Wait – Sarco-what? If you don’t have a clue what Sarcoidosis is, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Even doctors and researchers are continually trying to learn more about this mysterious chronic disease. Let’s take a look at what they DO know . . .
Sarcoidosis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects multiple systems in the body, and in which granulomas (microscopic lumps of cells) are produced in body organs. They sometimes clump together, forming many groups of cells—some large, some small.
Sarcoidosis can affect just about any organ, but it usually begins in the lungs or lymph nodes. However, it can also affect the skin, eyes, and liver. Infrequently, the spleen, brain, nerves, heart, tear glands, salivary glands, bones, and joints can be involved. It has been known on rare occasions to affect the thyroid gland, breasts, kidneys, and reproductive organs. It typically is found in more than one organ.
The granulomas form and grow in what is called the active phase. This is when symptoms become apparent. Scar tissue can also form in the affected organs during this phase. Often the disease is mild, and the inflammation that occurs may improve on its own. Sometimes the lumps are static or shrink. Even so, the scars usually remain and cause symptoms.
Sarcoidosis is not contagious, and although it can run in families, it is not considered to be hereditary. Most people who have sarcoidosis lead mostly normal lives, and in the majority of cases the disease is brief and disappears on its own. Approximately 20-30 percent of people who have had sarcoidosis are left with permanent lung damage, and in 10-15 percent of patients the disease becomes chronic. Death is quite uncommon; however it can occur if the disease causes serious enough damage to a vital organ.
Who is affected?
Sarcoidosis has been considered rare and uncommon in the past. However, it is now known to affect thousands of people. Because the symptoms of sarcoidosis are often subtle (some people show no symptoms whatsoever) and can be mistaken for other diseases, it’s hard to measure the actual extent of the disease in the population. In the United States it is estimated that anywhere from 10- 40 people in 100,000 are afflicted.
Sarcoidosis is found throughout the world, and affects people of all races – both male and female. It seems that young women of African descent are more prone to the disease, as are people of Scandinavian, German, Irish or Puerto Rican origin. Sarcoidosis occurs most commonly between the ages of 20 and 40, but it can also occur in children and older adults.
What causes sarcoidosis?
That seems to be the million dollar question at this point! As of now, no cause has been determined. Researchers do believe that sarcoidosis is related to an abnormal immune-system response, but they don’t know what triggers that response. Also unknown is whether or not heredity, environment or lifestyle choices affect the development, severity or length of the disease. But they (the researchers) are definitely trying to find out!
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on the area of the body involved, as well as in severity (ranging from mild to severe). And, as mentioned above, often mimic the symptoms of other diseases or conditions. But some symptoms include:
• Unexplained weight loss
• Joint pain
• Skin rashes or red bumps (usually on the legs)
• Redness or tearing of the eyes
• Shortness of breath or a cough that won’t go away
If you have any of these symptoms, it might be a good idea to visit the doc for a check-up.
Is there any way to prevent sarcoidosis?
Unfortunately, there is no known way to stave off this disease. However, as with any adverse health condition, leading a healthy lifestyle can never hurt! That includes refraining from smoking and drinking too much alcohol, maintaining a healthy body weight, exercising and eating right.
Can sarcoidosis be treated?
If you have a mild version of sarcoidosis, you may not need any kind of treatment at all as often the disease gets better on its own over time. However if you have more severe symptoms your doctor might prescribe a corticosteroid drug, such as prednisone. The goal of treating in this manner is to keep sufferers comfortable by reducing symptoms and maintaining proper functioning of any affected organs.
You may want to also consider the following natural treatments to ease symptoms of sarcoidosis.
Recommended herbal treatments:
• Colloidal Silver
• Botanicillin (Lomatium Dissecticum, Malionia Aquifolium, H. Performan, O. Horridus, Rose Natocana, A. Auifolia, and citrus oils)
• Oxy E. Plus Silica
• Silica Plus
• Herbs: L-Taurine, Hawthorne Berry, Safflower, Wasabi Japonica, Wild Cherry, Allium Cepa, Barberry, Bilberry, Cinnamon, L-Carnitine, L-Arginine, Turmeric, Cayenne, Wood Betony, Sioscorea, Plaurisy, Potassium, Fritillaria, and Magnesium
• Oxygenating supplement: Hydrogen Sulfate, Acids, Trace Minerals, Amino Acids, and enzymes.
Now, aren’t you glad you know more about this disease? With all the above information, you can start to be on the lookout for sarcoidosis symptoms in yourself, your friends and your family members. If you are already affected, you can be certain that more is being learned about this disease every day. Who knows? A cure may even be on the horizon!