Polyarteritis nodosa is a very rare disease affecting only one in 150,000 people, and out of 4 patients, 3 are males. For some still partially unclear reasons, a damage to the artery wall occurs and, consequently, causes artery inflammation.
The disease may affect almost every artery in the body, anytime. The artery swells and weakens due to inflammation, damaging the organ it serves. Symptoms of collagenosis (which may be severe) are associated with disorders of the specific organ that is affected with collagen. For example, a person suffering from a polyarteritis nodosa on the heart will likely have a left or right heart decompensation; polyarteritis nodosa on the lungs can cause breathing difficulties; kidney damage can cause hematuria; etc. In addition, the patient may have general symptoms such as persistent elevated temperature, low appetite, weight loss and general feeling of tiredness and weakness.
What to do?
It is very difficult to diagnose this disease. You will probably talk to your doctor about symptoms indicating an indeterminate disorder of an organ, and will need to perform a series of diagnostic tests before your doctor diagnoses the disease. After placing a firm diagnosis, the doctor will determine the therapy according to the site and degree of damage. There is no drug for primary inflammation and arterial weakness. The disease usually does not progress rapidly, so it can often be controlled by corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents.