What is Vasculitis?
Vasculitis is also referred to as arthritis or angiitis. It results in inflammation in the blood vessels. It makes the blood vessels narrower, bigger, stretched, or weak. Certain vasculitis types distress blood vessels that supply or go to specific organs such as brains, eyes, or skin. Certain types may involve several organ systems within the same time. Some forms of Vasculitis remain mild and do not require treatment. However, some forms would be severe.
Some kinds need medications to prevent flare-ups and control the inflammation. Vasculitis can be long term or chronic and short term or acute.
Symptoms and signs of Vasculitis differ according to the affected blood vessels and the damaged organs. Some of the most common Vasculitis symptoms are as follows:
- Weakness and numbness
- Muscle pain
- Joint pain
- Loss of appetite, weight loss
These are symptoms and signs of particular Vasculitis conditions:
- Buerger’s disease: Initial symptoms of Buerger’s disease mostly consists of pain in the hands and feet during exercise because of insufficient blood flow. The pain may also exist while being at rest. An individual with Buerger’s disease would also experience symptoms such as gangrene of toes and fingers, feet, hand, toes, and fingers get white in cold, tingling, and numbness in the arms and legs and affected areas remain extremely painful.
- Kawasaki disease: Symptoms and signs include soreness of the eyes, rash, and fever.
- Microscopic polyangiitis: As it disturbs small blood vessels in the nerves, lungs, and kidneys, the individual may develop muscle pain, fever, rash, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Who is at Risk?
Vasculitis affects individuals of any age group, race, or sex. Risk factors depend on the type of vasculitis- primary or secondary.
Factors that improve the risk of secondary vasculitis are as follows:
- Having certain kinds of autoimmune conditions including lupus, scleroderma, or rheumatoid arthritis.
- Having chronic hepatitis C or B infections
- History of blood cancer like lymphoma or leukemia
Some of the risk influences for primary vasculitis include family history or inherited condition of vasculitis. But not all people with a family history have chances for vasculitis. If you have a family history and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to discuss it with your physician.
Doctors do not know the exact reason for vasculitis. Certain kinds are associated with the individual’s family history or genetic makeup. Some vasculitis results when the immune system does not respond to an infection, resulting in damage to blood vessels. Vasculitis cause is also connected to the allergic response to a medication. It may be connected to immune system ailments that you have been having for years or months like Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.
Possible causes for immune system response include:
- Blood cancers
- Hepatitis C and Hepatitis B Infections
- Allergic reactions
- Certain immune system disorders
When blood vessels get affected due to vasculitis, they get inflamed.
How is Vasculitis Diagnosed?
The doctor would perform a complete physical exam and enquire about medical history. He/she may even recommend tests to rule out possible conditions or diagnose inflammation. Vasculitis diagnosis would include:
- Biopsy: The physician would obtain a tissue sample from the individual’s organ or vessel. Then, he/she would look for signs of damage or inflammation.
- Blood tests: Certain kinds of antibodies or blood cells can be symptoms of vasculitis.
- Imaging tests: Ultrasounds, PET scans, CT scans, MRI scans, and X-rays display inflammation in the organs and blood vessels.
- Urine tests: It is recommended as part of the vasculitis test to determine kidney status.
How is Vasculitis Treated?
In most cases, vasculitis treatment is planned according to the affected organs or what is causing vasculitis. It has chances to disappear on its own especially when it is caused due to an allergic reaction. It is important to take immediate treatment if important organs like your kidneys, brain, or lungs are involved. Also, the physician would keenly observe for side effects such as bone problems, high blood sugar, and high blood pressure. A physician would treat you with the right vasculitis medicine. Get a consultation from our expert doctors at Cure.fit to get world-class treatment.
How can Vasculitis be Prevented?
There are no specific prevention measures for vasculitis as most of the vasculitis types are auto-immune. It means the immune system of the body itself attacks the blood vessels. However, certain kinds associated with allergic reactions and infections can be barred by avoiding the allergic agent or preventing the infection.
As vasculitis is an inflammatory condition, ensure to consume anti-inflammatory foods. It not only helps in vasculitis prevention but also reduces the chances of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Remember, there is no assurance that anti-inflammatory foods completely assist, but surely it cannot hurt. Physicians suggest to consume whole grains, ditch processed sugar, and select the right fats along with suggesting vasculitis cure.