Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects one or more organs in your body, but most commonly affects the lungs and lymph glands. As a result causing inflammation, abnormal lumps or nodules (otherwise known as granulomas) form in one or more organs of the body. These granulomas may change the normal structure and possibly the function of the affected organ(s).
How does one get Sarcoidosis?
Some clues as to whether you have this disease include patient symptoms, findings from physical and laboratory studies, and patient race.
General onset of sudden symptoms can mean that the illness will be short lived mild in severity. Some of these symptoms include:
- weight loss
- just an overall feeling of ill health
Symptoms of shortness of breath and some types of skin involvement mean that sarcoidosis will be more long-lasting and severe.
In Caucasians, the disease often appears suddenly, which usually indicates a more mild form of the disease that is of short duration. African-Americans and Puerto Ricans, on the other hand, tend to develop the more long-term and severe form of the disease.
According to the CDC, the Most common initial symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Reddish bumps or patches on the skin or under the skin
- Enlarged lymph glands in the chest and around the lungs that produces cough and shortness of breath
- Fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, general feeling of ill health
Other disease characteristics include:
- Red and teary eyes or blurred vision
- Swollen and painful joints
- Enlarged lymph glands in the neck, armpits, and groin
- Nasal stuffiness and hoarse voice
- Pain in the hands, feet, or other bony areas due to the formation of cysts in bones
- Kidney stone formation
- Development of abnormal or missed beats, inflammation of the covering of the heart, or heart failure
- Nervous system effects include hearing loss, meningitis, seizures or psychiatric disorders (for example, dementia, depression, psychosis)
What causes sarcoidosis?
Unfortunately the exact cause of sarcoidosis is unknown at this time. The disease can appear suddenly and then disappear, or it can develop gradually and produce symptoms that come and go for a lifetime.
Some studies have shown that the disease is caused by an abnormal immune response, especially in those that have an already weak immune system. Other researchers suggest that fungi, viruses, or bacteria are likely triggers. According to the CDC, some cases of sarcoidosis have occurred in groups of people who had close contact with each other, as well as in recipients of heart, lung and bone marrow transplants.
Still have questions about Sarcoidosis? Ask your doctor.Tags: sarcoidosis, symptoms, treatments, what is sarcoidosis