The Good News About Behçet’s Disease

The good news about Behçet's disease is that it is not really a disease. Unfortunately, the diagnosis provides no benefit to the patient other than to rule out other conditions. Although most patients are told that there is no cure for Behçet's disease, there is a published study implicating food allergy as a cause of Behçet's disease. Even more importantly, we have seen Behçet's disease at our clinic and found that food allergies seem largely responsible for this condition. Yet most Behçet's patients are not adequately evaluated for food allergies, and testing for food allergies can be more complicated than most doctors realize.

If you would like to hear a first-hand account from a patient seen at our sister clinic, the IBS Treatment Center, and successfully treated for Behçet's, please watch this video:

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We would like to help you too. We believe that there is a cure for Behçet's disease. It is not as simple as having everyone who has Behçet's eat the same diet, because not everyone has the same food allergens. But we think that there is an excellent chance that we can help you figure out what is triggering your problem

What Is Behçet's Disease?

Behçet's disease (also known as Behçet Disease or Behçet's Syndrome) is thought of as an autoimmune disease, but diagnosing Behçet's disease is very difficult because no specific test confirms it. There is no "Behçet's test". The diagnosis is based on the occurrence of symptoms and signs that are the definition of the disease.

Criteria for Behçet's disease:

  • Mouth sores (oral ulcers) at least three times in 12 months
  • Any two of the following:
  • Recurring genital sores/ulcers
  • Eye inflammation with loss of vision
  • Characteristic skin lesions
  • Positive pathergy (skin prick test)

Skin problems are a common symptom of Behçet's disease. Skin sores often look red or resemble pus-filled bumps or a bruise. Arthritis or joint pain occurs in more than half of all patients with Behçet's disease. This involves pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints, especially in the knees, ankles, wrists, and elbows. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are also often a part of Behcet's disease. Medications are used in an attempt to relieve the pain and treat the symptoms of Behcet's, but they do not cure this condition, and most lead to unwanted side-effects. Needless to say, Behcet's patients often suffer from fatigue and a diminished quality of life.

It is not yet known how many cases of Behçet's Syndrome will prove to be so directly related to food allergies as was seen in the patient above. We are very interested in working with more patients afflicted with this challenging condition.

References

Triolo et. al. (2002). Humoral and cell mediated immune response to cow's milk proteins in Behçet's disease. Ann Rheum Dis. 2002 May;61(5):459-62. (full text available).

 

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