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Behçet’s disease is an illness that causes symptoms in various parts of the body. The more common symptoms include sores in the mouth and on the genitals (sex organs). More serious symptoms can include inflammation (swelling, heat, redness, and pain) in the eyes and other parts of the body.
The symptoms of Behçet’s disease differ from one person to the next. Some people have only mild symptoms, such as sores in the mouth, while others have more severe problems, such as vision loss.
The five most common symptoms of Behçet’s disease are:
Less common symptoms include:
Symptoms may appear, disappear, and then reappear. The times when a person is having symptoms are called flares.
Nearly all of the symptoms of Behçet’s disease are due to an inflammation of the blood vessels. Doctors aren’t sure what causes this inflammation. Some people may have inherited (passed on from parent to child) a problem with the immune system that makes them more likely to develop the disease. For these people, contact with substances in the environment, such as bacteria or viruses, may cause the immune system to attack the blood vessels. Behçet’s disease is not contagious; it is not spread from one person to another.
The goal of treatment is to reduce pain and prevent serious problems. Common treatments include: