Sarcoidosis - A Body's Overreaction

Posted Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Did You Know? 25% of sarcoidosis cases affect the patient’s eyes

In More Than Half of All Cases, Sarcoidosis Only Lasts 12-36 Months and Resolves Without Treatment

Sarcoidosis can affect anyone at any age, but 70% of patients are ages 20-40

With understanding that many who suffer from sarcoidosis will make a full recovery with little treatment, there are others that may suffer terribly from the disease. It is important to notice signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis to avoid potentially life-threatening issues. Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of sarcoidosis including the cause, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. 

01│Cause

There is no definitive known cause of sarcoidosis. Some research has suggested that exposure to certain chemicals, infectious agents, or other elements causes an abnormal reaction within the body. This reaction is similar to an allergy, in which the immune system responds by developing the growths within the body. 

02│Symptoms

Sarcoidosis almost always affects the lungs and lymph nodes but can form in various parts of the body. Depending on the area in which the granulomas form the symptoms can vary. Sometimes the growths occur suddenly; in other instances, the disease develops slowly. An individual can unknowingly have sarcoidosis if the symptoms are minor. The abnormal cell growths are not always visible and usually are not found unless symptoms become severe enough to warrant testing. Some typical symptoms are:

  • Fatigue
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Skin Lesions
  • Weight Loss
  • Pain & Swelling

03│Diagnosis

It can be very complicated to diagnose sarcoidosis until the disease progresses. Early stages can show little to no impact on a patient and can mimic many other illnesses. When symptoms get worse or a combination of symptoms aligns to sarcoidosis several tests can be done. The most common testing options include:

  • X-Ray of Chest/Lungs
  • CT Scan of Chest/Lungs
  • Pulmonary Function Tests
  • Eye Exam
  • Biopsy

04│Treatment

Sarcoidosis cannot be cured; however, symptoms can be managed with medication and other forms of treatment. Most individuals who are not suffering from severe symptoms will not receive treatment but will be closely monitored for any changes in symptoms. Those who are suffering from severe symptoms may be treated with:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressant Medication
  • Physical Therapy

To learn more about different pulmonary diseases, please visit: https://www.lung.org

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References

https://www.hillandale.com/nurse-aide-educates-about-sarcoidosis/ 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sarcoidosis/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350363

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