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X-ray of lungs in sacroidosis showing honeycoming. Courtesy Wikimedia.

X-ray of Lungs in Sacroidosis Showing Honeycoming. Courtesy Wikimedia.

What Is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous disease characterized by hard granulomas and inflammation of the alveoli in lungs that occurrs in 80% of patients.

Alveoli are the tiny one cell thick round structures that are clustered at the ends of air passages in the lungs where oxygen from air inhaled is exchanged for carbon dioxide from blood which is breathed out.

Q: What are granulomas?

A: Granulomas are collections of macrophages (white blood cells) that targeted and enclosed but failed to destroy a foreign substance that entered the body.  In turn, the macrophages become encased by other immune cells and fibroblasts and collagen. They can occur in any organ.

Presently, the etiology, or cause, of sarcoidosis is unknown, although it is thought the predisposition is genetic with a local immune mechanism. This disease has flares when active and remissions when symptoms subside.

Referral to a specialist is important for proper treatment and monitoring. The main treatment for severe active sarcoidosis is prednisone, a type of steroid that reduces inflammation in the body. In most people, prednisone relieves symptoms within a couple of months, although most people need to take prednisone for 12 months or longer. Long-term use of prednisone, especially at high doses, can cause serious side effects. Side effects include bone loss, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

When wheezing and coughing are a problem, inhaler devices are used to deliver medicine into the lungs in order to help open the airways.1

Ibuprofen is prescribed if sarcoidosis is causing joint pain. Steroid creams are prescribed for skin problems.

Sarcoidosis affects 10 to 20 person per 100,000.

What Is Sarcoidosis In Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Sensitivity?


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  1. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute []