Behcet’s Syndrome, also called Behcet’s Disease, is a rare disease that mainly affects young adults. It causes inflammation in many parts of the body including the eyes, mouth, skin, genitals, joints, blood vessels and nervous system.
Behcet’s Syndrome can affect both males and females of all ages. The first symptoms often appear between the age of 20 and 30. The disease tends to be more severe in men and when the onset is at an earlier age.
Signs and symptoms of Behcet’s Syndrome may vary from person to person and also depending on which parts of the body are affected. Organs that are commonly affected by Behcet’s Syndrome include the following:
Currently there is no preventive measure for the disease.
The exact cause is unknown. Many believe it is a form of autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system becomes dysfunctional and attacks its own healthy cells. Both genetic and environmental factors such as repeated infections have been linked to the possible causes of Behcet’s Syndrome.
The symptoms of Behcet’s Syndrome can mimic many other diseases and therefore these conditions need to be excluded before a diagnosis of Behcet’s Syndrome can be made. There is no specific blood test that can diagnose Behcet’s Syndrome. Hence the diagnosis is based on a set of symptoms and signs, including recurrent mouth ulcers at least three times a year, in addition to two of the following:
There is currently no cure for Behcet’s disease. Treatment strategies focus on controlling inflammation, alleviating the specific symptoms experienced by the patient and preventing serious complications. In mild cases, treatment is only necessary during acute flares and no treatment is necessary in between flares. In severe cases, medication may be necessary over a period of time. Treatment usually includes one or more of the following:
Please consult your rheumatologist before any elective surgery. Medication adjustment may be required in preparation for the surgery.
Please consult your surgeon or rheumatologist for your post-surgical care. Any medication that is temporarily suspended before the surgery may have to be restarted.