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- Patient Comments: Sarcoidosis - Describe Your Experience
- Patient Comments: Sarcoidosis - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Sarcoidosis - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Sarcoidosis - Coping
- Sarcoidosis facts
- What is sarcoidosis?
- What are causes and risk factors of sarcoidosis?
- What are signs and symptoms of sarcoidosis?
- Who gets sarcoidosis?
- What do we know about sarcoidosis? Is sarcoidosis contagious or hereditary?
- What are some things we don't know about sarcoidosis?
- What types of doctors treat sarcoidosis?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose sarcoidosis?
- What do laboratory tests for sarcoidosis show?
- What is the treatment for sarcoidosis?
- What is the prognosis of sarcoidosis?
- Is it possible to prevent sarcoidosis?
- Where can a person find more information on sarcoidosis?
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What are some things we don't know about sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is currently thought to be associated with an abnormal immune response. It is not known whether the trigger that initiates the immune disturbance is a foreign substance, chemical, drug, virus, or some other substance.
In general, sarcoidosis appears briefly and heals naturally in 60%-70% of the cases, often without the patient knowing or doing anything about it. From 20%-30% of sarcoidosis patients are left with some permanent lung damage. In 10%-15% of the patients, sarcoidosis can become chronic.
When either the granulomas or fibrosis seriously affect the function of a vital organ -- the lungs, heart, nervous system, liver, or kidneys, for example -- sarcoidosis can be fatal. This occurs 5%-10% of the time. Some people are more at risk than others. No one knows why.
No one can predict how sarcoidosis will progress in an individual patient. The patient's symptoms, race, and the doctor's findings can give some clues. For example, a sudden onset of general symptoms, such as weight loss or feeling generally ill, are usually taken to mean that the course of sarcoidosis will be relatively short and mild. Dyspnea and possibly skin sarcoidosis often indicate that the sarcoidosis will be more chronic and severe.
White patients are more likely to develop the milder form of the disease. Black people tend to develop the more chronic and severe form.
Sarcoidosis rarely develops before the age of 10 or after the age of 60. However, the illness -- with or without symptoms -- has been reported in younger as well as in older people. When symptoms do appear in these age groups, the symptoms are those that are more general in nature, for example, tiredness, sluggishness, coughing, and a general feeling of ill health.