Polyarteritis Nodosa Treatment in Metro Atlanta

Overview of Polyarteritis Nodosa

Polyarteritis Nodosa (PAN) is a rare, potentially life-threatening vasculitis that causes inflammation of the small and medium-sized arteries, leading to damage in various organs and tissues. PAN can affect multiple systems, including the skin, joints, peripheral nerves, gastrointestinal tract, and kidneys. Early diagnosis and treatment at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia (ARG) are essential for managing symptoms and preventing serious complications.

Symptoms of Polyarteritis Nodosa

  • Skin Lesions: Red or purplish bumps, ulcers, or nodules, often on the legs.
  • Joint Pain and Swelling: Inflammation and pain in the joints.
  • Peripheral Neuropathy: Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the extremities due to nerve damage.
  • Abdominal Pain: Severe pain after eating, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
  • Fever and Weight Loss: Persistent fever and unexplained weight loss.
  • Kidney Problems: High blood pressure and reduced kidney function.

Diagnosis of Polyarteritis Nodosa

  • Medical History and Physical Examination: Conducted by a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia to assess symptoms and rule out other conditions.
  • Blood Tests:
    • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR) and C-reactive Protein (CRP): Markers of inflammation.
    • Complete Blood Count (CBC): To check for anemia and signs of infection.
    • Kidney and Liver Function Tests: To assess organ function.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • Angiography: To visualize the blood vessels and detect aneurysms or narrowing.
    • MRI or CT Scan: To assess inflammation and damage in various organs.
  • Biopsy: A small sample of affected tissue (e.g., skin, nerve, or kidney) is taken to look for signs of vasculitis.

Treatment Options for Polyarteritis Nodosa

  • Medications:
    • Corticosteroids: High doses of corticosteroids are the primary treatment to reduce inflammation and control acute flare-ups.
    • Immunosuppressive Drugs: Such as cyclophosphamide or methotrexate to control the immune system.
    • Antiviral Therapy: For PAN associated with hepatitis B or C infections.
  • Therapies:
    • Physical Therapy: Exercises to improve muscle strength and flexibility.
    • Occupational Therapy: Techniques to perform daily activities safely and efficiently.
  • Lifestyle Changes:
    • Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet to support overall health.
    • Regular Exercise: Engaging in low-impact exercises to maintain strength and mobility.
    • Stress Management: Techniques such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises.

Living with Polyarteritis Nodosa

  • 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.
  • Support Systems: Seeking support from family, friends, or support groups to manage the emotional impact of living with a chronic disease.
  • Education: Learning about the condition and staying informed about new treatments and management strategies.

Frequently Asked Questions | Polyarteritis Nodosa

What causes polyarteritis nodosa?
The exact cause of PAN is unknown, but it is believed to involve an abnormal immune response that leads to inflammation of the arteries. In some cases, PAN is associated with hepatitis B or C infections.

Is polyarteritis nodosa hereditary?
There is no clear evidence that PAN is hereditary, though genetic factors may contribute to susceptibility.

Can polyarteritis nodosa be cured?
There is no cure for PAN, but its symptoms can be managed effectively with a combination of treatments.

How is polyarteritis nodosa diagnosed?
Diagnosis involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsy.

What lifestyle changes can help manage polyarteritis nodosa?
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 polyarteritis nodosa?
At Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia, we offer comprehensive care for PAN, including diagnostic tests, personalized treatment plans, and ongoing management to reduce inflammation and improve quality of life.

Contact Arthritis and Rheumatology of Georgia

For comprehensive care for polyarteritis nodosa, 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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