Cough with blood does not mean tuberculosis! - What could it be?

It is safe to say that no one does not fear the sudden appearance of blood with a cough. Especially in our movies and dramas, the way coughing and bleeding are equated with tuberculosis is terrible. How realistic is it?

Cough with blood does not mean tuberculosis

In 30 countries of the world, 221 out of every 100,000 people are affected by tuberculosis. Almost all of us know that tuberculosis is now a curable disease and the disease is curable with long-term treatment. I think the TB awareness campaign in Bangladesh has played an important role in this regard.

  • Blood with phlegm is not tuberculosis.
  • Pneumonia, bronchitis and other causes can also lead to blood from the phlegm.
  • About 20% of the time there is no reason for coughing up blood.
  • A doctor should be consulted if the cough persists for more than 3 weeks.
  • It is important to see a doctor and get a diagnosis without panicking.

Although the disease is curable, 187,000 people worldwide die from the disease, which is the 13th leading cause of death. In other words, you understand, that even if there is treatment, there is no question of neglecting tuberculosis.

How is tuberculosis (TB) spread?

How is tuberculosis spread

Tuberculosis is an airborne disease. Tuberculosis bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) from the sneezes and coughs of tuberculosis patients enter the lungs with the breath of healthy people and cause infection. However, entering the lungs will not cause tuberculosis.

Almost all TB infections begin in an inactive state. The immune system of our lungs prevents this infection but cannot destroy it. It can be seen that TB germs can remain dormant in the human body for years.

The most surprising fact is that approximately 2 billion people around the world have latent TB germs. 2 billion people say 1 quarter of the world's population! But in about 95% of cases, the disease remains dormant for a long time. After some people's TB germs go dormant, they never become active again.

When our body's immune system weakens due to some other disease or aging, TB germs reactivate causing cough, weakness, and other problems.

Tuberculosis bacteria infect our lung cells. To prevent the infection, the body's immune system creates a covering around the site of infection to inactivate the germs. This coating forms lumps which are detected by x-ray. Let's look at the symptoms of tuberculosis.

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Symptoms of Tuberculosis

Symptoms of TB can be divided into several stages. Let's know the details-

First symptoms of tuberculosis

  • Mild fever
  • Body weakness
  • Cough

Tuberculosis almost always goes dormant after the first exposure to the germs. No symptoms are seen in the dormant state. Although a latent TB patient can spread TB to 3-4 more people a year.

Symptoms of active tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can become active after the TB germs have been dormant for months to years. Active tuberculosis may begin with a cough and weakness and progress to severe disease within weeks. Below are the symptoms of active tuberculosis.

  • Cough
  • Blood with phlegm
  • Chest pain during shortness of breath or coughing
  • Sudden night sweats
  • Weakness
  • Mild fever
  • Physical disturbance

If the tuberculosis infection spreads outside the lungs

Tuberculosis germs can spread from the lungs through the bloodstream. There is virtually no organ where tuberculosis does not spread. It can cause infection in the liver, kidneys, bones and other vital parts of the body. Know the symptoms of this type of infection.

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Sudden night sweats
  • Feeling sick
  • Not getting the ball on the move

When to see a doctor for tuberculosis?

Doctor for tuberculosis

  • If you feel chest pain, weakness and confusion along with cough, you should consult a doctor.
  • An otolaryngologist may see a doctor if the cough and weakness persist for more than three weeks.
  • If the problem is serious, such as shortness of breath, or blood with sputum, a pulmonologist should be consulted.
  • The doctor will give the necessary test after knowing the symptoms.

The good thing is that there are enough Tuberculosis or TB testing centers in various parts of Bangladesh, where Tuberculosis test is done within Tk 500-600. Moreover, TB medicine and various treatments are given absolutely free. Tuberculosis is effectively cured by a 6-month course of medicine.

Despite this, the rate of tuberculosis infection and death in our country is increasing alarmingly. The situation is likely to take a turn for the worse, especially for drug-resistant TB.

Other reasons that can cause blood in the cough?

Not only tuberculosis but also some other diseases can cause blood in the cough. For example,

  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Lung infection

Although rarely seen, these actions can also be-

  • Lung cancer
  • Fibrosis
  • Cocaine abuse
  • Compression in the lymph nodes.
  • Artery injury etc.

For any physical problem, self-diagnosis is unwise. It can also cause anxiety and mental and physical problems.


Although cough is a common disease, it can be an early stage of other serious diseases including tuberculosis. So it is important to consult a doctor if you have a cough for more than three weeks. People with cough and their caregivers should use face masks. After all, if you are aware of your body and symptoms and seek medical attention in time, many diseases can be cured at the beginning.


Are all cases of cough blood related to tuberculosis?

No, blood can be coughed up for a variety of reasons, including infection and injury.

Can stress cause coughing up blood?

Although stress can exacerbate some health conditions, it is not a direct cause of coughing up blood.

How is tuberculosis diagnosed?

Diagnosis involves medical evaluation, imaging tests, and sometimes laboratory testing of sputum samples.

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