In Vasculitis the blood vessels gets changed due to its thickening, narrowing, scarring or weakening. The disease could be acute or chronic and it is also called as Arteritis or angitis. Due to the damage inside the blood vessels the vital body organs may not get the sufficient blood supply. Heterogeneous group of disorders form the Vasculitis in which the inflammation happens in blood vessels. Arteries and veins both get affected by this disease. The disease can be categorised in many ways, one could be on the basis of causes. It can also be divided on the basis of location of the affected vessel inside the body and also by the size and type of the blood vessels getting affected by the disease.
In this disease the immune system of the body starts considering the blood vessels as the foreign part and starts attacking on the cells of the blood vessels. The reason behind this immune defect is not clear and it could get triggered by any allergic reaction, cancers, and immune system disorders or could be due to any infection. Inflammation in the blood vessels may cause the thickening of the layers inside the blood vessels. Sometimes a blood clot could also be formed inside the affected blood vessels. Primary vasculitis is the disease that has no known cause. Secondary vasculitis is the disease that occurs due to the response of many other diseases.
Signs and Symptoms
The disease may have different kind of signs and symptoms but some of the common symptoms are:
Joint and muscle pain
Loss of appetitive
Problems with the nervous system
Symptoms may vary according to the kind of Vasculitis, in Bachet’s syndrome inflammation may happen in arteries and veins. Patients may have genital and mouth ulcers, acne like lesion and eye inflammation. In Burger’s disease one may experience pain in limbs, ulcers on the fingers and toes. In Chrug-Strauss Syndrome the blood vessels of the lungs get affected.
The Vasculitis can be diagnosed with the help of blood test or the tests on the fluids of the body. Some of the common tests used for identifying the disease are increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), increased white blood cell count , elevated C-reactive protein (CRP), anemia, and eosinophilia. Increased levels of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) can also be assessed for diagnosing the disease. Biopsy gives confirmed results and could be done on the tissues of lungs, skins, sinuses, kidney or nerves. Abnormalities could be seen on the organ function tests as well. Angiograms could also show the inflammations on the affected blood vessels.
The focus of the treatment is on suppressing the immune system and decreasing the inflammation. Medications related to cortisone like cyclophosphamide are considered to be the effective treatments against the Vasculitis since they try to suppress the immune system. Specific medical treatments are necessary to control the diseases at its active stage.
Prognosis is good if the disease is identified and treated at the early stage. The major challenge face in the treatment of the Vasculitis is the side effects of the medications. One should try to understand the fundamentals of the disease in order to control it and the treatment should be clubbed with a healthy diet. Thinning of bones, diabetes and high blood pressure can be controlled with a good diet. Fruits, vegetables and milk can offer all the necessary vitamins and nutrients to fight with the disease. Regular exercise may help the hearts and lungs and in return the disease could be improved in a better way.