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Hi, I am very concerned about my friend. He was always healthy. His daily habits include some kind of physical activities and he always pays attention to his diet. All of a sudden, a rash and a swelling developed on his legs. He also started to lose weight. When he paid a visit to the doctor, he was diagnosed with inflamed blood vessels. I never heard of this condition before. It sounds very serious. What do you know about it?

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Hi, the condition of inflamed blood vessels is also known as vasculitis. Blood vessels are used to transport blood to all organs and tissues in our body. If they are inflamed, the blood flow is reduced. The consequences are proportional to the size of the inflamed blood vessel. If vasculitis affects only the skin, long term prognosis are not that serious. It is still unknown what causes the inflammation of blood vessels. The genes for this condition are not directly inherited but genetic factors may play a part in its appearance. It can occur suddenly and can develop in people who already have some kind of illness such as arthritis. There are several types of blood vessels inflammations, regarding the size of inflamed blood vessels, but most of them are autoimmune illnesses. This means that our immune system recognizes blood vessels as a threat and creates antibodies to fight them and that causes the inflammation. The treatment consists of suppressing the immune system action and of reduction of the consequences on the affected organs.
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