I am interested in the disease called vasculitis, what is it and what are its symptoms?
Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels. It can affect very small blood vessels (capillaries), medium-size blood vessels (arterioles or venules), or large blood vessels (arteries and veins). Vasculitis can be caused by infection of the blood vessel walls or an immune or "allergic" reaction in the vessel walls.
Although it is rare, when the first cause occurs, bacteria, viruses or fungi infect the blood vessel. This is a serious condition and requires antibiotic treatment.
The second cause of vasculitis is more common. Antigens cause the body to make proteins called "antibodies" which bind to the antigen for the purpose of getting rid of it. Antigen and antibody bound together are called "immune complexes." Two primary ways in which immune complexes destroy antigens are: 1) by attracting white blood cells to digest the antigen and 2) by activating other body substances to help destroy the antigens.
Vasculitis can cause many different symptoms such as fever, poor appetite, fatigue, weight loss, muscle and joint pain, red dots on the skin etc.
Treating vasiculitis depends upon the severity and the general health and past reactions to medications.
Most physicians recommend cortisone-type medications, such as Prednisone, Prednisolone, or methylprednisolone (Medrol) as the initial treatment for vasculitis.