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Understanding Vasculitis

Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels that lead to changes in the vessel wall.Changes that could occur in the blood vessel wall is thickening, weakening, narrowing, and the appearance of scars.

Vasculitis occurs because the immune system made a mistake and invade the bloodstream. The damaged cells will produce a chemical that causes blood vessels to leak fluid and cause swelling and tissue.

The disease is also known by the name of angiitis or arteritis can strike people of all ages and can affect one or more organs of the human body. Some of the complications that could do ap patients with vasculitis are:

  • Blood clots and aneurysms. Blood clots that can block blood flow.

  • Infections, including life-threatening conditions, such as pneumonia and sepsis.

  • Organ damage. If developed into a 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

A symptom is something that is felt and told by the patient. Symptoms of vasculitis are very diverse and are usually associated with reduced blood flow to the body. Common symptoms of vasculitis felt by sufferers are:

  • Aches.

  • Night sweats.

  • Fatigue.

  • The appearance of the rash.

  • Fever.

  • The loss of a pulse on the limb.

  • Neurological disorders are like numbness or weakness.

  • Weight loss.

  • Headache.

Other symptoms associated with vasculitis more specific types are:

  • Behcet's syndrome: Inflammation of the eye; ulcers of the mouth and genitals; acne-like lesions on the skin. These symptoms are due to inflammation of the arteries and veins.

  • Buerger's disease: Pain in the hands, arms, legs, and the emergence of ulcers on the fingers and toes. The disease is characterized by inflammation and blockage in the blood vessels of hands and feet area.

  • Cryoglobulinemia: rash, joint pain, weakness, numbness and tingling sensation due to the presence of abnormal proteins in the blood stream.

  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome: asthma, nerve pain, and changes in the sinuses and often affect kidney function.

  • Giant cell arthritis: a headache, scalp tenderness, jaw pain, vision impairment, and even blindness. The disease is caused by swelling of the arteries in the head.

  • Wegener's granulomatosis: Nasal congestion, sinus infections, and nosebleeds.

  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura: abdominal pain, blood in urine, joint pain, and rash on the buttocks or lower leg. Usually caused by swelling of capillary blood vessels in the skin, joints, intestines, and kidneys.

  • Hypersensitivity Vasculitis: red spots on the skin, usually appears on the lower legs.

  • Kawasaki disease: fever, rash, and eye inflammation.

  • Microscopic polyangiitis: abdominal pain, rash, coughing up blood.

  • Polyarteritis nodosa: rash, pain in muscles and joints, abdominal pain, high blood pressure or hypertension, and renal impairment.

  • Takayasu arteritis: Numbness, feels cold on the hands and feet, loss of pulse, high blood pressure or hypertension, headaches and changes in vision.

Causes of Vasculitis

Things that cause vasculitis is still unknown to this day. Some types of vasculitis nothing to do with heredity. While other types of vasculitis are due to the fault of the immune system that attacks the blood vessel cells.

Some of the factors that can trigger any reaction of the immune system are:

  • Body reactions to certain drugs.

  • Infections, such as hepatitis B and C. hepatitis

  • Autoimmune disease.

  • Blood cancer.

Affected blood vessel vasculitis will weaken so easy bleeding or inflamed. When the blood vessels are inflamed, the walls can thicken the blood vessels so that the cavity will be narrowed. Finally, this condition will reduce the amount of blood reaching the body's tissues and organs.

diagnosis of Vasculitis

Diagnosis is a step the doctor to identify the 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, namely:

  • Blood tests serve to identify whether there is inflammation.

  • Urine tests can provide information on whether the urine contains red blood cells or proteins are too high.

  • Imaging tests, imaging tests can determine the blood vessels or organs are affected vasculitis.

  • Angiography, this procedure lets doctors see the blood vessel wall.

  • Biopsy. The doctor will take a sample of tissue from the infected site to be inspected for signs of vasculitis.

treatment Vasculitis

Handling of vasculitis is generally intended to control inflammation by administering drugs, then treat diseases that trigger vasculitis.

Vasculitis itself is usually handled in two phases, namely the cessation of inflammation and prevention of recurrence. If caused by an allergic reaction, then vasculitis can heal by itself.

Some treatment for vasculitis are:

  • Corticosteroids, which serves to control the inflammation.

  • Drugs with a weakening of the immune system. If corticosteroids had no effect on the patient's body, the doctor will give you the kind of drug that could weaken the function of immune system cells that cause inflammation.

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