Understanding Pulmonary Sarcoidosis: Signs, Symptoms, Treatment and Health
Pulmonary sarcoidosis is a multisystem inflammatory disorder that affects your lungs, eyes and other organs. It’s a chronic, long-term condition, but it can often be treated with medication and lifestyle changes.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of pulmonary sarcoidosis range from mild to severe and can depend on where in your body it is located. Common signs and symptoms of pulmonary sarcoidosis include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Weight loss
- Dry eyes (ocular sarcoidosis)
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Skin lesions or rashes
- Muscle pain, weakness or stiffness
- Eye pain or discomfort
If your doctor suspects pulmonary sarcoidosis, they may order a variety of tests to confirm their diagnosis, including a chest X-ray and CT scan, pulmonary function tests, biopsy of the lungs or other affected organs, and blood tests.
The treatment for pulmonary sarcoidosis depends on the severity of the disease and on the organs that are affected. Some people may not need any treatment, while others may need medication. Common medications used to treat pulmonary sarcoidosis include:
- Steroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation and suppress the immune system
- Immunosuppressants, such as methotrexate, to suppress the immune system
- Biologic therapies, such as Enbrel, to reduce inflammation
In addition to medication, lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest, can also help manage pulmonary sarcoidosis.
If left untreated, pulmonary sarcoidosis can lead to long-term health complications, such as:
- Lung scarring (fibrosis)
- Lung failure
- Granulomatous hepatitis (hepatitis)
- Heart blockages
If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of pulmonary sarcoidosis, speak to your doctor about treatment options. With proper treatment, you can keep the condition under control and minimize the risk of long-term health complications.