Sarcoidosis

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies




Sarcoidosis Treatment Remedies

 

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis, also called sarcoid, is a disease involving abnormal collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) that can form as nodules in multiple organs.

The granulomas are most often located in the lungs or its associated lymph nodes, but any organ can be affected.

Sarcoidosis seems to be caused by an immune reaction to an infection or some other trigger that continues even after the initial infection or other antigen is cleared from the body.

The most prominent body organs affected by sarcoidosis are the skin, lungs, heart, liver, brain, eyes, and the lymph nodes.

During normal operation, the body’s immune system fights foreign matter and other harmful bacteria by dispatching special cells to defend endangered organs.

The special cells sent by the immune system to fight harmful substances recruit other ‘like-minded’ cells to help in isolating and destroying the unwanted substances.

Inflammation occurs during the fight against harmful substances in the body and the inflammation disappears once the harmful substances disappear as well.

Unfortunately for people diagnosed with sarcoidosis, the inflammation stays; it does not disappear.

Instead, these cells of the immune system cluster together leading to formation of lumps; these lumps are the granulomas.

Sarcoidosis usually starts off in the skin, lungs, or lymph nodes.

If the number of the granulomas formed is huge, the normal functioning of the organ is affected.

This may cause signs and other symptoms to show up in the process.

Signs and symptoms reported by patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis differ from one patient to another.

This depends on the specific organ affected.

It is however important to clarify that a majority of persons with sarcoidosis do not show obvious signs or symptoms; if any, they would be mild signs.

Lofgren's syndrome represents a classical approach of identifying signs and symptoms typical for patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis.

Lofgren's syndrome is most likely to cause arthritis (in the ankles), fever, erythema nodosum, and enlarged lymph nodes.

Erythema nodosum is characterized by rash of reddish-purple lumps on the patient’s shins and ankles.

This rash may feel warm and a little tender when touched.

Treatment for sarcoidosis also depends on the organ affected by the condition.

The symptoms for this condition improve and may disappear after a few or years even without treatment.

These symptoms are usually not severe (often mild) and may not affect one’s everyday life or activities.

Cases of sarcoidosis have also been reported as part of the immune reconstitution syndrome of HIV.

Sarcoidosis Symptoms

Sarcoidosis is a systemic inflammatory disease that can affect any organ, although it can be asymptomatic and is discovered by accident in about 5% of cases.

Less commonly, people may cough up blood.

The cutaneous symptoms vary, and range from rashes and noduli (small bumps) to erythema nodosum, granuloma annulare, orlupus pernio.

Sarcoidosis and cancer may mimic one another, making the distinction difficult.

The combination of erythema nodosum, bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy, and joint pain is called Löfgren syndrome which has a relatively good prognosis.

Other skin problems may also occur including purplish and raised rashes on the chin, nose, cheeks, or ears.

This rash is referred to as lupus pernio.

In the case that your skin is affected, red nodules are experienced by patients especially on their shins.

In some cases, the red rounded lumps may be witnessed beneath the patient’s skin.

Your doctor may also discover swollen glands within the chest area by examining your chest X-ray.

Sarcoidosis may also affect one’s eyes. In this case, the person diagnosed with the condition is most likely to experience uveitis.

Uveitis refers to the inflammation felt in the patient’s eyes leading to painful and red eyes.

This may affect your vision. Should you experience this condition, seek medical attention immediately.

Sarcoidosis also affects the heart by slowing your heartbeat or making it irregular.

This change could also be attributed to any damage to the lungs as a result of sarcoidosis infection.

Your doctor may also discover changes in the right side of the heart and some enlargement.

If left untreated, these changes may culminate into a heart failure.

The general enlargement of the heart is known as cardiomyopathy.

This condition can also cause heart failure by causing breathing difficulties and interfering with the beating of the heart.

Where the nervous system is affected by sarcoidosis, you may experiences wallowing problems, hearing problems, eyesight problems, and drooping of the face.

You may also experience some numbness in the arm, legs, or face.

