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Behcet’s Disease – Symptoms and Causes

Behcet’s disease is also known as Behcet’s syndrome. This is rare disease. It is causing inflammation in blood vessels throughout your body. This disease can have many symptoms which are looking like unrelated symptoms. People who are suffering from this disease can have skin rashes, eyes inflammation, lesions mouth sores and genital sores. These types of symptoms can vary from person to person. In some cases these symptoms can come and go. The exact cause for this disease is now known. In the most cases is hard to discover the real cause for Bahcet’s disease. Many medical experts are believing that this is autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disease means that the body attacks its own healthy cells. Also in the medical science is known that the environmental and genetic factors can be reason for Behcet’s disease. Medical experts are trying with treatments to reduce the symptoms of Behcet’s disease because it can cause serious conditions such as blindness. [1]

Symptoms of Behcet’s Disease

Behcet’s disease can have many different symptoms from person to person. It can come and go on its own. Symptoms of Behcet’s disease are different. That depends on what part of the body is affected. Areas which are affected from this disease are the next:Behcet's Disease symptom causes

  • Brain: This disease can cause inflammation in the nervous system and in the brain. This will result with poor balance, stroke, fever, headache and disorientation. [2]
  • Joints: People who are suffering from Behcet’s disease are usually having joint pain and swelling. Also the wrists, elbows and ankles can be involved. These signs and symptoms can come and go on their own. They usually last from one to three weeks. [3]
  • Eyes: Behcet’s disease can cause inflammation in the body. This condition is called uveitis. Uveitis is causing pain, redness and blurred vision in one or both eyes. These symptoms can come and go. Inflammation which is occurred in the blood vessels of the retina is serious complication of Behcet’s disease. [4]
  • Digestive system: Behcet’s disease is causing many types of signs and symptoms which are affecting the digestive system. These signs and symptoms are involving bleeding, abdominal pain and diarrhea. [5]
  • Vascular system: When people are affected with Behcet’s disease they are having inflammation in the large arteries and veins. They are causing pain, swelling and redness in the legs or arms when the blood clots results. Many of these symptoms are caused by the inflammation in the blood vessels. Inflammation in the arteries is causing narrowing or blocking of the vessels and aneurysms. [6]
  • Mouth: When people are affected with Behcet’s disease, then they are having painful mouth sores. These mouth sores are similar to canker sores. Sores in the beginning are round and raised sores which are turning in painful ulcers. These sores are healing from one to three weeks.
  • Genitals: People with this disease can have sores on their genitals. They are usually happening on the vulva or on the scrotum. They are colored in red. In the most cases these sores are painful. Also they can leave you scars.
  • Skin: People with Behcet’s disease are having skin lesions. Skin problems can be very different. Some of the people can have acne on their body. Others can have raised red and tender nodules on their lower legs. [7]

Causes: The exact reason for this disease is not known. In the most cases doctors are saying that the cause for this disease is combination of environmental and genetic factors. Some of the genes are associated with Behcet’s disease according to many medical studies. People who are having some genes susceptible to Behcet’s disease can get this disease by viruses and bacteria.

Risk factors: Factors which are increasing the risk getting Behcet’s disease are:

  • Sex: This disease can happen in both men and women, but usually is attacking males.
  • Genes: If you have some genes, then you are having increased risk for Behcet’s disease.
  • Age: Children and older adults can have this disease. But usually this disease is attacking males and females between 20s and 30s. [8]
  • Location: This disease can happen everywhere in the world. But people who live in Far East and Middle East (such as Iran, Japan, China and Turkey) are having increased chances to get Behcet’s disease. [9]


[1] Tong B, Liu X, Xiao J, Su G. Immunopathogenesis of Behcet’s disease. Frontiers in Immunology. 2019;10:665.

[2] Tramontini PL, Finkelsztejn A, Duarte JA, et al. Neuro-Behçet disease mimicking brain tumor: A case report. Surgical Neurology International. 2017;8:97.

[3] Bicer A. Musculoskeletal findings in Behcet’s disease. Pathology Research International. 2012;2012:653806.

[4] Hussein MA, Eissa IM, Dahab AA. Vision-threatening Behcet’s disease: Severity of ocular involvement predictors. Journal of Ophthalmology. 2018.

[5] Skef W, Hamilton MJ, Arayssi T. Gastrointestinal Behçet’s disease: A review. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2015;21(13):3801–12.

[6] Cocco G, Gasparyan AY. Behçet’s Disease: An insight from a cardiologist’s point of view. The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal. 2010;4:63–70.

[7] Scherrer MAR, Rocha VB, Garcia LC. Behçet’s disease: review with emphasis on dermatological aspects. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2017;92(4):452–64.

[8] National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Behcet’s disease information page. Retrieved from

[9] Leonardo NM, McNeil J. Behcet’s disease: Is there geographical variation? A review far from the silk road. International Journal of Rheumatology. 2015.

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor (BSMS) who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more.Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma.She is always available through [email protected]


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