Behcet Syndrome – Behcet Syndrome is thought to be a rare autoimmune disease where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy blood vessels causing inflammation. Behcet Syndrome is also known as Behcet’s Disease.
Related diseases: arthritis and Spondyloarthropathy Seronegative
What is Behcet’s Disease?
Behcet Syndrome can lead to numerous signs and symptoms that can seem unrelated at first. They can include mouth sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes and lesions, and genital sores.
#1: Eye Inflammation
This symptom occurs in about 50% of Behcet Disease patients and can result in blurry vision, sensitivity to light, pain and redness. If untreated, if can lead to permanent blindness.
#2: Mouth Sores
One of the most common and earliest signs of Behcet Disease is mouth sores. They look like canker sores on the lips, tongue, cheek lining or the roof of the mouth.
#3: Skin Sores
Skin sores occur in 60-90% of Behcet Disease patients. They can look like bumps resembling acne anywhere on the skin. Or they can be red, tender nodules on the legs, arms, face and neck.
#4: Join Pain and Swelling
50% of Behcet Disease patients experience arthritis or Spondyloarthropathy Seronegative. It can affect individual joints, multiple joints, pain, swelling or stiffness.
#5: Genital Sores
More than 75% of patients experience genital sores. They tend to be large and deeper than oral sores and can often scar.
Behcet Disease Symptoms
Behcet’s disease symptoms can between diagnosed patients and over time they can come and go. Signs and symptoms can be displayed in many areas of the body. Our body works in unison and symptoms displayed throughout the body can often mean just 1 diagnosis.
Areas commonly affected by Behcet disease include:
- Oral Sores: Painful mouth sores that look similar to canker sores are the most common sign of Behcet’s disease and can take 1-3 weeks to heal. Often times, the sores recur.
- Skin Lesions: Some patients develop acne-like sores on their bodies. Others develop red, raised and tender nodules on their skin.
- Genital Sores: Open red sores can occur on the genitals and are typically painful, often times leaving scars.
- Ocular Manifestations: Inflammation in the eye (Uveitis) causes redness, pain and blurred vision, typically in both eyes. In people with Behcet’s disease, the condition can come and go.
- Joint Pain: Joint swelling and pain often affect the knees in people with Behcet’s disease. The ankles, elbows or wrists also might be involved. Signs and symptoms can last one to three weeks and go away on their own.
- Gastrointestinal: A variety of signs and symptoms can affect the digestive system, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding.
Behcet’s Syndrome Diagnosis
In order to establish a Behcet Syndrome diagnosis, it is best to work with a Functional Practitioner to establish a diagnosis. In addition, they may require blood tests such as the ANA anti-nuclear anti-body test. Additional vitamin testing can provide insight to your doctor.
You may also work with a functional or naturaopathic-based Rheumatologist or Dermatologist.
Although there are no specific blood tests to confirm the diagnosis, Behcet Syndrome is based on clinical criteria.
It may take several months or years for all the common symptoms of the disease to appear, often making it difficult to obtain a definitive diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on the occurrence of signs and symptoms of the disease and on positive clinical criteria referred to as the International Clinical Criteria for Behcet’s Disease.
Behcet Syndrome Treatment
Although there is no cure for Behcet Syndrome, it is important to work with your functional practitioner to help ease your symptoms. It is common to consider an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce your ANA or anti-nuclear antibody inflammation.