When the kidneys are affected, you are most likely to experience kidney stones.

This is because of the accumulation of calcium in the blood.

Sometimes, sarcoidosis may lead to anaemia or blood clotting problems when the liver and the spleen are affected.

Some people will also complain of joint pains when sarcoidosis affects bones, joints or muscles.

Cysts may develop in one’s bones as a result while muscles may suffer inflammation.

Sarcoidosis Causes

The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known.

The current working hypothesis is, in genetically susceptible individuals, sarcoidosis is caused through alteration to the immune response after exposure to an environmental, occupational, or infectious agent.

Sarcoidosis can therefore develop if the immune system reacts to some trigger factor.

This could be bacteria, virus, or chemicals.

Studies have also shown that sarcoidosis may develop if you have certain genes that heighten the risk of the condition.

This may also occur when one is exposed or subjected to something considered to be a trigger factor for sarcoidosis.

Although sarcoidosis may be developed by any person, a number of other factors make certain individuals more predisposed than others.

Such risk factors for Sarcoidosis include age, sex, race, and family history.

Sarcoidosis is more common in persons aged between 20 and 40 years.

Research has also shown that women stand a higher risk of sarcoidosis than men.

Studies also suggest that African-Americans are more likely to experience sarcoidosis and its symptoms than Americans.

Persons with a family history of sarcoidosis are also likely to develop the condition at some point in their life.

Sarcoidosis Diagnosis

Diagnosis of sarcoidosis is a matter of exclusion, as there is no specific test for the condition.

In sarcoidosis presenting in the Caucasian population, hilar adenopathy and erythema nodosum are the most common initial symptoms.

It is very hard to diagnose sarcoidosis in its early stages because of its unnoticeable signs and symptoms.

Your doctor is most likely to perform a physical examination which may include assessment of any skin lesions.

The doctor may check your lymph nodes for any signs of swelling.

This is vital if the lymph nodes are the affected organs.

To check for early signs of sarcoidosis, your doctor may rely on chest X-rays.

This may help find any other signs that may have been overlooked in earlier examinations.

It is also possible for your doctor to recommend for X-ray examination.

This will reveal any apparent damage to the lungs.

An X-ray examination can also be used by your doctor to confirm any evidence of enlarged lymph nodes.

If any complications are suspected, a CT scan will be necessary.

In cases where there is reason to believe that sarcoidosis has affected the heart or even the nervous system, your doctor may find PET or MRI necessary.

The doctor may also perform blood tests with the intention of assessing the overall health of his patient and the functioning of the kidney or the liver.

Your doctor may also order for lung function tests to measure the volume of your lungs and to know the amount of oxygen delivered to the blood by lungs.

An eye examination would make it possible for the doctor to find out any vision problems associated with sarcoidosis.

In some instances, the doctor has to carry out a Dipstick test of the patient’s urine.

This is a unique testing strip usually immersed in a urine sample to discover any signs of kidney problems or problems with blood vessels that might be linked to sarcoidosis.

Spirometry is a unique test performed on the lungs using a spirometer.

This device measures the volume of air that one blows out.

Biopsies (samples of tissue) may be ordered by a doctor to look out for any granulomas developed by the condition.

Sarcoidosis Treatment

In cases where the inflammation reported by patients is very severe, your doctor may prescribe you anti-rejection medications which work by suppressing the immune system to stamp down inflammation.

For patients with high blood-calcium levels, nervous system involvement, and skin diseases, doctors may recommend use of anti-malarial medications.

When the organ (liver, heart, or kidney) affected by sarcoidosis is severly damaged, it is very common for the doctor to recommend surgery.

In other cases where the patient’s bones are weakened (osteoporosis), steroid medication may be suggested.

Vitamin D or calcium supplements help minimize the risk of bone weakening (osteoporosis) associated with prolonged use of steroid medication.

TNF-alpha inhibitors may also be suggested if the patient’s inflammation is as a result of rheumatoid arthritis.

