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Sarcoidosis is a disease whose exact cause is unknown and causes the involvement of many organs, especially the lungs. In sarcoidosis, which is more common in women, the 20-40 age group is the highest risk range. So what is sarcoidosis, its symptoms, and how is it treated? Let's look at all the answers together.

What is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis; is a rheumatological disease that develops due to the immune system's reaction to various tissues and causes different clinical findings in each patient.

Unlike other immune disorders, granuloma formations in body tissues in sarcoidosis are not contagious.

Sarcoidosis can be involved in all body tissues; therefore, it causes more findings, unlike other rheumatological diseases. In addition, sarcoidosis often presents manifestations in the lymph nodes, eyes, and skin.

Who Gets Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown origin. However, according to studies, certain age groups, gender, and race factors are determinative in the development of the disease. Individuals with the following characteristics are at greater risk of sarcoidosis:

  • It is more common in women.
  • People with a family history of sarcoidosis have a higher risk of developing the disease than normal individuals.
  • People of African descent have an increased risk for sarcoidosis.
  • It is rare in children.
  • The riskiest group is between the ages of 20-40.

Except for those, The reaction of the immune system may be caused by a virus, bacteria, or chemical that has not yet been identified. In case of increased contact with these structures, the risk of sarcoidosis may increase.

Sarcoidosis Symptoms

Clinical manifestations of sarcoidosis vary from patient to patient and the site of involvement. Some patients are asymptomatic. Among the complaints detected in the course of sarcoidosis, the following are listed:

  • Joint pains
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • weight loss
  • Fever
  • In ophthalmologic involvement, eye pain, dry eye, loss of vision, eye itching, tearing 
  • In the digestive system, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, dry mouth
  • In lung involvement, shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pain
  • In nervous system involvement, hearing loss, epileptic seizures, headache
  • In dermatologic involvement: hair loss, skin rash, and redness

What are the methods for Sarcoidosis Diagnosis and Treatment?

Chest tomography and x-ray are very important for the diagnosis of sarcoidosis. For a definitive diagnosis, a lymph node biopsy or bronchoscopy is required. Some patients require tissue samples from the lung or other organs. High levels of calcium and ACE enzymes in the blood are among the significant clinical findings.

Since the exact cause is unknown, there is no definite treatment method for this disease. In case of increased disease activity, cortisone is administered to the patient, and we reduce the dose of this treatment for 12 months.

Cortisone treatment is necessary in case of symptoms related to the nervous system, eyes, and heart. Lymph node enlargements in the lungs do not require this treatment. Still, the treatment is decided according to the severity of the respiratory system disorders. Using drugs that suppress the immune system may benefit patients who do not respond to cortisone therapy.

Sarcoidosis is a disease that usually progresses in 3 different ways. 60% of patients do not require any treatment or heal independently. 30% recover with cortisone therapy, and the disease does not recur later, while 10% do not progress despite cortisone.

What Are the Complications of Sarcoidosis?

If sarcoidosis is not treated correctly, it can cause advanced damage to other body tissues. Sarcoidosis, a chronic disease with a very long course, has the risk of creating different conditions.

There is a risk for lung infections, eye pressure, cataracts, kidney failure, facial paralysis, impaired heart rhythm, and infertility. Depending on the treatment applied and the course of the disease, different complications may develop in patients.

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