May is International Behçet’s Month: Spreading Rare Disease Awareness

The month of May is recognized as International Behçet’s Awareness Month and May 20th is Behçet’s Awareness Day. This is a special time for spreading awareness about Behçet’s disease among the general public and within the medical community as well. The American Behcet’s Disease Association has put up a calendar of activities and events that can help you get involved in spreading awareness during this time.

About Behçet’s Disease

Behçet’s disease is a rare disorder of inflammation that can have impacts in many different areas of the body. The cause of the disease has yet to be definitively identified, but the disease mechanism is autoimmune in nature, meaning that the damage seen in Behçet’s disease is the result of the immune system mistakenly attacking healthy tissue. Inflammation appears to originate in the blood vessels. Previous infections may be a risk factor. Symptoms of Behçet’s disease include painful sores that appear in the mouth, anal, and genital areas, various degrees of eye inflammation, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, bloody cough, and arthritis. The heart and brain may also be affected in some cases. Treatment is mostly symptomatic, and TNF inhibitors and corticosteroids are go-to medications. IVIG and other medications that modulate the immune system may also be tried. Surgery may be used in rare cases. The disease generally resolves with time. To learn more about Behçet’s disease, click here.

Get Involved

To access the American Behcet’s Disease Assocation (ABDA) calendar, click here. Using your social media profiles, especially on Instagram and Facebook, will be key to getting involved, and the first step you should take is to follow the organization’s profiles (found here and here) on these platforms. ABDA will post instructions on these profiles for the different activities on each day that they take place.

A great resource that you can share is the ABDA’s library of educational webinars. These webinars are valuable tools that can help spread awareness and educate people about this rare disease. Click here to check them out.

Are you a member of the Behçet’s disease community? Now is the time to share your personal story on social media. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #BehcetsDisease.

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