Sunday, August 28, 2011

The cause of Sarcoidosis is unknown!

By Diane Forrest 

Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, eyes, skin, or other tissues.  I’m telling you this because today is National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day.

The cause of Sarcoidosis is unknown.  It can affect any organ in the body, but most commonly in the lungs.  In sarcoidosis, tiny clumps of abnormal tissue form in certain organs of the body.  Some possible causes of Sarcoidosis are genetic, high sensitivity to enviromental factors, or extreme immune response to infection.   It is more common in African Americans, usually between the ages of 20 and 40.  Women are more prone to it, and if you have a close blood relative that has it, you are 5 times more succeptable to get it.

  • You may not have any symptoms, but if you do, they most always occur in the chest.  This includes:
  • Chest Pain
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Other symptoms can include joint pain, fever, fatigue and a general feeling of discomfort and lack of well being.

Skin symptoms include:
  • hair loss
  • rash
  • raised red sores usually occurring on the front lower legs
  •  If the eye is affected, you could experience itching, drainage, dry eyes, burning, pain, even blindness.

More Symptoms include:
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Dry Mouth
  • Weakness on one side of the face
  • fainting spells
  • nose bleeds
  • Swelling in the upper part of the abdomen

  • A physical exam will show
  • Rash
  • Enlarged liver and spleen and lymph nodes
  • Abnormal breath sounds
  • It is often discovered with a chest x-ray
  •  To confirm diagnosis a biopsy is performed on the lung tissue

  • Sarcoidosis symptoms will often get better on their own slowly without treatment.  If the eyes, heart, lungs or nervous system are involved, sometimes corticosteriods are given.  Most people who have Sarcoidosis are not seriously ill, and nearly half get better without treatment in about 3 years.

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