Vasculitis is a disease that presents with many symptoms. These signs can also be present in other illnesses; therefore, it is imperative that you are diagnosed as soon as possible. The disease can worsen rapidly, but a rheumatology specialist is familiar with how this disease reacts in the body. With the right medical treatment, the inflammation in your blood vessels can be controlled and the likelihood of flare-ups will decrease. Early detection can also prevent you from suffering from other complications of the disease, which can affect the other organs and systems within your body.
Symptoms That Indicate Vasculitis
Some symptoms that point to vasculitis as the diagnosis include:
- The individual has a fever.
- The patient may feel more tired than normal.
- Frequent headaches.
- Unexplained weight loss or a decreased desire to eat.
- The individual may feel achy all over, for no apparent reason.
- An unexplained rash may cover areas of the body if the skin is involved.
- The patient may have difficulty resting well at night due to night sweats.
- Numbness may appear in different areas of the body, or your body may feel weak.
- Difficulty locating a pulse in an arm or leg.
Diagnosing the Disease
When you visit the rheumatologist, he or she will ask you about your medical history and that of your family. Sometimes vasculitis is genetic, but it can also be caused by a medication or be related to a disease, such as Kawasaki disease, cryoglobulinemia, Takayasu's arteritis and many others. Occasionally, a person may have this disease due to an allergic reaction. The doctor will use various methods to diagnose what is going on in your body. These methods can include lab work, X-rays and a biopsy. This information allows the physician to determine the best treatment.
Treatment of Vasculitis
There are many different types of this illness and the treatment is chosen accordingly. If an allergic reaction is the cause, the problem may disappear over time. Often, corticosteroid medications are an effective treatment for many people. Depending on the type of vasculitis, a low dose of chemotherapy may be the most viable option for the patient.
After seeking treatment, some patients may experience a long remission or the vasculitis may disappear. Others may have occasional flare-ups with the disease. Regular visits with a rheumatologist help ensure that this disease is managed well. Following the advice of the specialist helps you also avoid the risks of more serious complications
Local rheumatology clinics, such as Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates of South Jersey, can offer more assistance and information.