Sarcoidosis

This condition is caused due to the accumulation of inflammatory cells in various organs of the body. You can notice such things commonly in the lungs, eyes, lymph nodes and the skin. There is no need to worry too much about this condition as it goes away on its own in most cases. Only when you notice severe symptoms, you should consult a doctor and get proper treatment. In extreme conditions, this can trouble the patient for many years and even cause many complications. The granulomas that accumulate in the body causes several changes in the normal functioning of the organs and lead to various problems.

Types of Sarcoidosis

- Pulmonary Sarcoidosis : This condition affects the lungs and leads to shortness of breath and chest pain. In extreme cases, it can scar the lungs and even lead to permanent damage when it is not treated at the right time.

- Ocular Sarcoidosis : this condition affects the eyes and it is quite common among sarcoidosis patients. It can cause swelling and pain in normal cases and also lead to blurred vision in extreme cases. Some people also develop cataracts and glaucoma due to this condition.

- Neurosarcoidosis : This condition affects the nervous system and it is a very rare condition. It can impact the ability of the brain to regulate hormones in the body and it usually affects women more than men. In extreme cases, it can lead to muscle weakness and lead to a lack of balance in patients.

- Cardiac sarcoidosis : This condition affects the heart and leads to an irregular heartbeat. You should get proper treatment at this stage to avoid further complications.

- Cutaneous Sarcoidosis : This condition affects the skin and leads to painful lumps in the body. The skin lesions may spread when it is not treated at the right time.

- Renal Sarcoidosis : This condition affects the kidney and reduces the ability of the kidney to remove excess calcium in the blood. In extreme cases, this can lead to scarring and even damage the kidney permanently.

Symptoms of Sarcoidosis

- Some of the common symptoms of sarcoidosis include fever and this leads to fatigue in most cases. Along with this, you can also notice swelling of the lymph nodes and this can also be painful in some cases. Some people also experience weight loss without any reason when they are suffering from this condition.

- When this condition affects the lungs, it can lead to chest pain and shortness of breath. It causes great discomfort and there will be symptoms of a dry cough that sustains for a long time. Along with this, some patients also complain about wheezing during this stage.

- People suffering from this condition may also face issues with the eyes and they usually become sensitive to light. Apart from that, it can also cause redness in the eyes and this can also be painful in some conditions. In extreme conditions, it can also lead to blurred vision and proper treatment is necessary at this stage to prevent further complications.

- This condition can also affect the skin and many people complain about rashes and this can also change the colour of skin in some areas. There will be some growth of nodules and this can be noticed in areas where you have scars. It can lead to other complications when treatment is not provided at this stage.

- Few people suffer from heart problems when they have sarcoidosis and this often leads to shortness of breath and chest pain. Some people also have a tendency to faint in this condition due to excess fatigue. The heartbeat can become irregular and there may be instances of palpitations and this can be stressful for the patients.

Causes of Sarcoidosis

The exact cause of this condition is not yet known and it is most likely due to the overreaction of the immune system. When any bacteria or virus or dust enters your body, it can react aggressively and lead to inflammation of immune cells and they begin to collect together leading to this condition. It begins to affect the normal working of the organ where it gets collected. People in the age group of 20 to 40 are more likely to get affected with this condition. Apart from that, the chances of getting this condition increase when you have a family history of this disease.

Diagnosis of Sarcoidosis

The diagnosis of this condition begins with a physical examination and when some symptoms are noticed at this stage, further diagnosis with biopsy and imaging tests are done. You need to understand that diagnosing this condition can be difficult as the symptoms are not obvious in the early stages. Even when they eventually show up, the symptoms are similar to that of other disorders and doctors need some experience to properly analyze the condition.

- Physical examination : when you go for a regular checkup, your doctor will analyze the symptoms and see if they are matching with the symptoms of other disorders. When any skin lesions are noticed at this stage, the condition of the heart along with the lungs is checked and any swelling in the lymph nodes can indicate this condition.

- Imaging Tests : Once this process is done, the next step is to go for a chest x-ray as this can give a clear indication about the swelling of lymph nodes. In this way, the damage done to the lungs can be ascertained and doctors will begin further treatment. If this test is not giving any clear indication, a CT scan may be performed to check for further complications in the body. Along with this, MRI and PET scans are also done to check for the damage done to the heart and the nervous system.

- Blood Tests : This can give the doctors some idea about your overall health condition and they will particularly look out for the proper functioning of the liver and kidney when they go for such tests. In this way, the intensity of sarcoidosis can be identified and further treatment can be given to patients.

