loss of weight and persistent abdominal pain along with abdominal distention as well, constipation or some times loose motion with or without bleeding which do not respond to routine medication.”

He added, “Other red flags that one should watch out for are worrisome abdominal pain that will steal one’s peace of mind, fever, diarrhoea, anorexia, and even weight loss. One may also feel like there is a lump in the abdomen. Once you notice any abnormal symptoms of this type of TB then seek immediate medical attention without any further delay.”


According to Dr Aniket Mule – ultrasound, endoscopy and biopsy or examination of peritoneal fluid can be helpful in confirming the diagnosis of Abdominal Tuberculosis. He revealed, “With the help of these tests, the tuberculosis germ can be isolated from the digestive system to get the diagnosis of Abdominal Tuberculosis. Moreover, abdominal x-rays and ultrasound, and CT scans of the abdomen may also be carried out to spot the changes in the abdominal area seen due to tuberculosis germ.”


Dr Aniket Mule explained, “The doctor will decide an appropriate line of treatment for you based on the symptoms. One detected with abdominal TB will be administered anti-tuberculosis medications. Take it as per the advice of the doctor. The patient will be treated for around a year until he/she is free from the tuberculosis germ and bounces back from abdominal TB. Abdominal TB can lead to acute complications like abdominal obstruction or perforation or chronic complications like significant weight loss, anemia, or secondary infections if not treated at the right time. Thus, timely treatment is the need of the hour to stay healthy and improve the quality of life. Neglecting this condition can land you in trouble. Be vigilant about your health.”

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