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Behcet’s Disease Signs and Symptoms

Behcet’s disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the cells of the cardiovascular system.  It is a rare, systemic form of vasculitis, which causes chronic inflammation in blood vessels throughout the body.  The disease is more common in Asia and the Middle East, though it occurs worldwide.  It commonly affects men and women in their twenties and thirties. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of Behcet’s disease below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Behcet’s Disease:

  • Painful mount sores, identical to canker sores
  • Skin lesions
  • Nodules on the lower legs
  • Acne-like sores
  • Red, ulcerated lesions on the genitals
  • Inflammatory eye disease
  • Joint swelling and pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Problems with hearing
  • Problems with balance
  • Extreme exhaustion
  • Changes in personality
  • Swelling in the arms and legs

Diagnosis of Behcet’s Disease

Behcet’s disease is not commonly diagnosed until other similar conditions have been ruled out.  There is no specific test for Behcet’s disease that can definitively diagnose it.  A doctor will make a determination based on your medical history and presenting signs and symptoms.  However, because everyone with Behcet’s disease has had or will have mouth sores at some point, mouth sores are a necessary component of a diagnosis of Behcet’s disease.

Books For People with Signs and Symptoms of Behcet’s Disease

Essential Guide to Behcet’s Disease
Joanne Zeis
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Behcet’s Disease: A Revised and Updated Directory for the Internet Age
James N. Parker

Behcet’s Disease: A Contemporary Synopsis
Gary R. Plotkin
Behcet’s Disease: A Guide to its Clinical Understanding. Textbook and Atlas
Sungnack Lee

Behcet’s Disease Resources

General Patient Resources

  • American Behcet’s Disease Association

The American Behcet’s Disease Organization Website offers information, support and interative tools to patients, loved-ones and medical professionals.

  • Behcet’s Organization Worldwide

Designed as a ‘first port of call’ for anyone concerned about their Behcet’s Disease, the website is packed with information that is reassuring, accurate and easy to understand. We would particularly recommend the conference section and the information section

  • Behcet’s Syndrome Society

Behcets Syndrome Society is the UK patient support group for people with Behcets disease; registered charity number 326679.

Medical Organizations

  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

Behcet’s Disease information page compiled by NINDS

  • National Institute of Arthritis and Muskuloskeletal  and Skin Diseases

This is a public information piece. This booklet contains general information about Behçet’s (BAY-sets) disease

  • The Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center

Johns Hopkins discusses Behcet’s Disease