Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Understanding Sarcoidosis : It's Symptoms, Warnings And Risks


Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown cause that leads to inflammation. This disease affects your body’s organs.
Normally, your immune system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. For example, it sends special cells to protect organs that are in danger. These cells release chemicals that recruit other cells to isolate and destroy the harmful substance. Inflammation occurs during this process. Once the harmful substance is gone, the cells and the inflammation go away. In people who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation doesn't go away. Instead, some of the immune system cells cluster to form lumps called granulomas in various organs in your body.


The cause of sarcoidosis is unknown. The disease can appear suddenly and disappear. Or it can develop gradually and go on to produce symptoms that come and go, sometimes for a lifetime.
As sarcoidosis progresses, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation, called granulomas, appear in the affected tissues. In the majority of cases, these granulomas clear up, either with or without treatment. In the few cases where the granulomas do not heal and disappear, the tissues tend to remain inflamed and become scarred (fibrotic). Sarcoidosis was first identified over 100 years ago by two dermatologists working independently, Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson in England and Dr. Caesar Boeck in Norway. Sarcoidosis was originally called Hutchinson's disease or Boeck's disease. Dr. Boeck went on to fashion today's name for the disease from the Greek words "sark" and "oid," meaning flesh-like. The term describes the skin eruptions that are frequently caused by the illness.

Symptoms Of Sarcoidosis

Symptoms vary depending on the part of your body that’s affected by the disease. Sarcoidosis can occur in any organ. Some people with sarcoidosis don’t have any symptoms. However, general symptoms may include:
◾weight loss
◾joint pain
◾dry mouth
◾abdominal swelling

Heart symptoms
Signs and symptoms related to cardiac sarcoidosis may include:
◾Chest pain
◾Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
◾Fainting (syncope)
◾Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
◾Rapid or fluttering heart beat (palpitations)
◾Swelling caused by excess fluid (edema)

Skin symptoms can include:
◾skin rashes
◾skin sores
◾hair loss
◾raised scars

Nervous system symptoms can include:
◾hearing loss


Eye symptoms can include:
◾dry eyes
◾itchy eyes
◾eye pain
◾vision loss
◾a burning sensation in your eyes
◾a discharge from your eyes

Shortness of breath has many causes affecting either the breathing passages and lungs or the heart or blood vessels. An average 150-pound (70 kilogram) adult will breathe at an average rate of 14 breaths per minute at rest. Excessively rapid breathing is referred to as hyperventilation. Shortness of breath is also referred to as dyspnea.
Doctors will further classify dyspnea as either occurring at rest or being associated with activity or exercise. They will also want to know if the dyspnea occurs gradually or all of a sudden. Each of these symptoms help to detect the precise cause of the shortness of breath. In both adults and children, sarcoidosis most often affects the lungs. If granulomas (inflamed lumps) form in your lungs, you may wheeze, cough, feel short of breath, or have chest pain. Or, you may have no symptoms at all. Some people who have sarcoidosis feel very tired, uneasy, or depressed. Night sweats and weight loss are common symptoms of the disease.
Common signs and symptoms in children are fatigue (tiredness), loss of appetite, weight loss, bone and joint pain, and anemia .
Children who are younger than 4 years old may have a distinct form of sarcoidosis. It may cause enlarged lymph nodes in the chest (which can be seen on chest x-ray pictures), skin lesions, and eye swelling or redness.


Author: Richard Smith