- Vasculitis is the inflammation of the body’s blood vessels.
- Symptoms will vary depending on which blood vessels are affected.
- If organs are affected you may experience additional symptoms.
- Some types of vasculitis can worsen quickly so early intervention is key!
Actor Ashton Kutcher, 44, recently opened up about having a rare form of vasculitis that he said “knocked out” his vision, hearing, and equilibrium. The former That ’70s show actor said it took him nearly a year to recover and that he’s lucky to be alive. Developing a rare autoimmune disorder can be frightening for anyone so it’s best to get informed. So, what is it exactly?
Vasculitis involves inflammation of the blood vessels which can cause the walls of your blood vessels to thicken and in turn, reduce the width of the passageway through the vessel, explains the Mayo Clinic. To make it even more complicated, there are many types of vasculitis, each affect the body differently. Luckily, most types are rare.
Follow along as we look into what vasculitis is, the different types, and signs that you may have it. We’ll also dive into what causes vasculitis, how it’s treated, and find out if it’s preventable.
What Is Vasculitis?
In short, vasculitis is the inflammation of the body’s blood vessels. Vasculitis can affect all sizes of blood vessels from very small (capillaries) to large blood vessels like the aorta.
“When inflamed, the blood vessels may become weakened and stretch in size, which can lead to aneurysms,” explains the Cleveland Clinic. Vasculitis can also cause the vessels to become so thin that they rupture which causes bleeding in the tissue. In some cases, it can cause the blood vessel to narrow and may even close it off completely (known as occlusion). This may lead to organ damage and it can even be life-threatening.