When a specific type of inflammation of various tissues of the body starts occurring, the very reason could be the disease called Sarcoidosis. It can occur in almost any organ, but it starts most often in the lungs or lymph nodes. As the disease progresses, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation appear in the affected tissues.
Other parts of the body affected by Sarcoidosis are liver, skin, heart, nervous system and kidneys.
The Sarcoidosis is named according to the organ or the place involved. Here is a list of its different names:
- Lung Sarcoidosis or Pulmonary Sarcoidosis when it affects the lungs.
- Hepatic Sarcoidosis when it affects the liver.
- Skin Sarcoidosis or Sarcoid Dermatitis when it affects the skin.
- Heart Sarcoidosis or Cardiac Sarcoidosis when it affects the heart.
- Neurological Sarcoidosis or Neuro Sarcoidosis when it affects the brain.
- Kidney Sarcoidosis or Renal Sarcoidosis when it affects the kidneys.
Despite continuing medical research on the subject, the causes of sarcoidosis are still unknown. Commonly the disease is thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response. Sarcoidosis is not contagious and you will not catch it from an affected individual.
Sarcoidosis can appear suddenly and disappear or it can go on for a lifetime. The symptoms of Sarcoidosis depend on which areas of the body are affected. Some of the symptoms are:
Shortness of breath, skin rashes, tender, raised, red bumps on the shins of the legs, inflammation of the eyes, unexpected weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, fever or feeling of ill health. Sarcoidosis often goes away by itself.
Anyone with the symptoms of shortness of breath and persistent cough should consult doctor. Those with a persistent rash, weight loss, fatigue and night sweats can consult doctors.
The doctor may ask a Sarcoidosis affected patient the following tests: The chest X-ray, pulmonary function tests, blood tests, bronchoalveolar lavage, biopsy, gallium scanning and slit-lamp examination.
There are no treatments require for many patients with Sarcoidosis. The disease is considered inactive with fading symptoms. Drugs like Corticosteroid, Prednisone and Prednisolone are prescribed by healthcare professionals on most occasions.
If one has Sarcoidosis, they can help themselves by taking some sensible health measures.
A person with Sarcoidosis should not smoke and must avoid exposure to substances such as dusts and chemicals to protect the lungs. For pain in the legs, pain relievers and cold compresses can be of help. But take these pills after consulting your doctor.
Besides the above mentioned drugs, Chloroquine (Aralen), D-penicillamine, Chlorambucil (Leukeran), Azathioprine (Imuran), Methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall) and Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) can be used. These medicines should not be used by pregnant women. Drugs like Thalidomide and Infliximab (Remicade) are also found to be effective in treating patients with Sarcoidosis.
But one thing that should be taken care regarding the use of Corticosteroids is that the drug has its side effects and these are: mood swings, swelling of the face and belly, weight gain, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, cravings for food, cataract development and low potassium levels in the blood. Long-term use can also affect stomach, skin and bones.
As the causes of Sarcoidosis still remain unknown, lot depends on the experience of the doctor. Experienced healthcare professionals can be of great help to a Sarcoidosis patient to lead a normal life.