The symptoms caused by vasculitis will depend on the organs involved. However, some general symptoms include: tiredness, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fever. Unfortunately many of these symptoms apply to other diseases which make it difficult to diagnose vasculitis.
Some symptoms encountered, specific to various systems are:
- Respiratory system – breathlessness, wheeze, dry cough or coughing up blood
- ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) – hearing problems (deafness and or noises in the ear), nasal crusting, nose bleeds, sinus pain (which may be felt as headaches or pain in the face) or hoarse voice
- Skin – rashes, ulcers, and necrosis (death of tissue)
- Eyes – red (blood shot) eyes, painful, dry or gritty eyes, visual loss or other changes in vision
- Joints – arthralgias (pain in joints), and joint swelling
- Nervous system – loss of sensation, weakness, unusual painful symptoms in the hands and feet (hotness, pins and needles or “electric shocks”) and rarely paralysis or stroke
- Gastrointestinal system – diarrhoea, bleeding and abdominal pain
- Kidneys/Renal – initially no symptoms. However urine dipstick tests will indicate problems with minute amounts of blood or protein in the urine. Occasionally blood may be seen in the urine (red or brown urine) or the amount of urine produced may suddenly reduce or stop altogether.