Sarcoidosis is a disease in which small clumps of inflammatory cells form in one or more of your organs. The clumps of cells are called granulomas. They aren't cancerous. When you have sarcoidosis, you also have inflammation throughout your body.
Doctors don’t know what causes sarcoidosis
Granulomas most often form in your lungs and lymph nodes, but they can happen in any organ
Granulomas in your lungs can make you cough and feel short of breath
Inflammation throughout your body can give you fevers, weight loss, and joint pain
To tell if you have sarcoidosis, doctors will do a chest x-ray and look at a sample of your tissue under a microscope (biopsy)
There's no cure, but sarcoidosis often goes away on its own
Doctors can give you medicine to lessen your symptoms
Many people with sarcoidosis have no symptoms or only mild symptoms. But a few people become very ill.
Symptoms depend on what part of your body is affected.
General symptoms of sarcoidosis include:
Feeling weak and tired
No appetite and losing weight
Painful, swollen joints
Swollen lymph nodes (small bean-shaped organs in your neck, groin, and armpits)
Lung symptoms are the most common and include:
Skin symptoms are common and include:
Painful red bumps on your shins (erythema nodosum)
Flat or raised patches on your nose, cheeks, lips, and ears
Eye symptoms include:
Heart symptoms are rare but can be dangerous. You may have:
Many other parts of your body can be affected.
Doctors usually suspect sarcoidosis if you have:
To tell for sure, doctors usually:
If you have sarcoidosis, doctors will check how your lungs are working using:
Doctors don’t treat sarcoidosis unless it's causing symptoms.
To lessen your symptoms, doctors may have you take:
If corticosteroids don't help, doctors may use stronger medicines that block your immune system.
If you have sarcoidosis in your heart, doctors may put in a pacemaker (a small electrical device that doctors put in your chest to help control unusual heart rhythms).
Rarely, if sarcoidosis has severely injured your lungs, heart, or liver, you may need an organ transplant.