Complications, Symptoms and Causes of Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis Symptoms Causes

This is a term which is used for the growth of tiny collections of inflammatory cells (granulomas) in different parts of our bodies. Most commonly, they are in the skin, eyes, lymph nodes and lungs. There are many studies in which are said that doctors believe that this condition results from the body’s immune system responding to an unknown substances and most likely they are something inhaled from the air [1]. You should know that there is no cure for sarcoidosis but there are many people who do very well when they have little or only modest treatment. It is known that in half of cases, the sarcoidosis goes away on its own. There are few cases in which sarcoidosis can last for years and it can cause organ damage.


Sarcoidosis Symptoms

Symptoms: The signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis are depending on which organs are affected. There are some cases when sarcoidosis develops gradually and it produces symptoms which are lasting for years. In other cases, the symptoms of sarcoidosis appear suddenly and then they disappear just as quickly. There are many people who suffer from sarcoidosis and they have no symptoms so sarcoidosis can be discovered only when you have a chest X – ray for another reason.

  1. General symptoms: There are many people which have sarcoidosis and this condition in them starts with these symptoms:
  • Wight loss
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  1. Lung symptoms: There are many people who suffer from sarcoidosis and who are experiencing lung problems [2], such as
  • Chest pain
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent dry cough
  1. Skin symptoms: It is known that there are some people who have sarcoidosis and develop skin problems [3], such as
  • Growths under the skin (nodules), particularly around scars or tattoos
  • Areas of the skin that are darker or lighten in color
  • You can have disfiguring sores (lesions) on the nose, cheeks and ears
  • You can have a rash of red or reddish – purple bumps, usually located on the shins or ankles, which may be warm and tender to the touch
  1. Eye symptoms: There are some cases when sarcoidosis can affect the eyes without causing any symptoms which means that it is very important to visit your doctor to check your eyes. When people who have sarcoidosis develop eye symptoms [4], then these symptoms usually are including:
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Severe redness
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  1. Heart symptoms: Here are some signs and symptoms which are related to the cardiac sarcoidosis [5]:
  • Swelling caused by excess fluid (edema)
  • Rapid or fluttering heart beat (palpitations)
  • Irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias)
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  • Chest pain

Sarcoidosis Symptoms Causes

Sarcoidosis Symptoms Causes

Causes: There are many doctors who do not know the real cause for sarcoidosis. There are some people who are having a genetic predisposition to develop sarcoidosis and it can be triggered by chemicals, dust, viruses or bacteria. This is triggering an overreaction of the immune system and immune cells are beginning to collect in a pattern of inflammation which is called granulomas. It is known that as the granuloma build up in some organ, then the function of that organ can be affected.

Risk factors: Every single person can develop sarcoidosis but there are some factors which can increase your risk of developing it, such as

  • Family history: It is known fact that if someone from your family has sarcoidosis, then you are having more chances of developing this disease.
  • Race: There are some studies in which are shown that African – Americans have higher chances of developing sarcoidosis than white Americans [6]. It is known that sarcoidosis can be more severe and it can be more likely to happen and cause lung problems in African – Americans.

Complications: In the most cases, this condition resolves on its own and it is not causing lasting complications. But there are some cases when it can cause long – term problems.

  • Nervous system: There is a small number of people who have sarcoidosis and who develop problems that are related to the central nervous system when granulomas form in the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation in the facial nerves can lead to facial paralysis.
  • Heart: When you have granulomas in your heart, then they can cause abnormal heart rhythms and other heart problems. [5]
  • Kidneys: This condition can affect your body how handles calcium which can lead to kidney failure.
  • Eyes: It is known that the inflammation can affect almost any part of your eye and eventually it can cause blindness. [4]
  • Lungs: If you do not treat the pulmonary sarcoidosis, then it can lead to permanent scarring in your lungs which is making difficult for you to breathe. [2]


[1] Newman KL, Newman LS. Occupational causes of sarcoidosis. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2012;12(2):145–50.

[2] Baughman RP, Culver DA, Judson MA. A concise review of pulmonary sarcoidosis. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2011;183(5):573-81.

[3] Prasse A. The diagnosis, differential diagnosis, and treatment of sarcoidosis. Deutsches Ärzteblatt International. 2016;113(33-34):565–74.

[4] Pasadhika S, Rosenbaum JT. Ocular sarcoidosis. Clinics in Chest Medicine. 2015;36(4):669–83.

[5] Sekhri V, Sanal S, DeLorenzo LJ, et al. Cardiac sarcoidosis: a comprehensive review. Archives of Medical Science. 2011;7(4):546–54.

[6] Mirsaeidi M, Machado RF, Schraufnagel D, et al. Racial difference in sarcoidosis mortality in the United States. Chest. 2015;147(2):438–49.


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