relapsing polychondritis treatments

Relapsing Polychondritis Is A Rare Cartilage Disease

Relapsing Polychondritis Is A Rare Cartilage Disease 

What Is Relapsing Polychondritis?


Relapsing polychondritis is a rare cartilage disease that triggers the immune system to attack the body’s cartilage. 

What Is Relapsing Polychondritis?

The relapsing stands for a situation that occurs more than once.

The poly is a prefix that means,”many.” 

Chondritis means inflammation of cartilage. 

The disease, relapsing polychondritis is characterized by recurrent episodes of inflammation of the cartilage of various body tissues.

Relapsing polychondritis can affect any part of your body that has cartilage.

What Parts Of The Body Have Cartilage?

Parts of the body that contains cartilage include:

  • heart
  • main arteries
  • skin
  • eyes
  • ears
  • tracheal cartilages 
  • nasal
  • joints 
  • blood vessels

Is Relapsing Polychondritis Easy To Diagnosis?

The rare disease relapsing polychondritis is often difficult to diagnosis. 

Some patients with relapsing polychondritis can take years to be diagnosed. 

The most common symptom of relapsing polychondritis is the sudden cause of extreme pain in the inflamed cartilage area.

Relapsing Polychondritis Inflammation 

Inflammation of the ears and nose can cause the body’s cartilage to weaken and result in a saddle nose and floppy deformed ears.

Inflammation of the inner ear may cause hearing impairments, nausea, and loss of balance.

Windpipe or trachea inflammation can lead to throat intense pain, loss of voice (hoarseness) and trouble breathing may develop.

Some patients with serve relapsing polychondritis in the trachea area may require assistance to breathe.

Joint inflammation (arthritis) may cause stiffness, swelling, redness and joint pain.

If a relapsing polychondritis patient experiences joint pain it may make it difficult to perform everyday tasks.

Inflammation of joints may include the hands, knees, ankles, and wrists.

Eye inflammation can be mild or severe and can damage vision.

The steroids that treat the rare disease relapsing polychondritis can cause cataracts.

Fever may develop as the body struggles with inflammation.

People with relapsing polychondritis may also experience fatigue and weight loss. 

What Causes Relapsing Polychondritis?

  • What causes relapsing polychondritis is unknown but some medical experts suspect R.P. is caused by an autoimmunity. 
  • Some medical specialists suspect that environment may play a role.
  • Other inflammatory diseases may trigger relapsing polychondritis. 

In 50 percent of relapsing polychondritis patients, there is confirmation of thrombocytosis, leukocytosis, and normochromic normocytic anemia.

Relapsing polychondritis is a rare cartilage disease that needs more medical research. 


You can learn more about relapsing polychondritis on this HypoGal Page. 

Play It Forward So Others Do Not Go Backward. 

Like, HypoGal on Facebook, Please.