Vasculitis is an inflammatory condition that attacks your blood vessels. It may cause:
Because these restrict blood flow, vasculitis can damage your organs and tissues.
Depending on the type of vasculitis you have, it can impact anywhere from one organ to many. Sometimes the condition is short-term, and other times it becomes chronic.
When you have vasculitis, you may experience other symptoms, including:
In severe cases, you may even lose your pulse in your extremities.
There are various types of vasculitis, some that impact different areas. Most types of vasculitis are rare, and include:
Behcet’s syndrome attacks your arteries and veins and includes symptoms like mouth and genital ulcers, eye inflammation, and skin lesions.
Buerger’s disease causes inflammation and clots in blood vessels of the hands and feet. It’s often associated with cigarette smoking and can lead to ulcers on the fingers and toes.
Symptoms of cryoglobulinemia include rash, joint pain, weakness, and numbness. It’s normally seen with hepatitis C infections and is the result of abnormal proteins in the blood.
Giant cell arteritis:
Giant cell arteritis is an inflammation of the arteries in your head, particularly around the temples. Its symptoms include headaches, scalp tenderness, and jaw pain. It can lead to blindness.
The treatment for vasculitis is two-fold. First, you must reduce inflammation and eliminate symptoms. Once that occurs, your rheumatologist focuses on preventing relapse.
Rheumatologists often recommend corticosteroids for inflammation reduction. You may start on a certain dosage and then have it lowered as symptoms decrease. Your rheumatologist may give you the lowest dose possible while keeping your symptoms manageable.
In some situations, Dr. Nathaniel or Dr. Rebekah may suggest an immunosuppressant medication. By decreasing the immune system’s functioning, inflammation in your blood vessels subsides. These medications may have complicated side effects, increase your risk of cancer, and are used as a last resort.
If you’ve been diagnosed with vasculitis and are looking for a rheumatologist who has experience with the disease, contact Valerius Medical Group & Research Center today. Call to schedule your appointment or book your consultation online.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!