What is Blastomycosis and Symptoms?
Blastomycosis, also known as Gilchrist’s disease, is an infection caused by the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. It most commonly occurs in the lungs, but can affect the skin, bones, and other organs. Once contracted, symptoms of blastomycosis often take a few weeks or even months to appear. Common symptoms associated with the infection include chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, fatigue, fever, and chills. Some people may also experience joint pain, skin lesions, and swelling of the lymph nodes. It is important to note that blastomycosis can be easily misdiagnosed, as the symptoms are common with many other illnesses.
How is Blastomycosis Diagnosed?
Given that the symptoms of blastomycosis can be similar to other infections or illnesses, a physician will typically perform a number of tests to confirm the diagnosis. Tests commonly used for diagnosing blastomycosis include chest x-rays, CT scans, and sputum or tissue cultures. In some cases, a dermatologic evaluation or a skin biopsy may be conducted. The diagnosis will usually be made based on the physical symptoms, medical history, and laboratory analysis.
Treating Blastomycosis and Health
Once blastomycosis is diagnosed, it is important to seek medical treatment right away to reduce the risk of complications. Treatment typically consists of antifungal medications, such as itraconazole or fluconazole. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove any damaged tissue or underlying infection. Along with medications, lifestyle and dietary changes may be beneficial. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding contact with contaminated soils can help reduce the risk of recurrence.
Blastomycosis is a serious infection that can cause a number of severe symptoms, such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, and chills. A diagnosis is typically made based on a physical examination and laboratory testing. It is important to seek prompt medical treatment to reduce the risk of complications and recurrence. Eating a balanced diet and avoiding contact with contaminated soils can help prevent the infection from worsening.