MaineHealth providers are committed to taking care of patients with vasculitis and ensuring that they receive individualized treatment plans, so they can manage their condition and feel better.
What is vasculitis?
Vasculitis is inflammation of blood vessels. Inflammation damages the lining of affected blood vessels, causing narrowing, blood clot formation and/or blockage.
Reduced blood supply can cause pain, tissue damage, and in severe cases, malfunction of certain organs. There are many different types of vasculitis that are based on the size of the blood vessels and which organs are affected.
What causes vasculitis?
Vasculitis occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks blood vessels. The specific cause of vasculitis is unknown; however infections, medicine, and other previous diseases are factors. It can affect people of all ages, races, and both sexes. Some types of vasculitis occur more often in people with other diseases, such as chronic hepatitis B and C, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma.
Symptoms of vasculitis vary depending on the type and severity of the disease and which organs are affected. Signs and symptoms may be gradual and develop over months.
However, they also may develop quickly, over days or weeks. Some symptoms of vasculitis include:
Loss of appetite
Red, itchy, burning eyes
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of vasculitis.