Other or Different Types of Tuberculosis?


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When people including doctors are writing about tuberculosis they usually begin: “Tuberculosis is spread by………” or “Tuberculosis symptoms are……..”. This is wrong. Most people are usually speaking of ONE type of tuberculosis in fact PULMONARY (Lung) TUBERCULOSIS.
It is easier to think of tuberculosis in a similar way to cancer. Tuberculosis like cancer can affect ANY part of the body.
For the uninitiated there are many types of tuberculosis and many diseases related to tb that are called tuberculosis.

Parts of the body infected by tuberculosis include:

Tuberculosis meningitis: Brain
This is caused by the spread of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to the brain,
from another site in the body. The symptoms usually begin gradually.

Genitourinary TB: see also uterus tb below
In men, genital TB may present as epididymitis or a scrotal mass.
In women, genital Tb may mimic pelvic inflammatory disease.
This type of TB causes approximately 10% of sterility in women worldwide and approximately 1% in industrialized countries.

Gastrointestinal TB:
Any site along the gastrointestinal tract may become infected.

Tuberculosis lymphadenitis (scrofula): Lymph
The most common site is in the neck along the sternocleidomastoid muscle. It usually is unilateral. It usually is unilateral, with little or no pain. Advanced disease may suppurate and form a draining sinus.

Cutaneous TB: TB of the skin
Several different types of cutaneous TB exist.
Direct infection of the skin or mucous membranes from an outside source of
mycobacteria results in an initial lesion called the tuberculous chancre

Uterus Ovarian TB:
Female genital organs are one of the common sites to be involved in women.
It is a chronic disease and bacteria may remain for long time
slowly destroying the organs. The disease may remain totally symptomless or may lead to pelvic pain,
Infertility may be caused even by early or minimal disease.

Osteo-articular Skeletal – Bone – Joint TB:
The most common site of a involvement is the spine “Potts diseases.
Symptoms include back pain or stiffness. Lower extremity paralysis occurs
in as many as half the patients with undiagnosed Potts disease
Tuberculous arthritis usually involves only 1 joint.
Although any point may be involved, the hip of the knee is affected most commonly, followed by the ankle, elbow, wrist, hip or the knee is affected most commonly, followed by the ankle, elbow wrist and shoulder.

Other types of tuberculosis
Below is a listing of some infections that are not actually tuberculosis but caused by a bacteria related to it. (Note the term mycobacterium). And yet they are still called tuberculosis or Environmental tuberculosis, or Atypical Tuberculosis. The proper name for these infections is actually NTM- “Non tuberculosis mycobacterium”

  • Mycobacterium Avium-Intracellulare
  • Mycobacterium Chelonae
  • Mycobacterium Fortuitum
  • Mycobacterium Gordonae
  • Mycobacterium Haemophilum
  • Mycobacterium Kansasii
  • Mycobacterium Marinum
  • Mycobacterium Xenopi

I write this because too many people including doctors use the word tuberculosis as a coverall word. When I was diagnosed with tuberculosis I was told it was a “special type” of tuberculosis, and then told it was a “different type” of tuberculosis when in fact I had been diagnosed with Mycobacterium Chelonei which is NOT actually tuberculosis.

For the record I later found out I had been misdiagnosed!