ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sarcoidosis – Pictures, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment

Updated on December 19, 2013

Sarcoidosis is a disease characterized by the growth of small inflammatory cells in several body parts. It especially affects the eyes, lungs, lymph nodes, and skin.

Medical experts feel that sarcoidosis occurs when the immune system reacts to a foreign substance, possibly inhaled from the air. No known cure is available for sarcoidosis; it mostly disappears on its own. The symptoms of this disease may continue for many years and at times cause injuries to varied organs.

Symptoms of Sarcoidosis

The symptoms of sarcoidosis differ as per the varying organs that get affected, and develop progressively often lasting for many years. At times, the symptoms may have a sudden onset and may fade away just as rapidly. Many patients show no symptoms and in such cases the disorder may be discovered during a routine x-ray for diagnosis of other conditions.

Some of the signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis are listed below:

  • Fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and weight loss are commonly observed in patients.
  • Lung problems with chronic dry cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain may also occur.
  • Sarcoidosisaffects the skin and causes skin problems such as rash around the ankles and shins, color changes of affected skin areas,lesions, and formation of nodules.
  • Sarcoidosis also affects the eyes without showing any symptoms. So it is important to have the eyes checked. Ocular anomalies may result in eye pain, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and excessive redness.

Though sarcoidosis is not always deadly, it is important to visit a doctor as it can have lasting damage on the organs.

Sarcoidosis can result in the below listed medical complications:

  • Sarcoidosis affecting the lungs can permanently damage the tissue occurring between the air sacs, thereby causing breathing difficulties.
  • Sarcoidosis affecting the kidneys may lead to kidney failure.
  • Sarcoidosis affecting the eyes can cause glaucoma,cataract, and even blindness
  • Sarcoidosis affecting the nervous system may retard the functioning of central nervous system, as well as cause inflammation in the facial nerves leading to facial paralysis.
  • Sarcoidosisof the heart may obstruct the electrical signals vital for the heartbeat, thereby causing abnormal heart rhythms, and in rare cases, death.

Causes of Sarcoidosis

The exact cause of sarcoidosis is not known. It is presumed that the cause may be genetic which in turn can be triggered when the patient comes in contact with certain viruses or bacteria, or dust, chemicals, etc. Researchers are trying to find out the genes and the factors that trigger this disease.

The immune system protects the body from foreign substances and the invading microorganisms. But in sarcoidosis, some immune cells accumulate in a pattern of inflammation known as granulomas, eventually causing damage to the affected organ.

Sarcoidosis can affect anyone. However, individuals between the age group of 20 to 40 years are more likely to suffer from this disease. Females are at higher risk than males. The incidence rate for

Sarcoidosis is greater in African Americans than Caucasians. People with a family history of the condition are also at greater vulnerability.

Diagnosis of Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is difficult to diagnose because the disease elicits few signs and symptoms in the early stages. When symptoms occur, they vary as per the organ system that is affected and may be similar to the symptoms of other disorders.

Doctors will start with a physical examination and then check the heart,lungs, and the lymph nodes for swelling. He/she may also see your previous chest X-rays to check for signs of early sarcoidosis that may have been overlooked.

Diagnostic tests will help identify the body systems that may be affected by sarcoidosis. Doctors may recommend:

  • X-rays to check for proof of lung anomalies or enlarged lymph nodes in the chest.
  • MRI or PET, if sarcoidosis appears to have affected the central nervous system or the heart.
  • A CT scan if he/she suspects presence of medical complications
  • Blood tests to assess the overall health and the functioning of the liver and kidneys
  • An eye exam to check for sight problems caused by sarcoidosis.
  • Lung function tests to measure lung volume and the level of oxygen the lungs supply to the blood.

Biopsies:A tiny sample of tissue is removed from the affected part of your body to check for granulomas in a lab. Eye and skin biopsies are easy. Lung biopsies or lymph node biopsies are however done through a bronchoscopy wherein a thin, flexible tube with an attached camera is inserted down the throat to check for anomalies.

Treatment of Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis has no known cure. If it does not show major abnormalities then there is no need for treatment. Sarcoidosis often resolves on its own. But regular chest x-rays and monitoring of the skin, eyes, and other organs is essential.

Abnormalities of affected organs may be treated with below listed medications:

  • Corticosteroids are the first-line of treatment for sarcoidosis. At times, corticosteroids can be used in the topical form,or with an inhaler for the lungs.
  • Anti-malarial drugs can help alleviate problems of the nervous system, skin diseases, and increased blood-calcium levels.
  • Anti-rejection drugs decrease inflammation by inhibiting the immune system.
  • Tumor necrosis factor-alpha inhibitors may be prescribed for treating rheumatoid arthritis related inflammation. It is also recommended when other treatment option for sarcoidosis fail to yield results.

Surgery:When sarcoidosis seriously damages the liver or the lungs, then organ transplant may be necessary.

Sarcoidosis Pictures


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)