Pulmonary sarcoidosis is a type of lung disease characterized by inflammation that leads to the formation of small lumps made up of immune cells called granulomas. Though specific causes are unknown, it is believed that it may be caused by an overactive immune system and exposure to certain triggers such as bacteria, viruses, or dust. Symptoms of the condition can include coughing, fatigue, chest pain, breathing problems, enlarged lymph nodes, and general malaise.
Living with Pulmonary Sarcoidosis
Living with pulmonary sarcoidosis can be a challenge but the key is to take control of the disease and its symptoms by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Some of the tips you can follow to lead a healthier life include:
- Exercising Regularly: Keeping physically active helps improve your lung function, decrease stress, and boost your immunity. Low- to moderate-intensity activities such as walking, swimming, or stretching can all help with pulmonary sarcoidosis symptoms.
- Consuming a Balanced Diet: Eating a balanced diet full of fresh, nutrient-rich foods can help alleviate inflammation and swelling. Focus on eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, while limiting processed and refined foods.
- Limiting Alcohol and Tobacco: Consuming alcohol and smoking cigarettes can increase inflammation in the lungs and worsen pulmonary sarcoidosis symptoms, so it is important to limit or avoid these substances.
- Getting Enough Rest: Ensuring that you get enough sleep can also help with pulmonary sarcoidosis symptoms. Avoiding stress, as well as caffeine and nicotine, can also aid in getting more restful sleep.
- Avoiding Triggers: Identifying and avoiding contact with the things that may be triggering your symptoms is also important in managing pulmonary sarcoidosis. Common triggers for those with the condition may include dust, chemicals, biological allergens, and certain medications.
Seeking Treatment from a Pulmonologist
Regardless of other lifestyle changes, it is recommended that you still seek medical help for pulmonary sarcoidosis symptoms. A pulmonologist or a doctor who specializes in lung health can provide a thorough evaluation and develop a personalized treatment plan. The pulmonologist may also suggest medications that can help reduce inflammation, reduce scarring and fibrosis to the lungs, or improve oxygen flow.
Managing pulmonary sarcoidosis is a long-term process, involving a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments, as well as regular check-ups with a pulmonologist. By following the tips above, you can better manage the condition and hopefully reduce the severity of your symptoms, allowing you to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.