Understanding Your Treatment Options for Vasculitis

Understanding Your Treatment Options for Vasculitis

Vasculitis is a broad term that includes several medical conditions and diseases that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. Although it’s relatively uncommon, vasculitis can have fatal consequences if not diagnosed and treated early.

The team at Houston Kidney Specialists Center uses the most advanced methods of diagnosing and managing vasculitis in patients at their four locations in Houston and Cypress, Texas. Here’s what they want their patients to know about vasculitis and its treatment.

Understanding vasculitis

The following is what the medical community knows about the causes and symptoms of vasculitis:

Causes

Vasculitis can affect any of the blood vessels in your body, including larger vessels, such as your aorta, and smaller vessels, such as the capillaries in your hands and feet. While researchers don’t know for sure why vasculitis occurs, they do know the disease itself is related to a problem with the immune system.

The main role of your immune system is to protect your health by attacking germs. Sometimes, though, the immune system can malfunction and attack healthy cells, such as the cells that make up your blood vessels. In some people, medications or illnesses trigger immune system problems, while in others, the cause is unknown (or idiopathic).

If vasculitis causes significant disruption in circulation, it can cause tissue death and organ damage or organ failure. In fact, many of the symptoms of vasculitis happen when tissue damage is taking place.

Symptoms

Because vasculitis affects blood vessel health and circulation, it can cause an array of symptoms, including:

One of the challenging aspects in diagnosing vasculitis is that many of the symptoms are often associated with other medical conditions. However, our team has extensive experience in identifying vasculitis, even in its earliest stages. Because of this, we can help patients receive essential care to prevent more serious problems, such as organ damage.

Vasculitis treatment options

Treating vasculitis depends in part on the symptoms you’re experiencing, your medical history, and other factors unique to you. Overall, the goal is to reduce or halt the inflammation process that’s causing vessel damage.

Many patients benefit from medications and careful monitoring. More serious or extensive disease sometimes requires surgery.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids are widely used to treat many types of inflammation. These medications alter the chemical processes associated with the inflammatory response, preventing many of the effects of inflammation that can damage blood vessels. They also help suppress an overactive immune system response.

Immunosuppressant medications

Immunosuppressant medications are drugs that are specifically designed to change the way your immune system responds to stimuli. Widely used in autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, immunosuppressants help patients with serious vasculitis that’s caused or affected by an overly reactive immune response.

Surgery

When vasculitis affects organ function, you may need surgery to repair damaged tissues or reroute circulation around the damaged vessels. If vasculitis causes permanent kidney damage, our team may recommend a kidney transplant.

State-of-the-art vasculitis treatment

Vasculitis symptoms can be difficult to detect at first. Fortunately, the specialists at Houston Kidney Specialists Center have vast experience diagnosing and treating this disease.

If you’ve been diagnosed with vasculitis or if you have symptoms of vasculitis, our team can give you a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan to help you get healthy. To learn more, call 281-429-8780 or book an appointment online with Houston Kidney Specialists Center today.

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