Sarcoidosis is a syndrome wherein collection of granulomas (which are chronic inflammatory cells) is seen. These cells can also form lumps in different organs. Sarcoidosis is also referred to as Besnier Boeck Schaumannn, sarcoid, Besnier Boeck disease etc. These granulomas are not ceseating type and are usually found in lymph nodes or lungs. However, almost any organ can be affected with these granulomas. The beginning of the condition is usually slow and gradual. Sarcoidosis may cause serious disability which is recoded in 10% of cases while in 50% cases people may suffer from relapses. Lung infection or scarring caused due to the condition may lead to failure of respiratory system and death. Though symptoms of the condition may help in understanding its prevalence, but in some cases sarcoidosis may be asymptotic.
Symtpoms of Sarcoidosis
There are various symptoms of the condition but as mentioned above in some cases the condition may be asymptotic; this means that there may be no symptoms occurring due to the syndrome. Prevalence of the disease is experienced only when x-ray is taken for some other reason. In cases wherein symptoms are experienced the signs may significantly vary and depend on the afflicted organ. In some cases symptoms of sarcoidosis may appear spontaneously and may disappear relatively faster. Here are some symptoms mentioned according to the affected organ.
General symptoms of Sarcoidosis
Many affected individual experience these below mentioned generalize symptoms during initial stages of sarcoidosis:
- Fatigue or Lethargy
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- Reduction in weight
Lung Sarcoidosis symptoms
It is recorded that almost everyone with sarcoidosis may experience lung issues eventually. These lung issue symptoms may include:
- Continuous dry coughing
- Short breath or reparatory difficulties
- Pain in chest
Skin symptoms due to sarcoidosis
Skin problem is recorded in 25% of people affected with sarcoidosis. These individuals may suffer from reddish-purple bumps which often appear on ankles or shins. These rashes are warm as well as tender to touch. Some people may have disfiguring skin sores occurring on the cheeks, nose as well as ears. In some situation situations skin color alterations may be experienced. There are also reports of nodule growth right under the skin, especially around tattoos or scars.
Sarcoidosis eye symptoms
Sarcoidosis may also have influence on the eye without any symptoms. If you suspected that you are affected with the issue then get your eye checked. In case of symptoms associated with the eye occurs they may include:
- Pain in the eye
- Blurred vision
- Redness of eye
- Light sensitivity
It is said that sarcoidosis in not always of fatal nature, but the sufferer may experience some severe symptoms. Irrespective of the complications, it is better to consult a doctor immediately.
Causes of Sarcoidosis
It is not yet discovered what exactly causes sarcoidosis. Some people are believed to have genetic sensitivity to the condition. Under such situation the condition may be triggered due to exposure to certain bacteria, virus, chemical or even dust. Experts are still researching on cause of sarcoidosis and trying to discover the genes that may cause such issues. Usually, immune system combats the foreign substance and microorganism to protect your body. However, in case of sarcoidosis granulomas build up in an organ affects the functioning of that particular organ. Here are some susceptible causes of sarcoidosis in detail.
Genetic causes of Sarcoidosis
Though it is assumed that predisposition of genes may play a role in sarcoidosis affliction, it is not yet confirmed. Many samples of different genes were yielded; however, only a few confirmed the susceptibility to the disease. Some genes that confirmed the susceptibility include BTNL2, HLA-DR, HLA-B&-DR15, HLA DR3-DQ2, etc. These genes are either directly influential or may cooperate to cause the condition.
Researches have also indicated that autoimmune disorders are also associated with the onset of sarcoidosis in some cases. Though the exact relation of autoimmune disorder and sarcoidosis in not confirmed, it is assumed that it is result of Th1 lymphokine affliction.
It is also studied that there are various infectous agents that are linked with sarcoidosis occurrence. However, none of these agents showed direct causative influence. One of such agents is Propionibacterium acnes. This agent is found in 70% of sarcoidosis patient but 23% of the tested control group also had this agent. Another meta-analysis indicated that around 26.4% patients also had mycobacteria but due to publications prejudice the results cannot be confirmed.
Apart from the aforementioned possibilities there are other assumed causes of sarcoidosis which may include hyperprolactinemia, vitamin D reregulation, thyroid disease, dust inhalation, etc.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for the condition. However, if you experience severe symptoms and signs due to the condition then you should consult a doctor. It is widely recorded that Sarcoidosis often ebbs away without any medical intervention. Nevertheless, you will have to get yourself tested regularly and undergo examinations such as chest X-ray, eye examination, skin tests and screening for other organs. If your doctor detects that any of your organs’ functioning is threatened then he may suggest you certain treatments which are explained below.
- Corticosteroids: These are effective anti-inflammatory medicines which are primarily suggested by experts as treatment for sarcoidosis. Corticosteroid cream can be directly applied on the affected area. Corticosteroid inhaler can be used to deal with lung issues caused due to this condition.
- TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor) alpha inhibiting drugs: These medicines are often suggested for treatment of inflammation caused due to rheumatoid arthritis. However, these medicines can be beneficial in dealing with sarcoidosis that does not alleviate with other treatments.
- Anti-rejection medicines: These are drugs that can suppress your immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Anti-malaria drug: are the drugs which are useful in case skin problems, nervous system issues and increased blood calcium level are detected.
- Surgery: In extreme cases, wherein sarcoidosis has damaged your liver or lungs, surgical procedures are suggested.
Though sarcoidosis often ebbs away in around 2 years without any treatment, it can be chronic in some individuals leading to complication. There are few cases wherein life of affected individuals has been altered permanently by the disease. Hence, to avoid such consequences one should consult a doctor for sure. With medical assistance and timely treatment adversities of sarcoidosis can be eliminated or significantly reduced.