Recently, American actor, Ashton Kutcher, revealedhis experience with a rare auto-immune condition known as Vasculitis. In a recent episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, “Two years ago, I had this weird, super rare form of vasculitis that, like, knocked out my vision. It knocked out my hearing. It knocked out, like, all my equilibrium,” Kutcher told Grylls. It took him about a year to recover, he said, adding that he felt “lucky to be alive.”
What is Vasculitis?
Dr. Erik Escuro, of CMC Rheumatology states “Vasculitis is a set of rare rheumatologic diseases that often requires close monitoring and treatment. Diseases can range from mild rashes to more severe symptoms of kidney failure, lung failure, and strokes. “Harvard Health Publishing adds; there are several types of Vasculitis. Each is distinguished by the size of the blood vessels involved, organs affected, and the presence of antibodies. Vasculitis can range from mild to life-threatening.
Signs of Vasculitis
Signs and symptoms of vasculitis vary but may include shortness of breath and cough, numbness or weakness in hands and feet, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, fever, and/or red spots on the skin, lumps, or sores. Alternatively, vasculitis of the kidneys may produce no symptoms, though is still a serious problem. Vasculitis can be short term, or long term and affects people of all sexes and ages.
How is Vasculitis Diagnosed?
Symptoms of Vasculitis often start with mild fatigue, weight loss, aches, and pains, which are common ailments for various reasons such as age, stress levels, etc., making it somewhat difficult to diagnose. Dr. Escuro of CMC Rheumatology stresses “Diagnosis of vasculitis often relies on a team-based approach with other specialists including dermatologists, nephrologists, and pulmonologists depending on the symptoms and organ involvement. Taking a thorough history of the patient’s symptoms as well as performing a comprehensive physical exam will then lead to an extensive diagnostic workup which can include labs, imaging, and sometimes biopsy of affected areas to establish a diagnosis of vasculitis.”
Who can treat your vasculitis?
While your providers can work together on a treatment plan, a rheumatologist is usually the specialist with the most knowledge about vasculitis and the best to spearhead your treatment plan.
Treatments for Vasculitis
Treatments may include immune-suppressing drugs, steroids, or even surgery. Your doctor’s priority will be preventing permanent damage to vital organs and your nerves. Early detection is key as vasculitis can have long term effects on the body if not identified and treated quickly. “Treatments can range from discontinuing certain medications that can cause vasculitis, starting oral medications, or in severe cases using IV therapies and steroids to control the severe inflammation causing organ damage. Early recognition and treatment of the disease as well as close monitoring leads to the best outcomes,” stated Dr. Escuro of CMC Dermatology.
Rheumatology in Myrtle Beach
If you are experiencing symptoms, contact CMC Rheumatology. Rheumatic diseases can have a significant impact on your quality of life. If untreated, daily activities like walking, cooking, climbing stairs, and even preparing for your day can become the most difficult of tasks. Dr. Escuro of CMC Rheumatology shares with us who might benefit from seeing a Rheumatologist
Living a happier healthier life in Myrtle Beach
CMC Rheumatology is ready to help you live a happier and healthier life. We offer a variety of treatments to build a personalized care plan for you and your unique needs. You will play an important part in your own care as we educate you on your disease, help you lead a healthier lifestyle, and give you the tools to manage your symptoms at home.