Sarcoidosis is caused a result of the immune system’s response to an invasion of foreign substances in the body. The foreign substances can be dust particles inhaled through air, bacteria, virus or any chemicals. An inflammatory disease, sarcoidosis causes organ inflammation and the development of inflammatory cells or granulomas in different organs of the body. The granulomas, which are abnormal nodules or masses, affect the function and normal structure of the organs that have been affected by sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis commonly affects the lymph nodes, eyes, skin, liver, spleen, brain, lungs, and heart. Sarcoidosis symptoms and signs depend on the affected organ. There has been no definite cure for this disease. However, it has been observed that in most cases of sarcoidosis, the granulomas go away on their own with little to no treatment at all. But in a few rare cases, sarcoidosis can last for a lifetime causing damage to the affected organ.
Sarcoidosis symptoms and signs may develop slowly and last longer, or they may appear instantly and disappear as well. The symptoms of this disease usually affect people in the age group 20-40 years. There have been cases where the affected person does not experience any sarcoidosis symptoms and signs, and the disease is diagnosed after a chest X-ray is done. Here are a few obvious sarcoidosis symptoms and signs:
- General symptoms: These include a persistent feeling of fatigue, fever, joint pain, sudden weight loss, dry mouth, nosebleeds, and swelling of lymph nodes and stomach.
- Lung symptoms: These include occasional chest pain (especially around the breastbone), wheezing, shortness of breath and a consistent dry cough. These symptoms are often experienced by people affected by sarcoidosis.
- Skin symptoms: A red rash or reddish-purple bumps may develop on the shins or over the ankles. These bumps and rashes are tender and warm to touch. Lesions or sores may appear on the cheeks, nose, and ears. Some areas of skin may become darker or lighter. Nodules may appear around tattoos and scars.
- Eye symptoms: Often sarcoidosis affects the eyes without any visible symptoms or signs. This makes it essential to have the eyes checked whenever sarcoidosis attacks the body. In certain cases, eye symptoms may become apparent. The symptoms include severe redness of the eyes, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, and pain around the eyes.
- Heart symptoms: Some people have cardiac sarcoidosis. It affects the heart and causes symptoms such as fainting, shortness of breath, fatigue, irregular heartbeats, palpitations, and edema.