Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries). These vessels carry blood to and from the heart and the body’s organs.
In severe cases, the condition can cause organ damage or death.
Types of vasculitis are grouped according to the size of the blood vessels affected. Most types of vasculitis are rare and include:
Vasculitis symptoms may occur once or several times over several years. The disease affects people of all ages, races and gender. Local Rheumatologist
Vasculitis occurs when the immune system mistakenly sees blood vessels as a foreign invader and attacks them. What causes this to happen isn’t fully understood. These conditions can occur by themselves or with other rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE/ lupus) or Sjogrens syndrome. Other possible triggers include an infection (hepatitis B or C) or a medication side effect. Vasculitis also may be linked to certain blood cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Treatment for vasculitis depends on the type of vasculitis, which organs are affected and the severity of the condition. The main goal of treating vasculitis is to reduce inflammation in the affected blood vessels. People who have severe vasculitis are treated with prescription medicines. People who have mild vasculitis may find relief with over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medicines, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.
Common prescription medicines used to treat vasculitis include corticosteroids and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Corticosteroids such as prednisone, prednisolone and methylprednisolone, help reduce inflammation in the blood vessels. Doctors may prescribe disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, such as azathioprine, methotrexate and cyclophosphamide, if vasculitis is severe or if corticosteroids don’t work well. These drugs attack the source of inflammation Local Rheumatologist
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of vasculitis vary and can range from mild to life-threatening. They depend on the type of vasculitis, the organs involved and how severe the condition is. Some people may have few signs and symptoms. Other people may become very sick. Sometimes symptoms develop slowly, over months, while at other times, the signs and symptoms start quickly, over days or weeks.
Common symptoms include:
Vasculitis can affect organs and body systems, causing a range of signs and symptoms including:
In severe cases, vasculitis can cause blood vessels to close off, so blood can’t flow through or they bulge and possibly burst (aneurysm). Local Rheumatologist
If you feel you have this condition and have symptoms that suggest the possibility that polymyalgia rheumatica may be a disorder affecting you, the most important thing is to seek medical attention with your primary care physician.
He or she will run a number of tests, as well as interview you and see whether this may be relevant to your case. Most patients with polymyalgia rheumatica will be referred to a specialist thereafter. Now Health Network
In treating rheumatoid arthritis with the biosimilars, you want to make sure you check with your rheumatologist, and perhaps your pharmacist, to make sure it’s the right medication for you.
What investigations are needed to diagnose the disease?
Vasculitis is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms, medical history, a physical exam and test results.
Other possible tests and examinations the doctor may perform will depend on the symptoms and may include: