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Behçet’s disease

Behçet's disease or Behçet's syndrome is a rare long-term condition causing inflammation in different areas of the body.

These may include:

Behçet's disease is estimated to affect around 1,000 people in the UK. It is more common in people with Eastern Mediterranean and Asian ethnic origins.

It isn't clear what causes Behçet's disease, but a problem with the body's immune defence system wrongly attacking parts of the body is the most common explanation.

Inherited genes and environmental factors may play a role.

Symptoms of Behçet's disease

Symptoms of Behçet's disease include:

Symptoms cannot be predicted. There may be flare-ups followed by periods with fewer symptoms, though what triggers this is not clear.

Behçet’s disease diagnosis

Diagnosis of Behçet’s disease does not involve any single test, but a doctor will assess a person's symptoms, examine them and arrange tests to help rule out other possible causes.

Tests may include blood and urine tests, X-rays, a CT scan, or MRI scan, and testing tissue samples from a skin biopsy.

A skin sensitivity test may also be carried out.

A referral may be made to a specialist NHS centre for Behçet’s disease diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment for Behçet’s disease

Behçet’s disease treatment involves trying to relieve the pain and discomfort of a person's symptoms.

This may involve referrals to specialists in skin problems, mouth conditions, joint conditions, eye diseases, and nerve problems.

Treatment options include steroids (corticosteroids) and biological therapies to help with inflammation, and immune-suppressants to help calm the immune system.

Specific treatments will depend on individual circumstances.

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 24, 2017

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