What Is Vasculitis?

The disease is also known as angitis or arteritis can attack people of various ages and can attack one or more human organs. Some complications that can be attacked by vasculitis are:
  • Blood clots and aneurysm. Blood clots that can block blood flow.
  • Infection, including life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia and sepsis.
  • Organ damage. If it develops severe, vasculitis can cause damage to the vital organs of the human body.
  • Impaired vision. If not treated immediately, vasculitis can even cause blindness.

Symptoms of Vasculitis
Symptoms are something that is felt and told by the sufferer. Symptoms of vasculitis vary widely and are usually associated with reduced blood flow to the body. Symptoms of vasculitis commonly felt by the sufferer are:
  • Pain-stiff.
  • Sweating at night.
  • Fatigue.
  • The appearance of the rash.
  • Fever.
  • Loss of pulse in the legs of the body.
  • Neurological disorders, such as numbness or weakness.
  • Weight loss.
  • Headache.
Other symptoms associated with more specific types of vasculitis are:
  • Behcet's Syndrome: Inflammation of the eye; ulcers in the mouth and genitals; acne-like lesions on the skin. These symptoms are caused by inflammation of the arteries and veins.
  • Buerger's disease: Pain in the hands, arms, legs, and the appearance of ulcers on the fingers and toes. The disease is characterized by inflammation and blockage of blood vessels of the hands and feet.
  • Cryoglobulinemia: Rash, joint pain, weakness, numbness and tingling sensation due to the presence of abnormal proteins in the bloodstream.
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome : asthma, nerve pain, and sinus changes and often affects renal function.
  • Giant cell arthritis: Headache, scalp pain, jaw pain, visual impairment, even blindness. The disease is caused by swelling of the arteries in the head.
  • Granulomatosis wegener: Nasal congestion, sinus infections, and nosebleeds.
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura: abdominal pain, blood in the urine, joint pain, and rash on the buttocks or lower legs. Usually caused by the swelling of capillary blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines, and kidneys.
  • Hypersensitive Vasculitis: A red spot on the skin, usually appearing on the lower leg.
  • Kawasaki's disease: Fever, rash, and eye inflammation.
  • Microscopic Polyhythritis: Abdominal pain, rash, coughing up blood.
  • Poliarteritis Nodosa: Rash, muscle and joint pain, abdominal pain, high blood pressure or hypertension, and renal impairment.
  • Takayasu arteritis: Numbness, cold in the hands and feet, loss of pulse, high blood pressure or hypertension, headache, and vision changes.
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Causes of Vasculitis
The cause of vasculitis remains unknown until now. Some types of vasculitis have something to do with heredity. While other types of vasculitis is a result of immune system errors that attack blood vessel cells.
Some of the factors that can trigger the wrong reaction of the immune system are:
  • The body's reaction to certain drugs.
  • Infections, such as hepatitis B and hipatitis C.
  • Autoimmune disease.
  • Blood cancer.
Blood vessels exposed to vasculitis will weaken so easily bleed or inflamed. When the blood vessels are inflamed the walls can thicken so the blood vessel cavity will narrow. Finally, this condition will reduce the amount of blood reaching the tissues and organs of the body.

Diagnosis of Vasculitis
Diagnosis is a doctor's step to identify a disease or condition that explains the symptoms and signs experienced by the patient. If suspected of having vasculitis, patients will be advised to undergo several tests to confirm the diagnosis:
  • Blood test , serves to identify whether there is inflammation.
  • Urine test , can provide information on whether the urine contains red blood cells or protein is too high.
  • Imaging tests, imaging tests can determine which blood vessels or organs are affected by vasculitis.
  • Angiography, this procedure allows doctors to see the walls of blood vessels.
  • Biopsy. The doctor will take a sample of tissue on the infected part of the body to check for signs of vasculitis.

Treatment of Vasculitis
Treatment of vasculitis is generally aimed at controlling inflammation by administration of drugs, then treating the disease that triggers vasculitis.
Vasculitis itself is usually treated in two stages, namely the cessation of inflammation and prevention so as not to recur. If caused by an allergic reaction, then the vasculitis can heal by itself.

Some treatments for treating vasculitis are:
  • Corticosteroids, which act to control inflammation.
  • Drugs weakening the immune system. If corticosteroids do not have an effect on the patient's body, then the doctor will provide a type of drug that can weaken the function of immune system cells that cause inflammation.

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