Sarcoidosis is a rare condition in which immune cells create granulomas (collections of inflammatory cells) in various tissues of the body. The trigger for this immune reaction can be bacteria, viruses, toxins, dust, or other inflammatory irritants. Almost any tissue can be affected, however the most common areas to develop granulomas are the lungs, lymph nodes, and kidneys. These inflammatory nodules interfere with normal healthy functioning of the tissues they develop in and this is what creates the symptoms of the disease. This means the symptoms can be vague and often go misdiagnosed in many people. Sarcoidosis can also be found incidentally by chest x-ray and may present with no obvious symptoms at all.
Because sarcoidosis is a progressive inflammatory disease it is important to monitor for signs and symptoms of disease progression and have awareness of the tissues that can become affected. Some disease complications and symptoms to watch for can include:
- Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
- Cough and chest pain
- Kidney stones and poor kidney functioning
- Enlarged and painful lymph nodes
- Swelling of hands or feet
There are some labs and imaging that can be done to monitor the course of the disease. These may include:
- Kidney function test
- Liver enzymes
- Chest x-rays
- CT scans to assess organs
- Pulmonary function testing
- Cardiac testing to assess the heart
- Biopsies of tissues suspected to be involved to confirm the presence of granulomas
Integrative treatment of sarcoidosis includes natural support to reduce inflammation and breakdown granuloma formation, as well as herbs and nutrients to improve cellular functioning of the remaining healthy organ tissue.
With the initiator of the formation of the granulomas still poorly understood there is a role for assessment and removal of heavy metals and toxins in the treatment of Sarcoidosis as well.
For a personalized assessment and treatment plan please see a qualified healthcare practitioner.