Behet's disease, orBehet's syndrome,is a rare and poorly understood conditionthat results in inflammation of the blood vessels and tissues.
Confirming a diagnosis ofBehet's disease can be difficult because the symptoms are so wide-ranging and general (they can be shared with a number of other conditions).
This page covers:
Themain symptoms ofBehet's disease include:
In severe cases, there's also a risk of serious and potentially life-threatening problems, such as permanent vision loss and strokes .
Most people with the condition experience episodes where their symptoms are severe (flare-ups or relapses), followed by periods where the symptoms disappear (remission).
Over time, some of the symptoms can settle down and become less troublesome, although they may never resolve completely.
Read about the symptoms ofBehet's disease .
There's nodefinitive test thatcan beused to diagnose Behet's disease.
Severaltests may be necessaryto check for signs of the condition, or to help rule out other causes, including:
Current guidelines state a diagnosis of Behet's disease can usually be confidently made if you've experienced at least three episodes of mouth ulcers over the past 12 months and you have at least two of the following symptoms:
Other potential causes also need to be ruled out before the diagnosis is made.
The cause of Behet's disease is unknown, although most experts believe it's an autoinflammatory condition.
An autoinflammatory condition is where the immune system the body's natural defence against infection and illness mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.
In cases of Behet's disease, it's thought the immune system mistakenly attacks the blood vessels.
It's not clear what triggers this problem with the immune system, but two things are thought to play a role:
Behet's disease is more common inthe Far East, the Middle East and Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Iran and Israel.
People of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Asian origin are thought to be most likely to develop the condition, although it can affect all ethnic groups.
There's no cure for Behet's disease, but it's often possible to control the symptoms with medicines that reduce inflammation in the affected parts of the body.
These medications include:
Your healthcare team will createa specific treatment plan for you depending on your symptoms.
Read about treatingBehet's disease .
There are three NHS Centres of Excellencethat have been set up to help diagnose and treat people with Behet's disease in England.
These are located in London, Birmingham and Liverpool.
You may be referred to one of these centres so a diagnosiscan be confirmed. Staff at these centres may also liaise with specialists at other centres to help with a person's management and treatment, even if they're not seen directly.
You can find out more about these centres on the Behet's Syndrome Centres of Excellence website .
If you haveBehet's disease, your clinical team will pass information about you on to the National Congenital Anomaly and Rare Diseases Registration Service (NCARDRS).
This helps scientists look for better ways to prevent and treat this condition. You can opt out of the register at any time.
A natural response to receiving a diagnosis of a complex condition such as Behet's disease is to find out as much as possible about the condition.
However, in the UK this may be difficult because Behet's disease is so rare that even most healthcare professionals know little or nothing about it.
A good place to start to learn more about Behet's disease is the Behet's Syndrome Society(BSS) . The BSS is the UK's main patient support group for people with Behet's disease.
The BSS website has a range of information about different aspects of Behet's disease, a member's forum, blogs, and links to other useful resources.
Read about Behet's disease, a rare and poorly understood condition in which blood vessels and tissues may become inflamed (swollen)
Read about the symptoms of Behet's disease. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, but it's rare for someone with the condition to have all of them at once
Read about treating Behet's disease. A number of treatments are available to help relieve many symptoms of the condition, but there's currently no cure