Vasculitis refers to inflammation of blood vessels in the body. When these blood vessels experience inflammation, they weaken and stretch in size. Some may narrow or close entirely.
There are some forms of vasculitis that affect the internal organs, examples being the brain, skin, and eyes. Other forms of vasculitis may affect many organs at one time.
What causes Vasculitis and how is it considered autoimmune?
The underlying cause of vasculitis is unknown. However, some believe that it can be triggered by particular viruses or allergies to medications.
Vasculitis is known to develop when a virus has manifested and left. The viral infection triggers an abnormal response in the affected individual's immune system. This can cause the immune system to attack the blood vessels, causing damage.
It is also believed that vasculitis is a possible complication of other autoimmune diseases, such as Sjogrens Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, or Lupus.
Vasculitis has the potential to be a very serious illness. In extreme cases of blood vessels weakening, they could stretch and bulge, causing an aneurysm. The wall of the blood vessel can become so damaged that it could rupture and bleed out, causing death. This is quite rare, however.
Symptoms of Vasculitis
-Loss of sensation
-Loss of appetite
How is Vasculitis treated?
Treatment depends on the diagnosis and what organs may be involved. If vasculitis is the result of an allergic reaction, it might go away on its own, not needing treatment.
If major organs are being affected by vasculitis, aggressive treatment is needed.
These treatments include:
According to WebMd, the prognosis for vasculitis is more promising today than they were years ago. Individuals who successfully respond to treatment are able to live close to a normal life span.
It is important to stay in contact with your doctor while being treated, and even when in remission.