- Biopsy : In certain situations, a biopsy may be required especially when the skin lesions are noticed and this will help the doctors to determine the sarcoidosis in patients. In other cases, the biopsy of the lymph nodes along with the lungs is also taken to check the level of inflammation in these regions.

Prevention of Sarcoidosis

-  The major thing that needs to be done to prevent sarcoidosis is to stay away from smoking. Apart from causing various other diseases, this increases the chances of aggravating the symptoms of this condition. Especially when the inflammation is caused in the lungs region, you need to be very careful and avoid smoking at any cost as this can lead to further complications and completely damage the lungs.

- You should also pay attention to what you eat and include good quality protein and fat in the right proportion. This can help you in many ways and strengthen the overall immune system of the body. Along with this, try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible as this can boost your health in the long run.

- You should also lead a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly to prevent various diseases. This will strengthen your lungs and heart and you will not catch diseases frequently. Your immune system will be able to fight against foreign substances in the air with better efficiency when your body is strong.

-  Along with these precautions, you should also take care to avoid dust and chemicals in the workplace and outdoor environment. When your job involves working with fumes or toxic gases, you should always use protection mask and this can prevent sarcoidosis in future. Your lungs need protection from such harmful chemicals and wearing a good quality mask can ensure that these substances do not get inside your body.

-  You will be surprised to know that the simple act of drinking water at regular intervals can give a huge boost to your immune system. This can help your body to heal itself in a natural way and the kidney function will drastically improve in this manner. This will help when you are already suffering from sarcoidosis as this can remove toxins effectively from the body.

Treatment for Sarcoidosis

-  There is no way to cure this condition and it does not cause serious complications in most cases. You will often notice that it goes away on its own without the need for any treatment. However, treating the symptoms becomes essential when they are severe in nature.

-   In this situation, some anti-inflammatory drugs may be used and this is usually adopted when the inflammation is in the eyes region. Some drops can be used to control the inflammation and this is the best way to treat the symptoms. In other cases, when skin lesions are noticed, creams can be used to control inflammation of the skin.

-   In most cases, inflammation happens due to the overreaction of the immune system to some external substance. In order to reduce the symptoms, immune-suppressing medication may be used temporarily and this can provide immediate relief for patients in many cases.

-   In extreme cases, when sarcoidosis has caused severe damage to the lungs or liver, a transplantation may be considered depending on the overall health condition of the patient. However, surgery is the last option and it is needed only in very rare cases.

Complications of Sarcoidosis

-   This condition usually does not cause any complications in most cases. It goes on its own and even treatment is not needed unless the symptoms are very severe. However, in a few cases, it can lead to some complications of the eyes and lungs.

-   When treatment is not provided at the right time, this condition can lead to scarring in the lungs region and this can get permanently affected and lead to difficulty in breathing. You should get immediate treatment when you notice this problem in the lungs region.

-  As this condition leads to other complications, the calcium buildup in the blood can get altered and this puts pressure on the kidney in the long run. When no treatment is given at this stage, it can lead to failure of the kidney in some cases.

-  When this condition affects the eyes, you should be very careful as it can lead to glaucoma and even cataracts which can be very painful. In the same way, the inflammation can become severe in rare cases and even lead to blindness in the long run.

-   As the condition causes heart problems, it can lead to the irregular heartbeat and in some cases, it can even lead to fatal consequences. However, this is very rare and it usually causes only palpitations and nothing severe in normal cases.

-   When the central nervous system gets affected due to this condition, it can lead to facial paralysis. However, this condition is usually temporary and most people recover within no time. You should not take it lightly and it should be treated with proper care to avoid complications with the brain. In the same manner, it can even affect the spinal cord and cause a lot of pain.

Conclusion

If you are diagnosed with Sarcoidosis, you need not worry too much as it can go by itself in most cases. However, you need to regularly monitor your health condition and go for frequent checkups to keep a tab about the progress of inflammation. In some cases, medication can give you temporary relief from symptoms and you will notice major changes within a few weeks. Only when the condition is very severe, you should go for the proper treatment depending on the type of sarcoidosis diagnosed for your situation. In this manner, it is very easy to get the suitable treatment when you detect them early and the doctors will ensure that the inflammation does not do permanent damage to your vital organs. Remember that this condition is rarely fatal and only in extreme conditions, it causes kidney failure or scarring of the lungs. Other than that, you can easily handle this condition by maintaining a healthy diet and taking the right treatment.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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