SARCOIDOSIS

UNDERSTANDING SARCOIDOSIS

90% of Sarcoidosis cases involve the lungs.

SYMPTOMS

• Weight loss, loss of appetite

• Fever, night sweats and sleep problems

• Depression

 

Many people with sarcoidosis have no symptoms at all. Or they may have organ-specific symptoms. 

 

Lungs: shortness of breath, wheezing or dry cough

Lymph nodes: enlarged and sometimes tender lymph nodes, most often in the neck and chest

Eyesburning, itching, tearing, redness, sensitivity to light, dryness, seeing black spots, blurred vision, reduced color vision, and in rare cases blindness

Skin: bumps, ulcers, and in rare cases flat areas of discolored skin that appear mostly near the nose or eyes or on the back, arms, legs and scalp. Painful and tender bumps can also appear on the ankles and shin

Bones and Joints: bone lumps (nodules) that cause pain in the hands and feet, as well as swelling in the ankles or other joints.

Spleen and Liver: fever, fatigue or itching. There may be pain in the upper right part of the abdomen, under the ribs

Heart: Shortness of breath, swelling in the legs, wheezing, coughing, and chest pain. You may feel an irregular heartbeat at times or pass out

Salivary Glands: swelling and overly dry mouth

• Nervous System: headaches, vision problems, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs, drooping on one side of the face, loss of movement in the arms or legs, painful needle feeling

 

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What causes sarcoidosis?


The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. It can affect people of every race, sex and age. It is not contagious, and it appears most often in people between 20 and 40 years old.




How is sarcoidosis diagnosed?


There is no single diagnostic test for sarcoidosis. If you exhibit symptoms of sarcoidosis, your health care provider may look at your medical history and perform one or more tests to confirm the diagnosis. These may include: • Physical examination
• Chest x-ray • Pulmonary function tests • Tissue biopsies or blood samples • Eye exam • CT scans • Gallium scan, • Electrocardiogram (EKG)




How is sarcoidois treated?


For some, sarcoidosis may improve without any treatment. Patients who do require treatment are given medicine to reduce inflammation and slow the growth of granulomas. Medication is aimed at maintaining good lung function, reducing symptoms and preventing organ damage.




Is sarcoidosis serious?


Sarcoidosis has both an active phase and inactive phase. When the disease is active granulomas (lumps) form and grow, symptoms develop, and scar tissue can develop in the affected organs. When the disease is inactive inflammation decreases and granulomas stay the same size or shrink. The seriousness of sarcoidosis varies from person to person. In many people, sarcoidosis is mild and symptoms may go away within a few years because the granulomas stop growing. In the moderate form of sarcoidosis, inflammation remains but the symptoms do not get worse. In severe cases of sarcoidosis, symptoms slowly worsen over several years and permanent organ damage can occur. Treatment for the disease can help, but scar tissue may still be left behind in the lungs, eyes, skin and other organs. Between 20-30% of people with sarcoidosis end up with permanent lung damage, and in some patients sarcoidosis can become chronic.





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