Sarcoidosis Symptoms

– Do They Affect You?

By: - Disease & Illness - May 6, 2011
sarcoidosis symptoms

There are often not many outward sarcoidosis symptoms that will let you know you have the disease. It is often discovered as a matter of chance, when you have had a routine x-ray. If you do have symptoms, they may include breathing complications, like being short of breath, also known as dyspnea. You might also have a persistent, dry cough.

You may experience an inflammation in your eye, or a feeling that you’re sick, with fevers and weight loss. Skin rashes also may be one reason to seek sarcoidosis treatment, if this is discerned to be the cause. The problem is that sarcoidosis is able to affect almost any organ, except possibly your adrenal gland.

The vast majority of patients have sarcoidosis symptoms in the chest, even if nothing shows outwardly. The problems encountered include inflammation and swelling of lymph nodes within the chest, or less commonly, the appearance of colored, mottled blotches and spots on the lungs, upon x-rays being taken. The swollen lymph nodes may occur at the point where the bronchial tubes meet the lungs, or in the region in the center of your chest.

After your physician determines that your lymph node swelling is due to sarcoidosis, a CT scan might give you a better, clearer picture, to eliminate other causes. In the majority of cases, if the lymph node problems are found on both sides of your chest, sarcoidosis treatment will be started. It’s easier to determine that sarcoidosis is the cause if you also have eye inflammation or skin lesions.

When your physician finds the telltale mottling of sarcoidosis in your lungs after a chest x-ray, it is usually caused by granulomas in the tissue of your lungs. If your pulmonary infiltration is extensive or severe, you will have respiratory symptoms. In addition, the lung tissue can thicken and harden, causing scarring that may be permanent.

Fibrosis usually develops in an area of the lungs where there has been long-term infiltration, or where the infiltration has been particularly dense. This causes stiffening of the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. Fibrosis caused by sarcoidosis is not reversible. And if it is extensive enough, it may cause dysfunction on a severe level, and possibly even heart failure, in the long term.

Some of the sarcoidosis symptoms that may be seen include hoarseness, a dry, persistent cough, nasal congestion, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing or breathing difficulties. Most sarcoidosis patients find that their infiltration and inflammation of the lungs will clear up, eventually. If the patient is older, the sarcoidosis is more likely to become a chronic condition and this may lead to fibrosis. The upper airways may also be affected, including the larynx and the sinuses. After sarcoidosis treatment, many patients may expect a nearly full recovery.