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Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

medical marijuana for hsp

Medical Marijuana and Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

When you’re experiencing Henoch-Schonlein purpura (HSP), you’re dealing with inflammation, joint pain, and possibly even seizures. On top of that, many individuals also struggle with depression and anxiety since this condition can often affect their quality of life. Medical marijuana for Henoch-Schonlein purpura treatment can help with these and many of the other debilitating symptoms of HSP.

What Is Henoch-Schonlein Purpura?

The disease Henoch-Schonlein purpura causes your body’s small blood vessels to become inflamed and leak. The main symptom of this disease is a rash that appears like lots of small raised bruises. Henoch-schonlein purpura can also affect your joints, kidneys and digestive tract.

henoch schonlein purpura

It can develop at any point in your life, but tends to affect children between 2 and 6 years old, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). It’s the most common type of childhood vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels, and causes small blood vessel inflammatory changes.

Most individuals completely recover from HSP, but some people develop long-term kidney damage. The condition generally goes away after four to six weeks. In some cases, individuals experience a symptom recurrence over this time, but they don’t experience any long-term consequences.

If the disease affects your organs, like your intestines and kidneys, you’ll likely require treatment and frequent follow-up visits to your doctor to prevent severe complications. HSP can cause chronic kidney disease and kidney failure in adults. A diagnosis of end-stage renal disease means you need a kidney transplant or dialysis to filter your blood.

Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

The most obvious symptom of HSP is a rash. Blood vessels in the skin leak, causing a rash that looks like small bruises or dots on your arms, legs, and buttocks. It often starts off looking like hives and then changes to look more like bruises, spreading to the back, chest, and face. When pressed, the rash doesn’t turn pale or disappear.

Other Henoch-Schonlein purpura symptoms include:

  • Arthritis: Swelling and pain can develop in your joints, typically in the ankles and knees, but sometimes in the wrists and elbows as well.
  • Digestive tract problems: The disease can lead to abdominal pain and vomiting, ranging from mild to severe. You may have blood in your stool, but it’s rare to experience severe bleeding.
  • Kidney involvement: Blood in the urine is a good indication the disease has affected your kidneys. Large amounts of protein in your urine or high blood pressure could also indicate severe kidney issues.
  • Other symptoms: Boys with HSP can sometimes develop testicle swelling. Although rare, individuals have seen central nervous system symptoms like seizures and lung problems like pneumonia.

While all individuals with HSP develop a rash, in around one-third of all cases, pain in the abdomen or joints comes before the rash by as much as two weeks, reports NIDDK.

Risk Factors for Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Certain factors could increase your risk of HSP, including:

  • Sex: HSP is a bit more common in boys than it is in girls.
  • Age: HSP affects mainly young adults and children.
  • Race: Asian and white children are at higher risk for HSP than black children.
  • Family History: If someone in your family has already had HSP, you may be more likely to develop the condition.
  • Season: HSP hits mostly in winter, spring and fall.

Causes of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

HSP develops when your body’s immune system attacks its organs and cells. Attacking your own organs is an abnormal immune system response. Generally, your immune system makes proteins or antibodies to protect your body from viruses, bacteria, and other foreign substances.

These antibodies also attack your blood vessels in HSP. The factors causing this response from the immune system aren’t known. But, around 30 to 50 percent of HSP cases, individuals have a cold or another upper respiratory tract infection before they develop HSP. This disease also correlates with:

  • Foods
  • Medications
  • Trauma
  • Chickenpox, HIV, hepatitis and other infectious agents
  • Insect Bites
  • Cold weather exposure

Types of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Henoch-schonlein purpura goes by many other names including:

  • Allergic vasculitis
  • Allergic purpura
  • Schonlein-Henoch purpura
  • Nonthrombocytopenic idiopathic purpura
  • Leukocytoclastic vasculitis
  • Rheumatic purpura
  • Peliosis rheumatica

Physical Effects of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

For most individuals, symptoms don’t leave any long-term problems and usually improve within a month. However, recurrences are common.

hsp effects

Complications linked with HSP include:

