Sarcoidosis Symptoms Diagnosed & Treated by Mercy Lung Doctors
Patients in the Baltimore region rely on the advanced skills and knowledge of the doctors at The Lung Center at Mercy to diagnose, manage and treat a wide range of lung disorders including sarcoidosis. The Center’s team of expert pulmonology specialists is dedicated to finding patients the best treatment plan to improve quality of life.
Sarcoidosis is the abnormal collection of tiny inflammatory cells, called granulomas, in various organs within the body. These granulomas can grow in clusters that can eventually affect organ function. Sarcoidosis most commonly surfaces in the lungs and lymph nodes and often affects the skin, eyes and liver.
Symptomatic changes in sarcoidosis usually develop slowly, and the disease has both active and non-active phases. The severity of the disease can vary greatly among different people. This disease is more common in African Americans. An exact cause of sarcoidosis is unknown.
Sarcoidosis symptoms can involve virtually any organ system or any part of the body. Most people with sarcoidosis do encounter lung and or chest symptoms such as chest pain, dry cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms that cause general discomfort may include:
- Dry mouth
- Joint pain
- General feeling of illness
- Weight loss
Diagnosis of sarcoidosis is sometimes difficult and involves a series of tests and a physical exam. The physical exam can sometimes reveal abnormal breathing sounds, an enlarged liver, lymph glands, spleen and a rash. Typically an abnormal chest X-ray will show signs of the disease. Other tests used to diagnosis sarcoidosis include:
Mild cases of sarcoidosis can often improve without treatment, while moderate cases may only require occasional treatment for flare-ups. More severe cases of sarcoidosis can result in permanent organ damage and scarring of lung tissue. In the more serious cases, lifelong therapy with medication, or even a lung transplant, may be needed.
Mercy’s lung doctors can provide clinical expertise, appropriate testing, as well as advanced interventional pulmonary procedures to prescribe the best course of treatment.