What is Behcet’s Disease?

Behcet’s Disease or Behcet’s Syndrome also known as Silk Road Disease is a chronic condition that is more common in Middle East, Asia and Japan than the European countries. This rare disease is characterized by recurrent inflammations throughout the body, usually in the form of canker sores, genital sore, skin sores etc.

The exact cause of this disease is not known. Nonetheless, certain environmental and hereditary factors have been found to increase the risk of developing Behcet’s Disease.

The disease is often regarded as an autoimmune disease as it is characterized by abnormal functioning of the immune system causing auto inflammatory reactions.

However, it does not follow the usual pattern of such diseases. It is not contagious in nature. Males have been found to be more susceptible to Behcet’s Syndrome as compared to their female counterparts.

Signs and Symptoms of Behcet’s Disease

Symptoms of Behcet’s Disease tend to vary from one individual to another. Common symptoms of this disease are recurrent Canker Sores or Mouth Ulcers, Skin Rashes or lesions, Genital Sores, Arthritis, and inflammation around parts of the eye.

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In most of the cases, the symptoms begin to appear in the affected individuals in their 20s or 30s. The flare ups tend to last for longer durations and may recur within few weeks.

Severe cases are characterized by serious symptoms such as Vision Loss, Brain Clots, inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord (Meningitis), Cranial Nerve Palsy and bowel inflammation.

When it affects the central nervous system, it causes symptoms of memory loss, impaired speech, balance and movement etc. The symptoms tend to become less severe after 20 years.

Diagnosis of Behcet’s Disease

Diagnosis of Behcet’s Disease is a challenging task because of the presence of a variety of symptoms and no specific cause of the disease. There is no single test to confirm the presence of this disease. The diagnosis is generally done by ruling out other diseases.

Usually, the diagnosis done when the patient complains of at least three flare ups of mouth sores and any two of the four hallmark symptoms, that is, recurrent genital sores, skin lesions, eye inflammation, and positive skin prick test.

Unfortunately, in the present scenario, there is no definite cure for this disease. Therefore, only the symptoms of the disease can be treated individually to provide relief. Apart from the conventional treatments, numerous home remedies can also be adopted to deal with the symptoms effectively.

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