Ashton Kutcher health latest: Actor shares his vasculitis symptoms


Ashton Kutcher, 44, has gone public about his recent battle with vasculitis, which impaired his sight, hearing and ability to walk. Vasculitis is an autoimmune disease whereby the blood vessels become inflamed. “Like two years ago, I had this weird, super-rare form of vasculitis,” Kutcher said in an exclusive video clip released to “Access Hollywood” from an upcoming episode of National Geographic’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

“Knocked out my vision, knocked out my hearing, knocked out like all my equilibrium. It took me like a year to like build it all back up,” Kutcher told adventurer and presenter Bear Grylls as they hiked through brambles and trees.

The actor continued: “You don’t really appreciate it until it’s gone, until you go, ‘I don’t know if I’m ever gonna be able to see again. I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to hear again, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to walk again.

“I’m lucky to be alive.”

According to the NHS, vasculitis can range from a minor problem that just affects the skin, to a more serious illness that causes problems with organs like the heart or kidneys.

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How is vasculitis treated?

There are two phases in the treatment of vasculitis – “remission induction” therapy (getting the disease under control) and “remission maintenance” therapy (keeping the disease under control).

Both phases normally involve immunosuppressive drugs.

According to Vasculitis UK, remission induction therapy usually requires a combination of immunosuppressive drugs to control the inflammation.

“The drugs given will vary according to the specific disease and the severity of the disease,” explains the health body.

According to Vasculitis UK, remission maintenance therapy is administered once the disease is controlled or in remission (indicated by improved symptoms and blood tests).

“The prednisolone is usually reduced to a very low dose. If cyclophosphamide has been given it is usually stopped and changed to less toxic drugs such as azathioprine,” explains the health body.

It continues: “Maintenance therapy can last for many years, but in some cases can be discontinued after one or two years.

“How long people with vasculitis need to remain on remission maintenance therapy is very variable and will need to be discussed on an individual basis with the medical team helping look after the patient.”



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