Sarcoidosis is the development of abnormal inflammatory cells that grow into lumps called granulomas. This particular disease usually affects the lungs, skin & lymph nodes.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF SARCOIDOSIS
- Fatigue & lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Arthritis & muscle pain
- Shortness of breath
- Crackles heard from the lungs
- Dry cough
- Skin rashes of different types
- Skin lesions
- Dry eyes
- Cornea inflammation of the eye
- Retina inflammation of the eye
- Blurry vision or loss of vision
- In women, inflammation of the breasts
- Enlarged parotid gland
- Increased levels of calcium
- Low levels of RBC’s & WBC’s
- Increase in blood pressure of the blood vessels surrounding the lungs.
- Fibrosis of the lungs.
- Heart block or irregular rhythm of the heart.
- Cardiac sarcoidosis can lead to Congestive Heart Failure.
- Swelling of the optic disc.
- Hearing abnormalities
- Chronic meningitis
- Disease affecting the nerves beyond the brain & spinal cord.
- Injury to the spinal cord
- Diabetes insipidus
- In women, absence of menstrual cycle & a constant flow of milk from the breasts.
- High calcium in blood & urine
- Changes in the hormone secretion from the endocrine glands.
- Enlarged liver & presence of lumps in the liver.
- Abnormality & inflammation of the reproductive organs.
- Swollen lymph nodes & lymphoma
- Cancer of the blood
- Arthritis of various kinds & tissues.
- Cancer of various kinds.
CAUSES & RISK FACTORS FOR SARCOIDOSIS
- Infectious causes like;
- Some inflammatory bacteria
- Microbes that are derived from ticks
- Most common theory is that sarcoidosis is caused due to Genetic factors & hereditary factors.
- Presence of autoimmune disorders
- Low immune profile
- Racial background
- Certain drugs that can cause immune reactions in the body
- Presence of other inflammatory conditions.
- Noting the physical symptoms & manifestations to categorize the condition.
- Blood tests for differential diagnosis & detecting presence of infectious bodies.
- Serum monitoring of Angiotensin Converting enzyme, which is the marker for sarcoidosis.
- CT scan or X-ray of the lungs is done to detect any abnormality in the lungs, similarly to detect presence of foreign bodies.
- Biopsy of the lungs is done for differential diagnosis of TB & pneumonia.
- Tissue biopsy of lymph nodes is done, for detecting presence if cancer cells, infectious bodies & drawing conclusions.
- Bronchoscopy, that is, viewing of the bronchi & lungs through a scoping device.
TREATMENT FOR SARCOIDOSIS
- Anti-Cancer drugs
- Monoclonal antibodies
- Drugs that suppress the immune system.
- Specific classes of drugs to treat disorders & manifestations arising from organs like liver, kidney, heart, spleen, etc.
PREVENTION & MANAGEMENT
There is no known way of preventing sarcoidosis. Possible steps that can be taken is avoiding environmental factors & risk factors.