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Actor Ashton Kutcher reveals he suffered from vasculitis: What is the disease?

Actor Ashton Kutcher reveals he suffered from vasculitis: What is the disease?

Actor Ashton Kutcher reveals he suffered from vasculitis: What is the disease?
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By CNBCTV18.com Aug 11, 2022 2:04:10 PM IST (Published)

Hollywood star Ashton Kutcher said that his vision and hearing were knocked out by the disease. He clarified he is now fully recovered.

Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher revealed that he had been suffering from a rare form of an autoimmune condition called vasculitis which involves inflammation of the blood vessels. Kutcher shared his ordeal in an episode of National Geographic's Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge.

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Kutcher told Bear Grylls that his vision and hearing were knocked out by the disease two years ago. He said it took him about a year to recover from the condition. On Twitter, the actor clarified that the aired episode was three years ago and he is now fully recovered.


What is vasculitis?

Vasculitis is a rare autoimmune condition that develops when the body’s immune system attacks the blood vessels, leading to inflammation and narrowing of veins, arteries, and small capillaries. This can restrict or completely block blood flow to organs, as per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), US. This condition can lead to organ damage and can cause potentially fatal internal bleeding.

Symptoms

Some people with vasculitis may have few symptoms while others can develop more severe symptoms such as:

  • Ear and nose problems, including sinus and ear infections, impaired hearing, and deafness.
  • Eye problems such as itching, burning, impaired vision, or blindness.
  • Other issues include mouth sores, stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Joint pain and nerve problems such as tingling, numbness, weakness, loss of strength, and shooting pain in limbs are also some symptoms of vasculitis.
  • Issues of vasculitis that can be life-threatening, according to the NIH, are dangerously high or low blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, heart rhythm disorders, myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart. Other life-threatening risks include renal failure, aneurysms, and bleeding into the lungs.
  • Causes

    It is unclear what causes vasculitis. However, certain groups of people such as older patients are more vulnerable. Also, smoking and illegal drug use can increase the risk for vasculitis, while certain types of the condition can run in families. Lymphoma, a blood cancer, hepatitis B or C, or autoimmune disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis can also increase the chances of vasculitis.

    Diagnosis and treatment

    Vasculitis is notoriously hard to diagnose because its initial symptoms like fatigue, fevers, and weight loss are associated with several other ailments. Currently, there is no cure for vasculitis, but early diagnosis and treatment with medications that target the type of vasculitis and prevent blood vessel damage can help. Early recognition is key as the symptoms can be prevented from getting worse.

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