Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Causes, Cures for Vasculitis

Monday, 01 Nov 2010 07:51 AM


Question: What is the cause and cure of vasculitis?

Dr. Hibberd's Answer:

Vasculitis is an inflammation of a blood vessel, most often an artery or arteriole. There are many causes including infection, tumor, autoimmune disease, medication, and toxin exposure.

Always bring a list of all prescription, nonprescription, and supplements with you when you see your doctor, since mixtures of chemicals and additives in some supplements (even the "organic" ones) and medications may induce a vasculitis in some when taken together.

Remember that all nonfood additives (including supplements, vitamins, and all pills or capsules whether prescribed or not) are medicinal. The fact that you buy them at the health food store or pharmacy does not necessarily mean they are safe for you to use.

It is always important to understand the cause of vasculitis so as to minimize complications and assure appropriate therapy. Your doctor should know the protocols to follow to investigate vasculitis. Request a referral to a rheumatologist (an autoimmune disease specialist) if a definitive cause is not apparent and fully treatable.

The only cure for vasculitis is to treat its cause, as well as to arrest the vasculitis itself. We have many medicines, most of which are immunosuppressive (cortisone-related for mild cases and sometimes more potent medications for more involved cases). However, without identifying the cause, the treatment offered may only be symptomatic, since recurrence can’t be prevented without identifying the cause.



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