Vasculitis is a disorder that occurs when blood vessels become inflamed due to heredity or other factors. Swelling of blood arteries makes it difficult for blood to flow through them, causing blood flow to be disrupted in the affected organ. It can be dangerous due to the inability of the organ’s tissues to supply blood; the organ will be damaged, and its function will be hindered. In this article, we will discuss the types, causes, symptoms, therapy, and anything else you need to know about vasculitis.
Types of vasculitis
This disease comes in a variety of types, some of which are not particularly prevalent. In general, these categories are divided into groups based on the affected organs and symptoms. A few of them are explained as follows:
1. Behcet’s disease
This type of vasculitis is uncommon, but still, it does exist in which the blood vessels of the entire human body become inflamed. Genetics and autoimmune disorders are the two main causes of Behcet’s disease. In the development stage of Behcet’s in the human body, genetics, ethnicity, and environment play a very significant role. HLA-B51 is the gene that is commonly associated with vasculitis. Similarly, people in eastern countries are more prone to suffer from Behcet’s disease.
2. Cryoglobulin Mia
This type of vasculitis is more common in people who use drugs and smoke. It is caused by an autoimmune condition in which the antibody cryoglobulinemia produces a substance that causes vessel inflammation. Hepatitis C is thought to be intimately linked to this condition. Cryoglobulinemia can also be caused by infections such as malaria, hepatitis B, and sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, Lymphocytic leukaemia can play a significant role in the development of this disease. Symptoms are usually visible on the patient’s hand and toe. Organ numbness and discoloration are the symptoms of inflammation. It also creates a lot of pain in the joints.
3. Buerger’s disease
In this illness, excessive smoking causes inflammation in the blood vessels of the arms and legs. Thromboangiitis obliterans is another name for this disease. The exact cause of Buerger’s disease is unknown, however, it is linked to tobacco in some way. When blood arteries become inflamed, blood has no way to move through them, so it clots and restricts the passage even more. This illness causes extensive harm such as the death of tissues and sudden weight gain. The affected organ is frequently the hand or foot, which turns blue or pale and inhibits their movements.
4. Kawasaki disease
This kind of vasculitis affects children’s coronary arteries. Likewise, in the other types of vasculitis, the exact cause is unknown, but some speculate that infections and certain types of genes are to blame. Kawasaki illness can also lead to cardiovascular problems if it worsens. Cardiac muscle inflammation can lead to significant complications and can also be lethal.
5. Giant cell Arteritis
Adults are more likely to suffer from Giant cell Arteritis. It affects the vein’s surface in the head, resulting in severe headaches and adverse effects on vision. If this type of vasculitis worsens, a person’s vision may be lost either temporarily or permanently. As it usually affects the temples of the head which is named “temporal Arteritis.” Body aches, headaches, fever, visual problems, weight loss, throat soreness, and weariness are all symptoms of this disease. Symptoms differ from one person to other. The reasons behind this type of vasculitis are also not known. Sometimes, it reflects the connection between autoimmune disorders and aging. Medication, particularly Prednisone, is commonly used to treat CGA. However, it cannot be treated if the patient has developed irreversible symptoms, such as permanent eyesight loss. So, if a person is experiencing severe headaches and other symptoms on a regular basis, he/she should see a doctor right away to avoid further complications.
This kind of vasculitis causes asthma or inflammation of blood vessels that cut off blood circulation to organs. In the early stages of EGPA, the patient experiences asthma symptoms as well as allergic rhinitis. Other signs and symptoms include severe pains, numbness, muscle loss, and so on. EGPA mostly affects the heart, nose, lungs, skin, and kidneys. If a person has asthma, doctors use blood tests and other signs to identify the disease. While it is mostly treated with prednisone, azathioprine, injectable steroids, and other medications. It is not a lethal disease at this moment that can be treated with the above-mentioned medications. Because complete symptom reversal is not attainable overnight, EGPA treatment is gradual yet effective.
The exact cause of vasculitis is not known yet. But some factors can increase the risk of vasculitis and doctors consider them direct or indirect causes of vasculitis. Causes of vasculitis also depend on the type of vasculitis and the affected organ. But some general causes are:
- Autoimmune disorder: If the human immune system becomes overactive and attacks healthy body cells which are meant to protect the body against diseases. It causes inflammation in blood vessels and leads to vasculitis.
- Infections: Infections like Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B Malaria, etc. are also considered the causes of vasculitis.
- Genetics: Genetics plays an integral role in developing this disease. If a person has a certain type of gene, the risk of vasculitis increases.
- Smoking Tobacco: In some types of vasculitis, tobacco and smoking become the causes of inflammation of blood vessels and poor blood supply.
- Other medical conditions: Sometimes, the other medical conditions and their treatments can also cause vasculitis as a reaction.
Symptoms vary according to the type of disease a person has. But following are the few general symptoms found in people suffering from vasculitis:
- Joint problems etc.
Likewise, treatment depends upon the types of vasculitis and the medical conditions of the patient but mostly it is treated with medication. A few years ago, vasculitis was considered fatal as Prednisone was not yet discovered. But, it can easily be treated with medication, and reversing symptoms is also possible (not all but mostly).
- https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/vasculitis symptoms causes/syc-20363435 retrieved on April 12, 2022.
- https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12101-vasculitis retrieved on April 12, 2022.
- https://www.hopkinsvasculitis.org/types-vasculitis/ retrieved on April 12, 2022.
- https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/guide/vasculitis-treatment retrieved on April 12, 2022.