Behçet’s syndrome

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What is Behçet's syndrome?

Behçet’s syndrome is a rare condition that causes a number of symptoms, including mouth and genital ulcers and eye inflammation. It's sometimes also known as Behçet’s disease.

What are the symptoms of Behçet's syndrome?

Behçet’s has a number of symptoms, but you’ll probably only have a few of these:
  • mouth ulcers
  • genital ulcers (around the penis in a man or the vagina in a woman)
  • skin problems
  • eye inflammation
  • fatigue
  • joint problems
  • problems with your nervous system
  • problems with your bowels
  • thrombosis

Who gets Behçet’s syndrome?

Behçet’s syndrome affects men and women of all ages, but it’s most likely to develop in your 20s or 30s.

What causes Behçet’s syndrome?

We don’t know for sure yet what causes Behçet’s syndrome, but it’s possible that it may be triggered by an infection or that it’s an autoimmune disease.

What is the outlook for Behçet’s syndrome?

Behcet’s syndrome is a long-term problem, but it doesn’t usually affect how long you live.

How is Behçet’s syndrome diagnosed?

A definite diagnosis isn’t always possible, but you may have Behçet’s if you have recurrent mouth ulcers (more than three in a 12-month period) plus any two of the following:
  • genital ulcers
  • skin problems
  • inflammation in your eye
  • a positive pathergy test

Tests to help make a diagnosis may include blood tests, chest x-rays and telescopic examinations of the bowel or stomach (endoscopy).

What treatments are there for Behçet’s syndrome?

At present, there’s no cure for Behçet’s syndrome. However, various drug treatments can control the severity of your symptoms and improve your general well-being.

Self-help and daily living for Behçet’s syndrome

Try the following tips to help ease the symptoms of Behçet’s syndrome:
  • exercise your joints and keep fit, but rest when you need to
  • eat a balanced diet

Research and new developments for Behçet’s syndrome.

Arthritis Research UK is funding a study which will help us understand more about Behçet’s syndrome.

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