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Synopsis

This comprehensive ebook provides authoritative information and practical advice from the nation's health experts about Behcet's disease. Starting with the basics, and advancing to detailed patient-oriented and physician-quality information, the 21st Century Sourcebook series gives empowered patients, families, caregivers, nurses, and physicians the information they need to understand this autoimmune disorder.

Subjects and topics covered include symptoms, eye inflammation, uveitis, mouth sores, outlook, causes, who is at risk, diagnosis, tests and procedures, treatment, research, clinical trials, and more.

This edition includes our exclusive Guide to Leading Medical Websites with updated links to 81 of the best sites for medical information, which let you quickly check for updates from the government and the best commercial portals, news sites, reference/textbook/non-commercial portals, and health organizations.

Behçet’s disease affects each person differently. Some people have only mild symptoms, such as canker sores or ulcers in the mouth or on the genitals. Others have more severe signs, such as meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningitis can cause fever, a stiff neck, and headaches. More severe symptoms usually appear months or years after a person notices the first signs of Behçet’s disease. Symptoms can last for a long time or may come and go in a few weeks. Typically, symptoms appear, disappear, and then reappear. The times when a person is having symptoms are called flares. Different symptoms may occur with each flare; the problems of the disease often do not occur together. To help the doctor diagnose Behçet’s disease and monitor its course, patients may want to keep a record of which symptoms occur and when. Because many conditions mimic Behçet’s disease, doctors must observe the lesions (injuries) caused by the disorder to make an accurate diagnosis. The five most common symptoms of Behçet’s disease are mouth sores, genital sores, other skin lesions, inflammation of parts of the eye, and arthritis.

Although there is no cure for Behçet’s disease, people usually can control symptoms with proper medication, rest, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. The goal of treatment is to reduce discomfort and prevent serious complications such as disability from arthritis or blindness. The type of medicine and the length of treatment depend on the person’s symptoms and their severity. It is likely that a combination of treatments will be needed to relieve specific symptoms. Patients should tell each of their doctors about all of the medicines they are taking so that the doctors can coordinate treatment.

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