A comprehensive overview of sarcoidosis covering subjects like symptoms, diagnostics, research, causes and pictures
Sarcoidosis is a disease that accompanies the appearance of areas of inflammation called granulomas, discovered in several organs. Most often these occur in the lungs, lymph nodes, skin, eye, but it can also occur in any other organ. The disease can occur at any age but is most common in young people between 20 and 40 years.
It is not known what the sarcoidosis cause is. It is suspected that the inflammation in sarcoidosis is the human body's response to an aggressor in the air that we inhale, the perpetrator which has not yet been identified. It is important to remember that sarcoidosis is not contagious.
It may be possible that people with sarcoidosis do not feel anything and only to have changes on the chest radiography. In contrast, other persons can go to a doctor for various events which suggest certain organ damage.
For example, the lungs may develop a feeling of choking, wheezing or coughing. Also it can be observed the increase glands in the neck or in the armpits. The skin is affected by the appearance of spots or painful nodules, red-purple, to the shins level. As regards the joints, pain and swelling occur, especially in hands and ankles. The eyes of the people with sarcoidosis are characterized by tearing, redness and blurred vision. Salivary glands may be increased, thus reaching to the rise of some swelling behind the ears, swelling which may be confused with those caused by mumps. Sometimes, patients complain also of dry mouth. The heart of the patients which have sarcoidosis is affected very rare, and it may occur palpitations or heart insufficiency. The nervous system is also affected in very rare cases, but then people can accuse headache, dizziness, decreased sensitivity in hands or toes. However, these events do not only occur in sarcoidosis, but in many other diseases, so they must be interpreted by a physician.
A big problem is that there are no known sarcoidosis causes that lead to the disease, but fortunately it is not contagious. Most times, the disease affects the adults. The sarcoidosis disease can be considered the disease of the young and of the middle age. Sarcoidosis rarely occurs in the elderly.
Methods of diagnosis of sarcoidosis
For diagnosis, clinical and radiological examination is necessary. Chest radiography has a role in diagnosis because it can identify patients who have no symptoms. It can be seen on the X-ray the enlarged chest lymph nodes and the changes that occur in the lungs. In turn, functional respiratory exploration measure how the lungs work. Bronchoscopy is an investigation that involves placing a tube through the mouth provided with an optical system, which sees what happens in the trachea and in the bronchi. During bronchoscopy, biopsies can be also done. Also, eye exam is important in order to reveal the changes occurring in the eye.
Treatment in sarcoidosis
For sarcoidosis, the medical advice is made at a period of two months. The treatment depends on the stage of the disease when it was diagnosed and is very controversial. Drug treatment is administered over a period of approximately six months. After therapy, the risk of recidivism is of 5%.