Vasculitis Specialist

David Shaskey, MD -  - Rheumatologist

Millcreek Rheumatology

David Shaskey, MD

Rheumatologist located in Salt Lake City, UT

Vasculitis, a condition that causes inflamed blood vessels, affects children and adults, and it can lead to serious complications without early and ongoing treatment. At Millcreek Rheumatology, David Shaskey, MD, has extensive experience identifying and managing this complex vascular disorder. Dr. Shaskey helps you achieve remission and works with you to support your long-term health and wellness. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Salt Lake City, Utah, or use the online booking feature today.

Vasculitis Q&A

What is vasculitis?

Vasculitis includes a group of diseases that cause inflammation in your arteries and veins. Ongoing inflammation damages the blood vessels and restricts the flow of blood.

Vasculitis affects people of all ages, but some types are only diagnosed in specific groups, such as children or adults over the age of 50.

What type of vasculitis might I develop?

These are only a few examples of the 20 or more types of vasculitis:

Giant cell arteritis

This type develops in the arteries carrying blood to your face and scalp, often targeting the area around your temples.

Polyarteritis nodosa

Polyarteritis nodosa develops in blood vessels supplying your nervous system, skin, joints, heart, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs.

Buerger’s disease

This type of vasculitis causes blood clotting in the blood vessels in your arms and legs.

Polymyalgia rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica leads to inflammation in your joints, often affecting your hips and shoulders.

Urticarial vasculitis

Urticarial vasculitis affects your skin, causing swelling in small blood vessels and resulting in hives.

What symptoms develop if I have vasculitis?

Most people feel under the weather in the early stages of vasculitis. You may have a low-grade fever, fatigue, headaches, body aches, or a skin rash.

When other symptoms start to appear, they’re more specific to the type of vasculitis and the part of your body that’s affected.

This list gives includes some of the symptoms you may experience:

  • Sinus infections
  • Chronic congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Red, burning eyes
  • Changes in vision
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin and mouth ulcers
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Joint pain
  • Bruising
  • Leg pain
  • Red or purple spots on your skin
  • Numbness or weakness in your hands or feet

Your symptoms may range from mild to debilitating.

How is vasculitis treated?

Dr. Shaskey uses his training and experience to develop a customized treatment plan for each person’s unique case of vasculitis.

Most people take medications such as steroids to reduce the inflammation. You may also need medications, such as immunosuppressants, that also fight inflammation and allow Dr. Shaskey to lower your dose of steroids.

If you have severe vasculitis, Dr. Shaskey may prescribe a plasma exchange, called plasmapheresis, or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg).

IVIg contains proteins that suppress inflammation. During plasmapheresis, a machine removes some of your blood, eliminates the cells causing your vascular inflammation, and then returns the blood to your body.

To learn more about vasculitis and its effect on your body, call Millcreek Rheumatology or schedule an appointment online today.