Rheumatology Medical Center

Dr. Ritika Narula, DO

Rheumatologist located in Weston, FL

Though rare, vasculitis can cause a range of symptoms that may be life-threatening in some cases. No matter the severity of your vasculitis, getting help from Ritika Narula, DO, and the team at Rheumatology Medical Center in Weston, Florida, can alleviate symptoms and reduce the risk of more serious health complications. For patient-centered care from a compassionate team, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Vasculitis Q & A

What is vasculitis?

Vasculitis is a general medical term that includes various conditions that cause inflammation of the blood vessels. Vasculitis is rare. However, the inflammatory disease may range from mild to life-threatening.

Early diagnosis and treatment may prevent irreversible damage.

Dr. Narula and the team at Rheumatology Medical Center specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of vasculitis. They take a patient-centered approach to care and help you get the treatment you need. 

What are types of vasculitis?

Many types of vasculitis may affect large, medium, or small blood vessels, as well as major blood vessels. 

Types of vasculitis include:

  • Giant cell arteritis
  • Takayasu’s arteritis
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Bachet’s disease

Though it’s not clear what causes vasculitis, researchers theorize that it’s an autoimmune condition in which your immune system mistakenly attacks the blood vessels, causing the inflammation. 

Vasculitis can affect anyone at any age.

What are the symptoms of vasculitis?

Symptoms vary in type and severity and may depend on the blood vessels and organs involved. Some of the general symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • General aches and pains
  • Red spots, lumps, or sores on the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches

When vasculitis affects the blood vessels in your lungs, you may experience shortness of breath and coughing. However, vasculitis that affects the kidneys may not cause any symptoms at all. 

How is vasculitis diagnosed?

Dr. Narula and the Rheumatology Medical Center team may suspect vasculitis based on your symptoms and results from your physical exam. 

To confirm a diagnosis, they may run various diagnostic tests such as blood work, biopsy, or angiography to look for abnormalities in the blood vessels. 

The experienced team may determine the type of vasculitis based on the size of the blood vessel affected, as well as the location of the inflammation. 

How is vasculitis treated?

In most cases of vasculitis, the team at Rheumatology Medical Center prescribes glucocorticoids to reduce inflammation. They may also add immune-suppressing medications to your regimen to reduce the long-term use of glucocorticoids.

New research shows that medications that treat other autoimmune conditions, such as Rituximab, may benefit those with severe forms of vasculitis. The team may also recommend Plasmapheresis or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) for those with severe cases. 

Dr. Narula works closely with you and other health providers to ensure you get the best care possible. She may refer you to a surgeon to discuss the removal of severely damaged blood vessels. 

Vasculitis is rare and requires expert care from the team at Rheumatology Medical Center. Call the office or book an appointment online today. 

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