Behçet’s disease involves inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body. It is rare, with an occurrence of one case per 20,000 in the United States. The disease is found worldwide, and can cause blindness. The common symptoms are: sores in the mouth (white or yellow center), visual impairment (usually blurring of vision), genital ulcers, minor skin lesions (5-10 mm papules) which are usually ignored. Less common symptoms are gastrointestinal complaints, aneurysms. and arthritis.
Onset of the disease is usually between the ages of 20 and 30, although some patients have been as young as 4 and as old as 70. Behçet’s disease affects twice as many men as women. The central nervous system, heart, and intestinal tract may be involved.
Behçet’s disease is not infectious, contagious, or sexually transmitted, but is thought to be autoimmune in nature with the immune system making antibodies which attack the arterial system as if it were an infectious agent. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body’s immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.
Because Behçet’s disease is rare and symptoms of this disease overlap symptoms of other diseases, it can be very difficult to diagnose. Spontaneous remission is common for patients with Behçet’s disease; this can add to the difficulty in diagnosis.
Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.
The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.
The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.