  • Kidney Damage: Kidney damage is the most serious physical effect of HSP. Adults have a greater risk of kidney damage with HSP than children. Sometimes, the damage is severe enough that a kidney transplant or dialysis might be required. The risk of kidney damage in children that leads to long-term issues can be as great as 15 percent. However, kidney failure impacts only around one percent of kids with HSP. Within 15 years of receiving a diagnosis, 40 percent of adult HSP patients will have kidney failure or chronic kidney damage.
  • Bowel Obstruction: HSP rarely causes intussusception, a condition where a part of your bowel folds into itself, similar to a telescope, preventing the matter from passing through your bowel. While it is rare in adults, it does occur.
  • Pregnancy Complications: Women with an HSP history who get pregnant have a greater risk for high levels of protein in their urine and high blood pressure during their pregnancy.

Mental Effects of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

According to the Vasculitis Foundations, rheumatic diseases can be physically devastating. These types of diseases often cause disability and pain, causing individuals with rheumatic disease to make dramatic changes in lifestyle.

Easy tasks like opening a medication bottle or tying shoes become very challenging, but rheumatic diseases can have effects that go beyond just physical. They can limit a person’s activities that were once a part of their daily routine. People have to give up hobbies and habits that used to relieve stress and bring happiness. An individual’s career that offered them a sense of identity and purpose might change.

Having to suddenly manage a chronic disease and struggle with new restrictions or limitations impacts every area of the individual’s life, making them feel overwhelmed.

Although most rheumatic disease patients can handle the emotional strain a chronic disease brings on, some patients could develop anxiety or depression — common co-existing conditions with rheumatic diseases.

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Statistics

The Vasculitis Foundation provides these estimates about Henoch-Schonlein Purpura:

  • Around 50 percent of children with HSP had an upper respiratory infection
  • HSP occurs much less frequently in adults.
  • The disease is the most common type of vasculitis in kids, with an incidence of around 13 cases for every 100,000 children each year.

Henoch-Schonlein Purpura History

A London physician, Dr. William Heberden, described the first HSP cases in 1801. He wrote about a 5-year-old boy who experienced swelling and pain in different areas of his body. In some cases, he experienced belly pain with vomiting and blood-tinged urine. The skin of his leg was full of purpura, or bloody points.

The boy struggled with all four hallmarks of the disease:

  • Kidney inflammation
  • Arthritis
  • Purpura
  • Gastrointestinal involvement

Edouard Henoch and Johann Schonlein reported other cases decades after Heberden. They realized the disease often came after an upper respiratory infection and wasn’t always self-limited, in some cases progressing to severe kidney involvement. The disease is named after them.

Current Treatments Available for Henoch-Schonlein Purpura and Their Side Effects

HSP often resolves itself within a month and doesn’t cause any long-term effects. Plenty of fluids, bed rest and OTC pain relievers can help.

hsp treatments

Treatment’s main goal is to relieve your symptoms of swelling, joint pain, and abdominal pain. Those who have kidney involvement might receive treatment with the goal of preventing long-term kidney disease.

The rash rarely requires treatment. Doctors often treat joint pain with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. Side effects of these medications may include:

  • Ringing in your ears
  • Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting or mild heartburn
  • Mild rash or itching
  • A headache, dizziness or nervousness
  • Diarrhea, gas, constipation or bloating

Doctors may prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone to prevent or treat HSP complications, but this is controversial. They usually prescribe them to treat serious gastrointestinal symptoms. Side effects of corticosteroids may include:

  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bruising easily
  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin thinning
  • Increased infection vulnerability
  • Glaucoma and cataracts

Because of these side effects, doctors usually prescribe corticosteroids as a short-term treatment.

If you part of your bowel has ruptured or folded in upon itself, you may require surgery to repair it.

Recent Developments in Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Researchers are comparing three various standards of care options for treatments in a randomized trial for individuals with isolated skin vasculitis.

Also, researchers are conducting a multi-center observational study for evaluating the transcriptome and histopathology of cutaneous lesions in individuals with various vasculitis types.

Researchers are currently working on nearly two dozen clinical trials on Henoch-Schonlein Purpura.

