What Causes Vasculitis?

In order to deal properly with vasculitis we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow vasculitis to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind vasculitis consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to vasculitis.  For example, lupus (SLE).

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
history of lupus
frequent mouth ulcers
frequent unexplained fevers
fatigue for over 3 months
variable duration morning stiffness
history of tender muscles
joint pain/swelling/stiffness
regular infections
significant mouth sores
regular sore throats
... and more than 10 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of vasculitis.

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate pre-existing cardiovascular problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you been diagnosed with Vasculitis? This is inflammation of blood vessel(s).
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No
→ Yes, in the past, but it is not a current problem
→ Yes, it is a minor recurring problem
→ Yes, it is a serious recurring problem
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of vasculitis, history of vasculitis or having vasculitis, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as Lupus, SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus).  In the vasculitis caused by lupus, the antigens causing the immune complexes are often not known.  In some cases, the complexes contain DNA and anti-DNA antigens, or Ro (also called SS-A) and anti-Ro antigens.  Another antibody, ANCA (anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibody), can cause vasculitis in some individuals.
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