Behçet's Disease Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overview of Behçet’s Disease

Behçet’s disease is a rare, chronic, and multisystem inflammatory disorder that affects blood vessels throughout the body. It can cause a variety of symptoms, including mouth and genital sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes, and arthritis. The cause of Behçet’s disease is unknown, but it is believed to involve an abnormal immune response. Early diagnosis and treatment at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia (ARG) are essential for managing symptoms and preventing complications.

Symptoms of Behçet’s Disease

  • Oral Ulcers: Painful sores inside the mouth, which are often recurrent.
  • Genital Ulcers: Painful sores on the genitals, which can be recurrent and cause scarring.
  • Eye Inflammation: Uveitis or other forms of eye inflammation, leading to pain, redness, and potential vision problems.
  • Skin Lesions: Various skin issues, including red, raised nodules, acne-like sores, or ulcers.
  • Joint Pain and Swelling: Arthritis, typically affecting the knees and other large joints.
  • Gastrointestinal Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bleeding.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Headaches, confusion, and stroke-like symptoms in severe cases.

Diagnosis of Behçet’s Disease

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Conducted by a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia to assess symptoms and rule out other conditions.
  • Criteria for Diagnosis: Recurrent oral ulcers plus any two of the following: genital ulcers, eye inflammation, skin lesions, or a positive pathergy test (a skin prick test that shows an exaggerated reaction).
  • Additional Tests: Blood tests and imaging studies to rule out other conditions and assess organ involvement.

Treatment Options for Behçet’s Disease

  • Medications:
    • Corticosteroids: To reduce inflammation and control acute flare-ups.
    • Immunosuppressive Drugs: Such as azathioprine, cyclosporine, or cyclophosphamide to control the immune system.
    • Biologic Agents: Such as infliximab or adalimumab to target specific pathways in the immune response.
    • Colchicine: Often used to treat joint pain and skin symptoms.
  • Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: To maintain joint function and mobility.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to manage daily activities and reduce strain on the body.
  • Lifestyle Changes:
    • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods.
    • Regular Exercise: Engaging in low-impact exercises such as swimming or walking.
    • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises.

Living with Behçet’s Disease

  • Symptom Management: Using medications, therapies, and lifestyle changes to manage symptoms and reduce flare-ups.
  • Regular Check-Ups: Keeping up with appointments to monitor disease progression and treatment efficacy.
  • Eye Health: Regular eye exams to monitor and treat any eye inflammation.
  • Mental Health Support: Seeking support from family, friends, or support groups to manage the emotional impact of living with a chronic disease.

Frequently Asked Questions | Behçet’s Disease

What causes Behçet’s disease?
The exact cause of Behçet’s disease is unknown, but it is believed to involve an abnormal immune response. Genetic and environmental factors may also play a role.

Is Behçet’s disease contagious?
No, Behçet’s disease is not contagious. It cannot be spread from person to person.

Can Behçet’s disease be cured?
There is no cure for Behçet’s disease, but its symptoms can be managed effectively with a combination of treatments.

How is Behçet’s disease diagnosed?
Diagnosis is based on the presence of recurrent oral ulcers and at least two other symptoms such as genital ulcers, eye inflammation, or skin lesions. A positive pathergy test may also support the diagnosis.

What lifestyle changes can help manage Behçet’s disease?
Regular exercise, a healthy diet, stress management, and avoiding smoking can all help manage symptoms and improve overall health.

How can Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia help with Behçet’s disease?
At Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia, we offer comprehensive care for Behçet’s disease, including diagnostic tests, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing management to reduce inflammation and prevent complications.

Contact Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For comprehensive care for Behçet’s disease, schedule an appointment with Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia. Call us at 404-255-5956 or use our online contact form. We proudly serve patients in the metro Atlanta area and beyond, providing expert care and personalized treatment plans.

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