Your body’s immune system is its defense system. When you have an autoimmune disorder, your defenses turn against you. If you have vasculitis, your immune system attacks your blood vessels.
The experts at Rheumatology Solutions have expertise in treating several autoimmune disorders, including the various forms of vasculitis. Although scientists and researchers don’t fully understand the cause of vasculitis, there are things you can do to lessen the impact of your symptoms on your day-to-day life.
One term for many variations
“Vasculitis” is a general term that refers to a number of types of blood vessel inflammation. The different types are classified according to the location and size of the blood vessels that are involved. Some of the main types include:
Aortitis, giant cell arteritis, and polymyalgia rheumatica are a few of the different types of vasculitis that can affect your larger blood vessels.
Kawasaki disease and polyarteritis nodosa are two forms of the disease that can occur when your medium-sized blood vessels become inflamed
Anti-GBM, or Goodpasture’s, disease, Cryoglobulinemia, and urticarial vasculitis, also called hypocomplementemic, are examples of vasculitis that affect your small blood vessels.
Some forms of vasculitis affect more than one type of blood vessel. For example, central nervous system angiitis affects both small and medium blood vessels, and Behcet’s syndrome affects arteries of different sizes.
Because vasculitis can occur in so many different forms, the symptoms you experience can vary. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Pain in your muscles or joints
- Weight loss or a lack of appetite
- Pain in your eyes, or disrupted vision
- Pain in your abdomen
- Numbness or tingling
One of the reasons that it’s important to seek the care of an expert is that the symptoms of vasculitis are so variable. Diagnosis can be challenging, but the doctors at Rheumatology Solutions are skilled in recognizing and diagnosis autoimmune disorders.
Since there are so many different types of vasculitis, the most appropriate treatment depends on numerous factors. Which of your organs is affected, how severe your disease is, any other medical conditions you have, and many other elements help your doctor determine the best course of treatment.
Treatment usually involves controlling your inflammation and getting your disease into remission. Once that is accomplished, your doctor works to prevent relapse. Sometimes corticosteroids are helpful in reducing inflammation.
In some cases, you may need to take medication to suppress your immune system. Biologic agents that target parts of your immune system may be beneficial, and in some of the most severe cases, we recommend surgical intervention or treatments such as plasma exchange.
Get help from an expert
Vasculitis is a relatively rare condition, so it’s important to find an expert to treat it. Working closely with your care team is the best way to control your disease so that you can more comfortably live your life. There is no cure for vasculitis, but treatment can reduce your symptoms, bring about remission, and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
If you’ve been diagnosed with vasculitis, or if you have symptoms that don’t seem to point to a specific condition, book an appointment at Rheumatology Solutions today. You can schedule your visit online, or you can call our office at 210-526-9798.