The symptoms of vasculitis vary depending on which type of vasculitis you have, the organs involved, and whether your condition is serious. Some people may have few symptoms. Other people may become very sick.
Sometimes the symptoms develop slowly, over months. The symptoms may also develop very quickly, over days or weeks. Some people have general symptoms, such as:
- General aches and pains
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
What problems can vasculitis cause?
- Ear and nose problems may occur, including sinus infections, inner ear infections, open sores in the nose, a runny nose, dizziness, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and deafness.
- Eye problems including redness, itching, burning, and changes in vision may also happen. Blindness in one eye may be the first sign of giant cell arteritis. The risk of blindness with giant cell arteritis is higher for people who have had a stroke or have peripheral artery disease.
- problems, such as open sores in the mouth or stomach area, diarrhea, vomiting blood, and pain in the stomach area are also sometimes caused by vasculitis.
- Genital ulcers, which are open sores in the genital area, may also occur.
- You may have headache, scalp tenderness, and pain after chewing.
- Heart palpitations, or the feeling that your heart is racing, occurs with vasculitis.
- Joint pain is another common condition caused by vasculitis.
- Lung problems, including shortness of breath, bleeding within the lung, and coughing up blood may also occur when you have vasculitis.
- Nerve problems, including numbness, tingling, pain, and weakness in various parts of body; loss of strength in the hands and feet; and shooting pains in the arms and legs, may occur.
- Skin rashes, purple or red spots or bumps, clusters of small dots, splotches, bruises, hives, and itching also sometimes happen due to vasculitis.
- Some people also have problems with the hands and feet, including swelling of the palms and soles, hardening, pain, ulcers, and .
- Swollen, dry lips or tongue, or swelling in the mouth and throat may occur.
- Vasculitis may also lead to problems during pregnancy.
Inflammation from vasculitis can block normal blood flow, which may damage parts of the body. Serious problems depend on which parts of the body are damaged, and they can be life-threatening. They include:
- Aneurysm or aortic dissection
- Coronary heart disease
- Deep vein thrombosis, a type of venous thromboembolism
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Low blood pressure
- Kidney disease
- Myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation
- Stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA, also known as a mini-stroke, occurs if blood flow to a part of the brain is blocked only for a short time.