Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that may affect many different parts of the body. Small round spots, called Granulomas, form in various organs. The spots hinder normal functioning of those organs.
The lungs are the most commonly affected organs. Granulomas in the lung leaves less space for the air exchange that needs to take place. This can cause the lungs to stiffen. Other commonly affected organs are the skin, eyes, liver, and lymph nodes. Rarely; the brain may be affected.
Scientists are uncertain about what causes Sarcoidosis. It seems to be related to malfunctioning of the immune system. The disease may possibly be triggered by an infection or exposure to a toxin in the environment. Some people may be more susceptible to Sarcoidosis due to genetic or environmental factors.
The risk factors for Sarcoidosis include: Age: 20 to 40, Sex: Female, Ethnic: African American, Northern European, Scandinavian, and Irish.
Cough, Shortness of breath, Wheezing, Chest pain, Rash, Fever, Pain or irritation of eyes, Fatigue, especially with exertion, Muscle weakness, Night sweats, Loss of appetite, Seizures, Swollen lymph nodes, Weight loss, Tremors, Difficulty hearing, Blurred vision or blindness, Poor coordination, Trouble walking, Irregular heart rate, Pain, Swelling, Stiffness in joints, Facial paralysis.
There is no specific lab test that confirms a diagnosis of Sarcoidosis. Instead, the diagnosis is made by noting a cluster of symptoms and a number of medical tests that usually positive in patients with this condition.
Treatment is aimed to ease symptoms and minimize permanent problems. A regular eye and medical exam to help monitor for symptoms and complications. Medication; such as steroids, self care, avoiding smoking, exposure to chemicals. Lastly a healthier way of living.