Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis means condition of the flesh. This is a chronic autoimmune disease. Inflammation causes granulomas in many organ systems.

Symptoms:

the formation of nodules in the lungs and liver, lymph and salivary glands. However, granulomas may form in any organ of the body. Most often granulomas form first in the lungs, skin and lymph nodes. It is rare that granulomas form in organs such as the heart and brain.

The formation of many granulomas within one organ may affect the functioning of the organ. Complications may develop and quality of life may be affected dependent on the affected area(s) of the body. For example, fibroid development in the lung tissue may result in dyspnea (difficulty breathing) as vital alveolar space is invaded and replaced by these dense granular nodes.

Treatment:

As in the case of many autoimmune diseases, medications may be used to manage the misdirected immune response (the destructive autoimmune response). Steroids such as Prednisone may be affective symptom management.

Treatment goals:

  • Relieve symptoms
  • Improve organ function
  • Control inflammation and reduce the size of granulomas (inflamed lumps)
  • Prevent pulmonary fibrosis (lung scarring) if your lungs are affected

National Heart, Lung and Bood institute. 2009. Sarcoidosis treatment. retrieved June 16, 2009 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/sarc/sar_treatments.html

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