Vasculitis, which is also referred to as arteritis or angiitis, is a condition that could affect anyone, and there are different types of vasculitis. According to echiropractor.org, it is a condition that causes the blood vessels in the body to be destroyed by inflammation. This inflammation in the blood vessels leads to changes in their walls, such as weakening, scarring, narrowing, or thickening, and that leads to a restriction in blood flow, which then results in damage to tissues and organs.
What Are the Causes of Vasculitis?
Experts are not entirely certain about what causes vasculitis. It could develop at any age and in any race or gender, but smoking could boost the risk of it occurring. Genetics may play a role in certain types of vasculitis, but other types may be the result of a person’s immune system accidentally attacking the blood vessels. This could occur as a result of an infection, such as hepatitis B or C, a disease of the immune system, such as lupus, scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis or blood cancer. And some people develop vasculitis after having an adverse reaction to medication. Regardless of what causes vasculitis, though, the blood vessels that are affected by it could become inflamed or bleed.
What Are the Symptoms of Vasculitis?
The symptoms that are associated with vasculitis will vary. Most types, however, will cause symptoms that include:
- Nerve related problems, such as weakness or numbness
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Aches and pains
What Are the Treatments of Vasculitis?
Your doctor will choose the appropriate strategy to treat vasculitis if you are diagnosed with it, as the treatment will depend upon the organs that are affected. For example, if vasculitis has resulted from an allergic reaction, your doctor may tell you to just wait for it to resolve on its own without any treatment. On the other hand, if your doctor realizes that organs like the kidneys, brain, or lungs are being adversely affected by the condition, he or she may recommend an aggressive treatment plan right away.
Typically, treatments could include corticosteroids, but chemotherapy could also be an option. Medications might include Cytoxin, methotrexate, Tocilizumab, and Actemra. Surgery, however, may be necessary if the vasculitis has caused an aneurysm or if the arteries have become blocked.
See Your Doctor for a Proper Diagnosis
This condition could be serious, and in extreme cases, the damage done to a blood vessel could even lead to an aneurysm and death. So, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of vasculitis, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated. Diagnosis could be achieved through blood tests, urine tests, imaging, and biopsy.
With a better understanding of what vasculitis is and how it can be treated, you can take greater control over your health. Be sure to get help if you or a loved one begins exhibiting symptoms so that you can prevent complications.