Vasculitis, by definition, is the inflammation of blood vessels and can be an acute or chronic condition. The condition can be very severe, resulting in organ and tissue damage or even death. The lack of blood flow results in debilitating symptoms like fever, fatigue, weight loss, joint and muscle pain, loss of appetite, and nerve problems like numbness and weakness. Luckily, doctors can test for the condition, diagnose patients, and prescribe medication to treat the specific type of vasculitis that a person suffers from. Most commonly steroids are taken to control the inflammation but there are several side effects that can be quite severe. Patients can also take medication to control the immune system which causes the inflammation when the body accidentally attacks blood vessels. The Vasculitis Foundation is an organization dedicated to training doctors to specialize in vasculitis treatment, funding research in the field to discover a more effective, safe treatment for the condition, encouraging patients to seek medical care, diagnosis, and treatment of their condition, and supporting vasculitis sufferers and their families while they live with the condition.
Their mission to empower the medical community and patients through education, awareness, and research has already resulted in a number of breakthroughs as the life expectancy of patients with vasculitis has improved and discoveries in the treatment of the condition have been made. Not only does the organization strive to make the condition more well-known and understood to improve diagnoses but they also continue to educate patients and families after the diagnosis in order to create a community of support.
The proceeds from the month of June will go to the Vasculitis Foundation, this month’s nonprofit partner, and the cause is very well deserving. We can’t wait to see what they do with the funds to improve the lives of those with vasculitis and to prevent the development of the condition in other patients!