Andrea McLean is about to leave the Loose Women team after presenting the daytime show for 13 years. In an emotional goodbye, the Loose Women star said: “I know that doing something incredible in life also means doing something that scares you – and in my instance, it means having enough faith in the universe to say goodbye to something that is familiar, put myself out there and try something new.” This is not the first time Andrea has publicly addressed a sea change in her life.
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are some general signs and symptoms of most types of vasculitis, however.
General symptoms include:
- Weight loss
- General aches and pains.
As the health body explains, other signs and symptoms are related to the parts of the body affected.
- Digestive system. If your stomach or intestines are affected, you may experience pain after eating. Ulcers and perforations are possible and may result in blood in the stool.
- Ears. Dizziness, ringing in the ears and abrupt hearing loss may occur.
- Eyes. Vasculitis can make your eyes look red and itch or burn. Giant cell arteritis can cause double vision and temporary or permanent blindness in one or both eyes. This is sometimes the first sign of the disease.
- Hands or feet. Some types of vasculitis can cause numbness or weakness in a hand or foot. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet might swell or harden.
- Lungs. You may develop shortness of breath or even cough up blood if vasculitis affects your lungs.
- Skin. Bleeding under the skin can show up as red spots. Vasculitis can also cause lumps or open sores on your skin.
How to reduce your risk
In most cases of vasculitis the exact cause is not known.
“Research suggests that people probably develop vasculitis because of the complex interaction of their genetic inheritance, which may increase the risk of developing vasculitis, and exposure to chemicals in the environment or possibly some types of infection (including hepatitis B virus) which may trigger the vasculitis in someone who is susceptible,” says Vasculitis UK.
According to the charity, this does not mean that vasculitis can be inherited or passed on to children.
As it explains, the immune system is controlled by many thousands of different genes and it is probable that there needs to be some variation in several different genes in combination to make an individual more “at risk” of vasculitis than others.
This does not mean that the genes do not work just that they may work slightly differently.
How is it treated?
According to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), glucocorticoids (prednisone, prednisolone or others), often referred to as “steroids,” are an important part of treating most forms of vasculitis.
“The dose and length of treatment depend on how bad the disease is and how long the patient has had it,” explains ACR.
These drugs help reduce inflammation but can have long-term side effects, says the health body.
If you have severe vasculitis, you may be advised to undergo surgery, it adds.