Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease of unknown cause, characterized by inflammation in various parts of the body, such as lung, liver, skin, and eyes, in addition to the formation of languages, resulting in excessive fatigue, fever or weight loss, for example.
Although the cause of sarcoidosis is still not very well established, it is believed that may be caused by the response of the organism to one or several of the invading agents, or even due to the reaction of the body against itself, being, therefore, considered to be an autoimmune disease.
Sarcoidosis has no cure, however, is of great importance to the completion of treatment to avoid possible complications, such as respiratory failure and renal failure, blindness, and paraplegia, for example.
Symptoms of sarcoidosis
According to the location in which it is verified the greatest evidences of inflammation, sarcoidosis can be classified according to the symptoms mainly:
1. Sarcoidosis pulmonary
The commitment of the lung happens in more than 90% of the people diagnosed with sarcoidosis and the inflammatory process be realized by means of chest radiography. The main symptoms related to sarcoidosis lung are cough, dry and persistent, due to obstructions in the respiratory tract, difficulty breathing and chest pain.
In addition, depending on the stage of inflammation, the person may exhibit fibrosis of the lung tissue, being necessary the realization of the transplant, in addition to pulmonary arterial hypertension.
2. Sarcoidosis of the skin
In which there is the appearance of inflammatory lesions in the skin, and is present in over 30% of people diagnosed with sarcoidosis. The main symptoms of this type of sarcoidosis are the formation of queloides, appearance of red spots on the skin and change color, in addition to growth of bubbles under the skin, mainly in the areas near the scars.
3. Sarcoidosis ocular
In the case of the involvement of the eyes, the most characteristic symptoms are blurry vision, pain in eyes, redness, dry eyes and hypersensitivity to light. The frequency of clinical manifestations of sarcoidosis related to the eyes varies according to the population, being more frequent to happen in japanese.
It is important that the eye symptoms to be treated, because otherwise it can result in blindness.
4. Sarcoidosis heart
The heart involvement in sarcoidosis is more frequent in the japanese population and has as main symptoms of heart failure and changes in the heartbeat.
How is the diagnosis made
The initial diagnosis of sarcoidosis is made by the doctor by observation of symptoms and tests that allow to indicate whether there has been impairment of organs. Thus, the physician may indicate, primarily, the realization of the chest radiograph, because the lung is the organ most affected in this disease.
The diagnosis of this disease, however, is difficult, since the cause is not yet very well established. For this reason, it is usually required to undertake laboratory tests are complementary, as well as biopsy of the lesion granulomatous or of the organ affected, and of other imaging examinations, such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging.
How to treat
Sarcoidosis has no cure, however, treatment aims to relieve symptoms and prevent progression of the disease. So, the doctor may recommend the use of glucocorticoid medicine, based on corticoids such as Betamethasone or Dexamethasone, or immunosuppressive medications, such as Azathioprine, for example.
In the case of the impairment of organs, it is important that the doctor evaluate the extent of the commitment, as well as if there is still some function, it may be necessary to carry out transplantation of organs, depending on the case.
It is also recommended that the person diagnosed with sarcoidosis is monitored periodically by the physician, even if no symptoms present, so that it checked the progress of the disease and response to treatment.