advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
Is Vasculitis Causing Too Many Sores?

For 11 years I have been getting from two to nine sores on my body and finally was diagnosed with a mild case of vasculitis of the skin.  I've been on antibiotics for almost a year now. Can you recommend anything else? 

A
Answer (Published 10/4/2007)

Vasculitis is an inflammatory disease of blood vessels that can affect any number of organs, including the skin. The sores that you get result from leakages of blood from damaged blood vessels. The cause of vasculitis is unknown, but there is probably an autoimmune aspect to it. That is, the immune system is mistakenly attacking the body’s own tissues, causing inflammation and damage. Vasculitis can occur on its own or be a component of other autoimmune disorders such as lupus. In addition to localized injury, patients with vasculitis often experience generalized symptoms: fevers, weight loss, fatigue, and diffuse aches and pains.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor - If you are interested in supplementing your diet but don't know where to start, take Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. It is free, and provides a personalized vitamin & supplement recommendation based on your health history. Visit today!

Because vasculitis appears to be autoimmune in nature and is not an infectious disease, antibiotics (which work against bacteria) are unlikely to help. The conventional medical treatments for autoimmune disorders are steroids and other immunosuppressive drugs that are useful for short-term management of the worst crises but can cause terrible toxicity when they are used long term. Instead, I recommend several measures that can bring about dramatic improvement in patients with autoimmune disorders. First, follow my anti-inflammatory diet.

In particular:

  • Eliminate cow’s milk and cow’s milk products (substitute other calcium sources).
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (make sure that they are organically grown).
  • Eliminate polyunsaturated vegetable oils, margarine, vegetable shortening, all partially hydrogenated oils, all foods (such as deep-fried foods) that might contain trans-fatty acids. Use extra-virgin olive oil as your main fat.
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Take two to three grams of fish oil a day.
    Several supplements can also help:
  • Take anti-inflammatory herbs such as ginger and turmeric. Try my new unsweetened turmeric tea. Take a combination of ginger, turmeric, and other botanicals with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Consider taking grape seed extract, a source of powerful antioxidant compounds called OPCS (oligomeric proanthocyanidins). Research has shown these compounds to be useful in protecting blood vessels, making them more elastic and less likely to leak.
    Aside from dietary measures, note that:
  • Because autoimmune diseases tend to flare up in response to emotional ups and downs, I suggest that you also try some form of mind/body treatment - hypnosis may be especially helpful. Psychotherapy, biofeedback and guided imagery are other good options.
  • You might try consulting a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine. I have seen this system produce good results with vasculitis and other forms of autoimmunity.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here