What is Sarcoidosis ?
Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that’s also often classified as an autoimmune disease. Though the cause of this disease is unknown, heredity , outside infections and or environmental factors may all play a part in how this disease affects the body. 90% of Sarcoidosis diagnosis affect the lungs, but can affect any part of the body, including, but not limited to the eyes, skin, internal organs, lymphatic system and nervous system.
What does Sarcoidosis look like ?
Sarcoidosis can affect any organ in the body. The most common being the lungs. A large percentage of the disease affect internal organs and no external signs are visible. If you have Sarcoidosis of the eye, or near joints you can develop bumps , lesions, or rashes. Depending on the severity these may resolve on there own within a year, more severe, or chronic cases will require medication. Flare ups can happen even after the disease has been in remission for a period of time.
How does Sarcoidosis affect the body?
The presence of Sarcoidosis is identified by inflammation and then granulomas. Granulomas are masses or nodules of chronically inflamed tissue and are the primary sign of sarcoidosis. Granulomas are the body’s attempt to isolate organisms and other foreign particles that are difficult for the immune system to remove. These granulomas can be extremely painful when presented on the skin for example.
How is Sarcoidosis treated ?
Treatment for Sarcoidosis differs depending on the severity of the diagnosis. When the lungs are affected , you will likely be referred to a pulmonary specialist. Corticosteroids are commonly the first line of treatment for Sarcoidosis. Can be used internally or may be prescribed as a cream or topical for the skin or eyes. Hydroxychloroquine is can also be helpful to reduce skin lesions and elevated blood calcium levels. Medications that suppress the immune system like, methotrexate and azathioprine can work to reduce inflammation. Alpha blockers and medications used for rheumatoid arthritis can also be helpful in treating sarcoidosis that hasn't responded to other treatment.