How and Why Marijuana Can Be an Effective Treatment for Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Medical marijuana for Henoch-Achonlein purpura treats the symptoms of this disease and not the disease itself. You can take cannabis to relieve the symptoms without experiencing all the harsh side effects of traditional medications. Patients can rub a marijuana extract salve on their painful joints or take the extract orally under their tongue to help relieve abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues.

Cannabis has anti-emetic properties that help stop vomiting and is extremely effective at helping with insomnia. Marijuana is also an effective anti-inflammatory.

For hundreds of years, individuals have been using marijuana to treat their depression. It heightens your mood and provides energy.

HSP sufferers often experience chronic pain so debilitating that they turn to strong opioids to experience some relief. These medications, however, are very addictive. Marijuana helps treat chronic pain effectively and is much safer than opioid drugs. Whether they used an oral spray, ate the herb or smoked cannabis, patients found a strong improvement in their pain.

What Side Effects/ Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura Can Medical Marijuana Treat?

Medical marijuana for HSP can help treat symptoms such as:

Medical weed effectively reduces chronic inflammation and inflammatory-related pain due to its THC and CBD — the plant’s main cannabinoids.

reduce chronic inflammation

Both THC and CBD have been helping many patients reduce their inflammation caused by a variety of conditions. But, it’s the beta-caryophyllene, also found in cannabis, that impacts your CB2 receptor. One study reported by Science Daily showed beta-caryophyllene reduced inflammation in mice with swollen paws by 70 percent.

Medical pot also helps treat seizures with studies showing its effectiveness as an epilepsy treatment.

Best Strains of Marijuana to Use for Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

These marijuana strains can help treat your HSP-related symptoms as outlined above. They’re effective because just one strain can treat most — if not all — the symptoms you’re experiencing. Some potentially helpful strains to tackle your HSP symptoms include:

  • Avi-Dekel: Hybrid, treats fatigue, inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis and depression
  • Cannatonic: Hybrid, treats inflammation, anxiety, and depression
  • Charlotte’s Web: Sativa, treats seizures, muscle spasms, and pain
  • God Bud: Indica, treats inflammation, pain, stress, depression, and insomnia
  • Rafael: Sativa, treats anxiety, pain, inflammation, and arthritis
  • ACDC: Sativa, treats seizures, nausea, neuropathy, and inflammation
  • Purple Urkle: Indica, treats inflammation, pain, depression, and insomnia

Best Methods of Marijuana Treatment to Use to Treat Side Effects and Symptoms of Henoch-Schonlein Purpura

Along with the strains, consider the different delivery methods. There are a variety of ways to consume cannabis. Each method offers its benefits, and none delivers the same dosage in the same manner. By experimenting with different methods, you can find the one that will provide you with the most benefit.

methods of marijuana treatment

Some methods of cannabis delivery include:

  • Edibles
  • Smoking
  • Vaping
  • Tinctures
  • Topicals
  • Transdermal patches
  • Suppositories
  • Infused beverages
  • Eating raw cannabis
  • Supplements and pills
  • Dabbing

Smoking marijuana delivers quick relief, but can lead to respiratory issues, dry mouth and red eyes. Edibles take longer to affect you, but the effects also last longer.

CBD oil, like other weed products, is gaining popularity as the stigma surrounding the herb declines. Growers extract CBD to make the oil, leaving out the psychoactive THC.

Because CBD may be helpful for HSP because it can reduce the following symptoms:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Mood disorders

Let Marijuana Doctors Help You Find Relief

Learning your state laws regarding medical cannabis is your first important step. Here at MarijuanaDoctors.com, you can obtain information about how medical cannabis will help you, where to get your medicine, how much you should take and information about dispensaries and their cannabis products.

To get started, find a cannabis doctor to provide you with a recommendation to start your marijuana treatment for Henoch-Schonlein purpura. You can then browse our dispensary directory to find your desired marijuana products for your HSP symptoms.

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Resources:

  1. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/henoch-schonlein-purpura
  2. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/henoch-schonlein-purpura-causes-symptoms-treatment#1
  3. https://www.mayo.edu/research/clinical-trials/cls-20343591
  4. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080720222549.htm

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