Behcet’s Disease

Behcet’s Disease

What is Behcet’s disease?

Behcet’s (beh-CHETS) disease, also called Behcet’s syndrome, is a rare disorder that causes blood vessel inflammation throughout your body.

The disease can lead to numerous signs and symptoms that may seem unrelated at first. They may include mouth sores, eye inflammation, skin rashes and lesions, and genital sores.


Behcet’s disease symptoms vary from person to person. It may disappear and recur on its own.Y our signs and symptoms depend on which parts of your body are affected.

Areas commonly affected by Behcet’s disease include:

  • Mouth. Painful mouth sores that look similar to canker sores are the most common sign of Behcet’s disease. They begin as raised, round lesions in the mouth that quickly turn into painful ulcers. The sores usually heal in one to three weeks, though they do recur.
  • Skin. Skin problems can vary. Some people may develop acne-like sores on their bodies. Others may develop red, raised and tender nodules on their skin, especially on the lower legs.
  • Genitals. People with Behcet’s disease may develop sores on their genitals. The red, open sores commonly occur on the scrotum or the vulva. The sores are usually painful and may leave scars.
  • Eyes. Behcet’s disease may cause inflammation in the eye — a condition called uveitis (u-vee-I-tis). Uveitis causes redness, pain and blurred vision in one or both eyes. In people with Behcet’s disease, the condition and may come and go.
  • Joints. Joint swelling and pain often affect the knees in people with Behcet’s disease. The ankles, elbows or wrists also may be involved. Signs and symptoms may last one to three weeks and go away on their own.
  • Vascular system. Inflammation in blood vessels (veins and arteries) may occur in Behcet’s disease, causing redness, pain, and swelling in the arms or legs when a blood clot results. Inflammation in the large arteries can lead to complications, such as aneurysms and narrowing or blockage of the vessel.
  • Digestive system. Behcet’s disease may cause a variety of signs and symptoms that affect the digestive system, including abdominal pain, diarrhea and bleeding.
  • Brain. Behcet’s disease may cause inflammation in the brain and nervous system that leads to headache, fever, disorientation, poor balance or stroke.


No one knows exactly what causes Behcet’s disease. But it may be an autoimmune disorder, which means the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks some of its own healthy cells. It’s likely that genetic and environmental factors also play a role. Several genes have been found to be associated with the disease. Some researchers believe a virus or bacterium may trigger Behcet’s disease in people who have certain genes that make them susceptible to Behcet’s.

How can Chinese medicine treat it?

  • Syndrome differentiation and treatment:
    Chinese medicine believe that the disease belongs to the category of  “Cold ulcer”, and “Yin ulcer”. The patterns of syndromes are considered as the conditions of interior, conditions of cold, and conditions of deficiency. The main pathological basis is the Yin deficiency and Yang excess. Syndromes have a close connection with the liver heat, spleen dampness, and kidney deficiency. Therefore, TCM treatment for Behcet’s Disease is based on the syndrome differentiation. The purpose of the treatment is to clearing away heat and toxic materials, tonifying spleen, and relieve internal heat or fever. On the contrary, In western medicine, corticosteroid hormone and immunosuppressor are often used to treat Behcet’s Disease, however, the treatment effect is not ideal. The western medicine is more for the relief of symptoms. The disease comes back when the patient stops taking the medicines. What’s more, the patients has side-effects.
    Treatment course
  • 1-3 months