• Sarcoidosis


    Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that may affect many different parts of the body. Small round spots, called granulomas, form in various organs. The spots slow down normal functioning of those organs.


    The cause of sarcoidosis is not known. It seems to be related to malfunctioning of the immune system. The disease may be triggered by an infection or exposure to a toxin in the environment.
    Some people may be more susceptible to sarcoidosis due to genetic or environmental factors.

    Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of sarcoidosis include:
    • Age: 20 to 40
    • Sex: female
    • Ethnic descent: African-American, Northern European, Scandinavian, and Irish


    Symptoms vary and can occur in different parts of the body, depending on where the granulomas form. Most symptoms develop in the lungs, skin, eyes, and liver. Multiple body systems may be affected. Symptoms may come and go. This disease is often acute, but in some people, it is chronic.
    Symptoms may include:
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing
    • Chest pain
    • Rash
    • Fever
    • Pain or irritation of eyes
    • Fatigue, especially with exertion
    • Muscle weakness
    • Night sweats
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Seizures
    • Tremors
    • Difficulty hearing
    • Blurred vision or blindness
    • Poor coordination
    • Trouble walking
    • Irregular heart rate
    • Pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints
    • Facial paralysis known as Bell's Palsy
    Bell's Palsy
    Facial droop and nerves
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. An eye exam may also be done. There is no specific lab test that confirms a diagnosis of sarcoidosis. Instead, the diagnosis is made based on symptoms and medical tests that are usually positive in those with this condition.
    Your bodily fluids and tissues may be tested. This can be done with:
    • Blood tests
    • Urine tests
    • Biopsy
    Imaging tests evaluate bodily structures. These may include:
    Your heart activity may be tested. This can be done with an electrocardiogram (EKG).
    Your lung function may be tested. This can be done with pulmonary function tests (PFTs).


    Treatment aims to ease symptoms and minimize permanent problems. Treatment may include:


    You need regular medical and eye exams to monitor for symptoms and complications of sarcoidosis.


    Drugs that may be prescribed include the following:
    • Steroids to decrease inflammation
    • Methotrexate or azathioprine may be used for those who do not respond to steroids
    • Hydroxychloroquine to treat skin problems
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat musculoskeletal symptoms
    • Pulmonary rehabilitation programs to improve lung function
    • Topical steroids to treat rashes
    • Eye drops to treat mild eye problems


    To help minimize your symptoms:
    • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about how to successfully quit.
    • Avoid exposure to dust and chemicals.
    • Notify your doctor at right away if any symptoms develop or worsen.


    There are no current guidelines to prevent sarcoidosis because the cause is unknown.


    American Lung Association http://www.lung.org

    Arthritis Foundation http://www.arthritis.org


    The Arthritis Society http://www.arthritis.ca

    The Lung Association http://www.lung.ca


    Explore sarcoidosis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sarc. Updated June 14, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2013.

    Sarcoidosis. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/sarcoidosis. Accessed August 15, 2013.

    Sarcoidosis in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 25, 2013. Accessed August 15, 2013.

    Sarcoidosis in children. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 28, 2011. Accessed August 15, 2013.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.