Arteritis is a rather dangerous disease in the course of which arteries become inflamed. Such a problem can appear in absolutely any part of the body. The disease affects blood vessels of any diameter, from the smallest capillaries to large arteries. According to statistical studies, this ailment is most often diagnosed in people over the age of 50. With arteritis, an inflammatory process occurs, which leads to a narrowing of the lumen of the vessel. This causes impaired blood flow. This increases the risk of a blood clot forming, which can completely block the vessel.
Symptoms of the disease
Doctors distinguish several main types of arteritis: giant cell, Takayasu, and lower extremities. Each of them has a number of specific symptoms. With giant cell or temporal arteritis, the disease affects the vessels in the eyes, temples, and even the spine. At the same time, the person complains about:
drop in visual acuity;
increased body temperature;
loss of appetite.
In addition, in a person with this form of arteritis, the eyelid drops in the eye located next to the affected vessel. As a rule, this type of disease worries in the vast majority of cases of older people.
With arteritis of the lower extremities, painful sensations appear in the legs. The symptom is significantly increased after long walking and physical exertion. In addition, the patient’s feet are constantly freezing, even if they are wearing warm socks.
The rarest form of this ailment is Takayasu’s arteritis or nonspecific aortoarteritis. In this disease, the arteries in the arms are affected, as well as the vessels that are responsible for the blood supply to the brain. Such a disease can be recognized by the following symptoms:
weakness in the arms;
lack of pulse in the affected area;
the difference in blood pressure in the hands;
This rare form of this inflammatory disease hardly occurs in older people. Persons under the age of 30 suffer from such a problem.
Causes of arteritis
Scientists have found that the disease can be both primary and secondary. In the first case, arteritis develops in the human body as an independent disease. In the secondary type, the appearance of the disease is always associated with other diseases that bother the person. For example, the causes of secondary arteritis can be as follows:
Also, studies have confirmed that some drugs can cause this pathology. Heredity is also of great importance. It became known that the disease can be transmitted through the birth line. If a person suffers from arteritis, then the likelihood of such a pathology in his children is very high.
It is important to treat the disease in a timely manner, otherwise the risk of facing serious complications increases significantly. For example, the consequences of Takayasu’s nonspecific arteritis will be:
With arteritis of the lower extremities, a person can develop the following dangerous complications: arterial aneurysms, trophic ulcers, gangrene, renal dysfunction, epileptic seizures. Therefore, it is very important to consult a doctor in a timely manner, who will quickly determine the causes of the symptoms, and also prescribe an effective treatment.
Which doctor treats arteritis?
You can cope with the disease if you strictly follow all the doctor’s prescriptions. The following specialists are involved in the treatment of arteritis:
Only experienced and highly qualified specialists can overcome arteritis. They must select the most effective therapy for the patient, taking into account his age, general health, and more. At the first appointment, the doctor will carefully examine the patient, listen to his complaints. After that, he will ask:
When did the first symptoms of the disease appear?
Have there been vascular problems in the past?
Is the patient taking any medications?
What has the patient been ill with recently?
Does he have chronic ailments?
Did his body temperature rise?
Does he feel a decrease in visual acuity?
The survey is conducted in order to determine the possible causes of the development of the disease. In addition, the information received from the patient will be useful in drawing up a treatment program. But the doctor can start therapy only after confirming the diagnosis. He has the right to do this after receiving the results of the patient’s examination.
A patient who is suspected of arteritis will have to undergo the following procedures: blood pressure measurement, ultrasound scanning of blood vessels, general and biochemical blood tests, angiography.
Therapy for arteritis includes both medical and surgical techniques. A patient with such a diagnosis is prescribed hormonal therapy, which can last about a year. Surgical treatment is required for patients who have already experienced the complications of the disease. The basis for urgent surgery may be vascular aneurysms, blood clots in the affected arteries.