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What is sarcoidosis and What are the causes of sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a disease that affects multiple organs in the body. More specifically, it is a disease through which inflammation occurs in the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, skin, and other tissues.

This condition causes small patches of red, swollen tissue known as granulomas.

Prognosis of the disease

In many cases, the symptoms of sarcoidosis improve without treatment over months or years. 

However, there are cases of patients with sarcoidosis whose symptoms do not improve, being seriously affected. These patients suffer from what is known as chronic sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis symptoms

Depending on which organs are affected, the symptoms can differ. However, patients often have a persistent dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. In addition, among the  most typical signs of sarcoidosis are:

  • Tender red bumps on the skin
  • red and watery eyes
  • swollen joints

Medical tests for sarcoidosis

Different types of tests are performed to diagnose this disease:

  • Chest x-ray: allows to see the state of the lungs or if the lymph nodes have enlarged
  • CT scan of the chest
  • Echocardiogram
  • MRI of the heart
  • Imaging tests of the brain and liver

What are the causes of sarcoidosis?

Some experts claim it may be an autoimmune disease associated with an abnormal immune response.

The immune system releases white blood cells in the blood to isolate and destroy germs where there is an infection. In this way, the immune system responds to anything in the blood that it does not recognize and calms down once the infection is gone. 

The immune system has gone into overdrive in cases with sarcoidosis, and the body assaults its tissues and organs. This causes granulomas to develop in the organs. The immune system behaves the way it does is unknown, but some environmental factors can trigger the condition.

Can it be prevented?

To help manage the condition, several measures can be followed based on a healthy lifestyle. These measures include:

  • Give up smoking
  • Avoid exposure to dust, chemicals, fumes, and gases
  • Follow a healthy diet
  • exercise regularly
  • Drink a lot of water

Sarcoidosis Treatments

In most cases, the condition tends to go away on its own, usually within a few months or years, without the need for treatment. 

However, the eyes, heart, lungs, or nervous system are affected in other cases, so treatment with corticosteroids will be needed. Less commonly, patients with end-stage heart or lung damage may need organ transplants.