Have you heard of the condition Vasculitis? Well, if not, then you must read this article! This will not juonly give you some insights about the condition, it also tell you about the different causes, symptoms and treatments for Vasculitis. Read on to know more!
Vasculitis: What is This Condition?
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This condition is characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels. In individuals with this condition, inflammation damages the lining of the affected blood vessels by causing them to narrow and forming blood clots. As a result, there is restricted oxygen supply to various tissues, potentially resulting in tissue damage, pain and, in some cases, the malfunction of some affected organs.
Vasculitis may affect the veins and various arteries. It can affect either a single organ or multiple organs and tissues throughout the body. It can also be a primary disease or a symptom associate with another underlying condition. Therefore, the range and severity of the symptoms may differ significantly depending on the actual condition.
The original cause of the condition is not wholly understood. However, in most cases, it is believed to be caused by disturbances of the body’s immune system.
Types of Vasculitis
The following are the different types of Vasculitis:
- Takayasu’s arteritis
- Kawasaki disease
- Henoch-Schonlein purpura
- Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
- Giant cell arteritis
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
- Buerger’s disease
- Behcet’s disease
Causes of Vasculitis
In most cases, the cause of the condition is not known. However, in a few cases, the cause can be traced to ongoing or recent infections, such as those that caused by viruses. Sometimes, there may be an allergic reaction to a medication which triggers the condition. Vasculitis may also sometimes develop after a certain infection comes and goes. Usually, in these particular cases, the infection may trigger an abnormal response in a person’s immune system, thus causing damage to the blood vessels. The condition may also be connected with other immune system illnesses, particular those suffered chronically. For an instance, it may be a complication of lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome or rheumatoid arthritis.
Symptoms of Vasculitis
The symptoms of the condition vary greatly, but they are often connected to reduced blood flow throughout the body. Here are some of the general symptoms of all types of Vasculitis:
- Nerve conditions, like weakness or numbness
- Night Sweats
- General pains or aches
- Weight loss
- A headache
Risk Factors for Vasculitis
Vasculitis occurs across all races, sexes or ages. However, there are some factors that may increase your risk:
- Having various types of other conditions, such as lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis
- Having chronic hepatitis C or hepatitis B infections
The complications of Vasculitis may depend on the severity and type of condition. Here are some of its possible complications:
- Infections: these actually include serious and lethal conditions like sepsis and pneumonia
- Blindness or vision loss: this complication is possible when giant cell arteritis is not treated
- Blood clots and aneurysms: a blood clot may form in the blood vessel, obstructing blood flow
- Organ damage: there are more severe types of the condition which may cause damage to major organs
Treatments for Vasculitis
The treatment for Vasculitis focuses on controlling the inflammation through the use of medications and resolving any causal disease which may be triggering the condition. You may also undergo two-phase treatment. The first phase is the stopping the inflammation, and the second one is preventing relapse. Both of these phases may involve the use of prescription drugs.
What kind of drugs you take and how long you need to take them depends on the type of Vasculitis you have, the severity of it and the organs that are involved. There are some people who have initial success with the treatment, then experience some flare-ups after. Some may also never see their condition completely vanish and need ongoing treatment for it.
Here are some tips that may be of a great help to you:
- Maintain a strong support system
- Exercise most days of the week
- Get routine vaccinations
- Choose a healthy diet
- Follow your own treatment plan
- Understand your condition
With proper care, attention and treatment, the condition will vanish and you will be able to go back to your healthy life again!