Behcets Disease

introduction

What is Behcet’s Disease?

Behcet’s Disease, also called Silk Road Disease, is an autoimmune disease in which the blood vessels of your body get inflamed (a defense reaction of your body to any stimulus).

Symptoms of Behcet's Disease

Below we have mentioned some of the many symptoms of Behcet’s disease:

A group of four symptoms are commonly known to occur in this disease: Mouth ulcers, Genital Ulcers, Skin problems and Inflammation inside your eye. Your joints, digestive system and nervous system may also be affected.

Inflammation inside your eyes can cause uveitis (uvea is the area around your pupil), retinitis (retina is the light-sensitive tissue in your eye) and iritis (iris is the coloured part of your eye).

  • Blurry vision
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Redness
  • Tearing
  • Blindness may be seen sometimes when your retina does not get enough blood supply

Causes of Behcet's Disease

What causes your own body’s cells to attack the blood vessels is not exactly known. People of Asian and Eastern Mediterranean origin are found to suffer more frequently. Men are affected more commonly than women and especially so during their 20s and 30s. Genetic factors combined with environmental factors like microbes are thought to play a role.

Tests for Behcet’s Disease Triad

  • Ophthalmoscopy (a test to see the back of your eye) 
  • Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (A test to see the blood vessels in your eye)
  • Duplex and color Doppler sonography may be useful
  • Skin tests (called Pathergy test), MRI Brain, GIT tests etc. may be required depending on the symptoms.

Treatment for Behcet’s Disease

There is no specific cure for this disease. However, when it comes to treatment for behcet’s disease, it consists of medications to reduce your discomfort, control the Inflammation of your and prevent severe complications. Medications include steroids to suppress the errant immune system, colchicine etc. Steroid eye drops and steroid injections next to your eye may be given.

Likely outcome of Behcet’s Disease (Prognosis)

This Behcet syndrome triad is marked by its long term duration and recurrence. However, you may have periods when you go into remission (your symptoms go away temporarily). The severity of your disease may vary from you even leading a normal life to becoming blind and severely disabled. Vision loss may be kept in control by keeping the disease in remission.

FAQ

Does Behcet's disease cause skin conditions?

Yes, Behcet’s disease may cause skin conditions. The skin condition may include acne and acne-like sores on the body and red tender nodules primarily on the lower legs.

These skin conditions are caused as a response to the attack made by the immune system on the blood vessels in the body.

Yes, stress and fatigue happen to be the two most common triggers of Behcet’s disease. They can cause recurrences of oral ulcers in the patients.

Even though a Greek physician called Hippocrates elaborated on the disease around 2000 years ago, the medical condition was officially classified in the 1930s by a Turkish physician. The condition is most commonly found in the population belonging to the Silk Road. It is a trading route extending from Europe to the Far East. The Far East is a term used to refer to locations in Southeast Asia and Russian Far East.

Yes, Behcet’s disease is a chronic disease. Chronic diseases are diseases that last more than a year and can even last a lifetime. These diseases cannot be cured but controlled by taking certain preventive measures and making some lifestyle changes.

Behcet’s disease is a disease that is known to recur; it can disappear and reappear despite the treatment. The treatment for Behcet’s disease doesn’t cure the condition entirely; instead, it provides patients relief from the various symptoms of the disease, including ulcers, acne, and digestion issues, to name a few.

Although there’s no scientific proof or medical study that reveals some particular food items to be beneficial or harmful for patients suffering from Behcet’s disease, it is recommended that patients take a healthy diet to avoid worsening the symptoms. For instance, in case of mouth ulcers, it is advisable to avoid spicy and salty foods. Citrus foods and dry foods should also be avoided to make ulcers worse.  

There is no research that indicates Behcet’s disease causes weight gain in patients. However, some corticosteroids prescribed to control the symptoms of the disease can cause weight gain. According to research, prolonged usage of corticosteroid drugs is associated with some side effects, including increased appetite, that can ultimately cause patients to gain weight.

There are no particular tests to diagnose Behcet’s disease, but there are certain tests to examine your symptoms. Your doctor would have to depend on the signs and symptoms to provide you with a diagnosis. As mouth ulcer is the most common symptom of the disease, doctors consider recurrence of mouth ulcers (recurring at least three times during a year) as a requisite for diagnosis of Behcet’s disease. 

Behcet’s disease has numerous signs and symptoms, including digestive issues. These digestive issues can include diarrhoea, bleeding and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is highly suggested you consult a doctor. A doctor will prescribe appropriate medicines to manage these symptoms.

Behcet’s disease has numerous signs and symptoms, including digestive issues. These digestive issues can include diarrhoea, bleeding and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is highly suggested you consult a doctor. A doctor will prescribe appropriate medicines to manage these symptoms.

As previously mentioned, Behcet disease cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. It is suggested that you make certain lifestyle changes to control the symptoms. These lifestyle changes include eating a balanced diet, including healthy vegetables and fruits. It is also suggested to avoid containing excess sugar and fat to protect overall gut health.

Additionally, if mouth ulcers are a symptom you are experiencing, it is suggested that you cut down foods such as pineapple, nuts and lemon that can aggregate the symptoms.

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