What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by a specific type of inflammation of various body tissues. It can develop in almost any organ in the body, but most often starts in the lungs or lymph nodes.

As the disease progresses, microscopic lumps with a specific shape, called granulomas, appear in the affected tissues. In most cases, granulomas disappear by themselves.

Very rarely, when granulomas do not disappear, the affected tissues remain inflamed and the formation of fibrous non-functional tissue begins.

In addition to the lungs and lymph nodes, organs that are more often affected are the liver, skin, heart, nervous system and kidneys, and the frequency of morbidity is in the order of listing.

What are the symptoms?

The disease can appear suddenly and resolve on its own. Alternatively, it may progress gradually and continue to cause signs and symptoms that appear suddenly and disappear sometimes for life.

Symptoms depend on which tissues and organs are affected:

• Shortness of breath /shortness of breath/ and a cough that does not go away are among the initial symptoms of the disease;
Other possible symptoms are:
• Unexplained weight loss;
• Fatigue;
• Night sweats;
• Increased body temperature;
• General feeling of poor health;

It is important to note that the disease sarcoidosis is not crippling. And most often it heals on its own usually in about 24-36 months. Even if it lasts longer, most affected can go on with their lives as usual.

What are the causes?

The cause is unknown. Currently, the disease is not thought to be due to an abnormal immune response. It is not known whether the immune disorder is initiated by a foreign substance, a drug, a virus, or some chemical.

The disease is not contagious and the friends and family of the affected person will not catch it from him. Although the clinical condition can occur with a pre-existing case in the family, there is no evidence that it is hereditary.

Treatment of sarcoidosis

Fortunately, most people with this disease do not need treatment. The symptoms do not lead to disability and usually disappear spontaneously.

When therapy is prescribed, the main goal is to preserve the function of the lungs and other affected body organs and to relieve symptoms. The disease is considered inactive once the symptoms disappear.

Corticosteroids remain the mainstay of treatment for inflammation and granuloma formation. Prednisone is probably the most commonly prescribed corticosteroid today, but prednisolone is also used.

The doctor’s decision depends on the affected organs and how far the inflammation has progressed. If the disease appears with highly aggravated symptoms, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroids.

However, there is currently no treatment that can reverse the onset of fibrosis – the formation of dysfunctional tissue that occurs in highly advanced sarcoidosis.

How can we help ourselves?

• You must not smoke or you must do everything possible to quit smoking;
• You must avoid exposure to substances such as dust and chemicals that can to damage the lungs;
• In case of possible leg pain, you can use pain relievers and apply cold compresses frequently.

Is it possible to prevent sarcoidosis?

The cause of the disease still remains unknown, so there is currently no known way to prevent or cure it.

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