Sarcoidosis Prevention

Doctors recommend a number of lifestyle changes to lower the risk of sarcoidosis.

Doctors warn against smoking, exposure to dust, fumes, toxic gases, and other chemicals.

Eating a healthy and balanced diet is also essential in the prevention of sarcoidosis.

Osteoporosis prophylaxis (use of steroids), early treatment of arrhythmias and uveitis, and influenza vaccination helps to prevent complications that may arise from sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis Statistics & Facts

Sarcoidosis causes inflammation to body tissues and commonly affects the lung and skin.

Most of the patients diagnosed with sarcoidosis do not require any treatment.

Doctors prescribe cortisone-related medications for severe cases of sarcoidosis.

Complications arising from sarcoidosis may cause blindness, facial paralysis, irregular heartbeat, lung infections, kidney failure, cataracts, infertility or glaucoma.

Sarcoidosis may lead to death if heart failure, lung thickening, or internal bleeding of a lung tissue occurs.

Although sarcoidosis affects people of nearly all ages and races, it is more witnessed among African Americans than the Whites in the U.S.

Sarcoidosis was first discovered in the year 1869 by Jonathan Hutchinson, an English doctor.

It is also more reported in women than men.

Environmental factors can affect the occurrence of this condition.

For instance, more cases have been reported in environments with beryllium metals.

Some diseases may trigger the formation of “granulomas”.

An example of such diseases is Tuberculosis.

Sarcoidosis is not a contagious disease.

This implies that one cannot get the disease from another person with the disease.

Sarcoidosis is not a genetic disease.

This means that the condition cannot be passed to the child from a parent.

However, this condition has been diagnosed in some families although reasons for this are yet to be established.

Severe cases of sarcoidosis can reduce a woman’s chances of getting pregnant especially if the condition affects old women.

Sarcoidosis is not a form of cancer as many claim.

Exposure to this condition will also not increase the risk of developing cancer as well.



Sarcoidosis Treatment Remedies plus




The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in body organs such as the skin, brain, and lungs.

This rare condition causes tiny patches of swollen tissue (usually red in colour) known as granulomas in your body organs.

Granulomas are the small lumps (also known as nodules) that form as a result of the inflammation.

Granulomas can be described as clumps of immune cells (macrophages) that develop in response to an abnormal reaction by the immune system.

These abnormal immune system reactions may be triggered off by antigens-for example, bacteria, viruses, or chemicals.

Sarcoidosis Symptoms

The symptoms of sarcoidosis vary from one patient to another depending on the organ affected by the condition.

If the condition affects the lungs, one may experience shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and some chest pains.

In some rare cases, persons diagnosed with the condition and where the lung is affected, report coughing up of blood, a condition that is scientifically known as haemoptysis.

When the skin is the organ affected by sarcoidosis, symptoms of erythema nodosum become evident such as skin redness, inflammation, or irritation.

For persons whose lymph nodes have been affected by the condition, lumps in the neck, under the arm, and in the groin become apparent.

Sarcoidosis Causes

Researchers link sarcoidosis to an abnormal or unnatural immune system response.

However, the trigger factor for this abnormal response of the immune system remains unknown.

The body's immune system usually repulses infections by dispatching white blood cells to endangered areas, which isolate the germs and destroy them completely.

During the process of fighting these germs, inflammation usually occurs but fades away after the germs have been cleared.

In the cases where the resultant inflammation does not die down, sarcoidosis is said to occur.

Sarcoidosis Treatment

Persons with no significant signs or symptoms of sarcoidosis may not need treatment for the condition.

If the doctor realizes that the functionality of the organ affected by sarcoidosis is threatened, he may straight away prescribe you medication.

Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids (which are anti-inflammatory drugs) as first-line medication for sarcoidosis.

Sometimes, corticosteroids (in form of creams) may be applied to the affected area such as a skin lesion.

In cases where the inflammation reported by patients is very severe, your doctor may prescribe you anti-rejection medications which work by suppressing the immune system to stamp down inflammation.



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