What is Sarcoidosis?
The presence of Sarcoidosis, also called sarcoid, Besnier-Boeck disease or Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease, is known to result from a certain type of inflammatory condition that affects some of the organism’s tissues. This medical disorder may affect almost all organs of the human body; however, Sarcoidosis is known to generally appear in the patient’s lymph nodes and / or lungs.
The true cause of the developing of Sarcoidosis illness is still a mystery. It can appear and disappear as it pleases, in a sudden way. In other cases, it gradually develops, determining the presence of symptoms that will not disappear for the entire life of the individual. As the disorder progresses, the infected tissues start to present granulomas. In other words, tests results show the presence of microscopic lumps that are widely associated with a certain inflammatory medical condition. These microscopic lumps are known to generally clear in time, no matter if the patient receives a therapy for this disorder or not. However, rare clinical cases in which the granulomas fail to disappear have been reported. In this case the patient’s tissues remain inflamed. The appearance of scars is common.
Sarcoidosis was identified for the first time about a hundred years ago by two dermatologists, during their independent studies. Their names are Dr. Caesar Boeck from and Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson from England. This medical disorder was called in its early days Boeck’s disease or Hutchinson’s disease. The name that Sarcoidosis carries today was given to it by Dr Boeck; it is known to derive from 2 Greek terms (sark and oid), which would translate as “flesh-like”. This name was considered appropriate as it describes the skin eruptions that are quite commonly triggered by the presence of Sarcoidosis.
The presence of Sarcoidosis is known to trigger a set of symptoms (clinical manifestations) which enable a professional health care provider form an opinion regarding the patient’s diagnosis. In this chapter we aim to present you the most common signs and / or symptoms that are widely associated in the case of clinical patients who have been diagnosed with the presence of such an inflammation. However, the list that you will find here does not contain all of the possible clinical manifestations that may appear due to the presence of Sarcoidosis. For this reason, it is important to seek further advice from your personal health care provider if you suspect that you are suffering from this disease (if you present any of the following symptoms): dyspnoea (abnormal shortness of breath), persistent cough (which is very annoying, as it will not go away). However, in some other clinical cases, the presence of this inflammatory disease determines the developing of skin rashes.
Patients who have suffered from them commonly describe them as red bumps which affect the patient’s arms or face (the professional term for this symptom is erythema nodosum). In other cases, the patient who has been diagnosed with Sarcoidosis suffered from inflammation of his or her eyes. However, in other clinical cases, the patient presents only a set of general symptoms that are known to be triggered by a wide variety of medical disorders. Among them, the most common are: fever, night sweats, fatigue, weight loss, feeling of illness, and so on.
Sarcoidosis used to be considered a rare disease. The good news is that most individuals who are diagnosed with the presence of this medical disorder do not need to follow any type of therapy for their condition. Their Sarcoidosis symptoms are not able to prevent them from exercising their daily routine and they also appear and disappear as they please.
If the individual receives a therapy for Sarcoidosis, the main clinical aim of the treatment is to keep the other organs of the human organism unaffected by this inflammatory medical disorder (this is known to reduce the patient’s symptoms). As the symptoms of this clinical condition have faded, the disorder is considered to have become inactive.
The main Sarcoidosis therapy option against this medical disorder and against the formation of granuloma remains the intake of corticosteroid medicines. The most common corticosteroid that is employed in the therapy against this clinical illness is called Prednisone. This is one of the most popular corticosteroids that are available in pharmacies. The bad news is that scientists were unable to work out a therapy option with great beneficial results that is able to reverse the fibrosis (scarring) of the patient’s lungs (this complication is common among individuals who are suffering from a severe form of Sarcoidosis).
In order for the physician to set an appropriate Sarcoidosis diagnosis, the patient will have to undergo a set of clinical tests. Furthermore, in order to watch any improvement in the patient’s general health condition the patient will have to undergo regular medical evaluations. In some cases, the patient who is suffering from this medical disorder (Sarcoidosis) and is following a therapy in order to ease its unpleasant symptoms, presents abnormally high blood levels of calcium. Although scientists were unable to find a clinical explanation for this, they advise such individuals to avoid the consumption of aliments that are rich in calcium, to avoid the intake of vitamin D supplements. The intake of Prednisone might be helpful in Sarcoidosis.
Although the intake of corticosteroid medical products is known to generally trigger an improvement of the patient’s health condition, his or her unpleasant Sarcoidosis symptoms (that have been linked to the presence of Sarcoidosis) will often reappear as soon as the therapy is stopped. For this reason, some treatment trials with these medical products may last for a prolonged period of time (even several years) until it is safe for the patient to stop the intake of his corticosteroid drug. The prolonged intake of corticosteroids (which is widely employed in the therapy against Sarcoidosis) may trigger a set of unpleasant adverse reactions such as high blood sugar, ulcer, acne, bone problems, skin problems, stomach problems, and so on. The patient’s risk of developing these unpleasant side effects of his or her medication therapy increases if the individual is taking in a high dose of such a medical product.
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