Patients with NTM infections often experience some or even all of the following:
1. Cough - This may be persistent or periodic and may be productive or non-productive (meaning you may or may not cough out sputum). Lung disease may cause you to cough up blood. If you cough up blood, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible. If you are coughing very large amounts of blood (a cupful or more within a 24 hours period), contact your doctor and seek emergency help immediately. If you are coughing a small amount of blood (less than several tablespoonfuls within a 24 hour period), call your doctor as soon as possible. Any time you cough up blood, it is essential to remain calm and still to minimize the amount of blood you cough.
2. Night Sweats, Fever - You may experience some low-grade fever rather than the high and debilitating fever usually associated with flu or other illness. It is common that the sensation of feverishness and sweating is more prominent or only experienced at night.
3. Loss of Weight and Loss of Appetite - It is not uncommon to lose weight and therefore it is important to be aware of weight changes. Please consult with your doctor and/or a nutritionist to determine how to modify and augment your diet. It is vital that you get enough calories to maintain your weight at an ideal level, as this helps your body fight the illness and keep up your strength. The mycobacteria may compete with your body for calories.
4. Lack of Energy - Many patients note a variable but often profound feeling of fatigue.