- According to National Health Service (NHS) of the UK, vasculitis means inflammation of the blood vessels. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks veins, arteries and small capillaries.
- Inflammation is our immune system’s natural response to injury or infection. But in vasculitis, for some reason the immune system attacks healthy blood vessels, causing them to become swollen and narrow. This may be triggered by an infection or a medicine, although often the cause is unknown, said NHS
- The symptoms of vasculitis depend on the specific type and severity of the condition. Common symptoms include loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, rash, aches, pains and fever.
- National Institute of Health (NIH), of the US Department of Health and Human Services, says that age, ethnicity, family history and lifestyle factors such as smoking and illegal drug use can contribute to the risk for vasculitis. Apart from these, certain medications for high blood pressure, thyroid disease and infections can also contribute to it, the NIH further said.
- The treatment of the disease is aimed at reducing inflammation. Doctors start treatment with over-the-counter medicines, but for serious cases are treated with steroid medicine or other medicines that reduce the activity of the immune system.