Advanced Arthritis and Rheumatology Center
Dipti Doshi, MD
Rheumatologist located in Cerritos, CA
Your immune system is designed to protect you from diseases. However, sometimes the immune system overreacts and attacks organs in your body. Vasculitis occurs when your immune system mistakenly attacks your blood vessels, leading to inflammation. At Advanced Arthritis and Rheumatology Center in Cerritos, California, board-certified rheumatologist Dipti Doshi, MD, provides expert care and management of vasculitis to reduce your risk of more serious complications. Call the office today or book an appointment online.
What is vasculitis?
Vasculitis is a term that indicates inflammation of your blood vessels, which may cause them to thicken, weaken, narrow, or develop scar tissue.
Changes in the structure of your blood vessel may affect blood flow and lead to more serious health issues, including tissue death, also known as necrosis.
Vasculitis develops when your immune system mistakenly attacks your blood vessels, which may be triggered by medication, infection, or underlying disease. It can affect any blood vessel in your body, including arteries, capillaries, and veins. Vasculitis can affect any organ in the body.
If left untreated, vasculitis can lead to organ damage, a blood infection, the development of a blood clot, or vision loss.
What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
The symptoms of vasculitis depend on the affected blood vessel. However, there are general symptoms that most people with vasculitis experience, including:
- Weight loss
- Joint aches and pains
- Night sweats
- Development of a rash
- Skin lesions or ulcerations
- Numbness or weakness
You should schedule an appointment at Advanced Arthritis and Rheumatology Center if you experience any symptoms that worry you. Some forms of vasculitis can progress quickly.
How is vasculitis diagnosed?
Dr. Doshi conducts comprehensive examinations when you come to the office to determine what is causing your symptoms. She begins by first reviewing your medical history and discussing the symptoms you’re experiencing.
Dr. Doshi may need to conduct a series of tests to rule out other causes of your symptoms before she makes a definitive diagnosis, such as:
- Blood or urine test
- CT scans or MRI
- Angiography (X-ray of your blood vessels)
Once she’s determined that you have vasculitis, she talks to you about the condition and your treatment options.
What are the treatments for vasculitis?
Treatment for vasculitis includes improving the initial inflammation and preventing a recurrence. Dr. Doshi works closely with you to develop the most appropriate treatment plan to not only resolve the inflammation but also improve your health.
Your treatment may include:
- Steroid-sparing medication to assist with inflammation control
- Disease-specific biologics
The results of treatment vary from person to person. You can often prevent any further inflammation with the regular use of the prescribed medication. However, some people experience continued flare-ups.
Taking good care of your health by eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and keeping your vaccinations updated are also recommended for long-term management of vasculitis.
For comprehensive care from an experienced internal medicine physician, call Advanced Arthritis and Rheumatology Center, or request an appointment online today.