Sarcoidosis is an uncommon disease that causes the development of small-sized lumps all over the body which are called granulomas that are too small to be felt or seen. They can form in any location within or outside the body and can cause lasting scar tissue. In most cases, they form in the lymph nodes, lungs, skin, liver or eyes.
The condition can affect how an organ functions. It could not be predicted how sarcoidosis can affect an individual. Some do not have any symptoms at all. In almost half of cases who develop the condition, it arises for a brief time and heals on its own without requiring treatment.
What are the possible causes?
Even today, it is not yet known what triggers sarcoidosis. It is believed by expects to be a disease affecting the immune system or a respiratory infection among those who have certain genes.
Young and middle-aged adults are prone to develop the condition but it can occur at any age. Luckily, it does not spread from one individual to another.
In some individuals, sarcoidosis will not trigger any symptoms. For others, it can result to various symptoms depending on the body part or organ affected. Some of the usual symptoms include:
- Skin issues
- Body aches
- Swollen lymph glands
- Sore joints
- Shortness of breath
Sarcoidosis can lead to heart or lung issues. It can also cause the levels of calcium in the blood to rise leading to weakness, lack of energy, appetite loss and other symptoms.
Not all individuals with sarcoidosis require treatment. Oftentimes, the disease settles on its own. In case it involves certain organs such as the heart, eyes or brain, treatment is needed even if there are no symptoms.
An oral corticosteroid such as prednisone is one of the usual options in managing sarcoidosis. It works by reducing the inflammation triggered by the disease. The medication is usually taken for a year or longer. If prednisone is used, follow-up appointments with the doctor is needed to ensure that the lowest dose is used to control the condition.