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Pulmonary Sarcoidosis: Here’s What You Need to Know

What is Pulmonary Sarcoidosis

In general, sarcoidosis is inflammation. Although it can occur in any organ, it is usually present in the lungs and lymph nodes.  Pulmonary sarcoidosis impacts the lungs specifically. It causes small inflammatory cells, that appear as lumps, in the lungs. These lumps can change how the lungs work. In some cases, the lumps heal and disappear on their own, but in other cases the lumps can continue to become inflamed and lead to scarring and stiffening. 
Causes 
Unfortunately, there is no known reason that sarcoidosis occurs. There may be a genetic component;  Development may also be triggered by bacteria, viruses, dust, or chemicals. When triggered, the immune system reacts and cells start to form a pattern of inflammation in an organ and that organ then becomes affected. 
Who’s at Risk?
Anyone can be at risk for the disease. Some factors that may lead to disease development include:
  • Age and sex – Often occurs between the ages of 20 – 60. Women are affected more than men. 
  • Race – Black people are more likely to develop sarcoidosis, especially pulmonary sarcoidosis. 
  • Family history – People who have family members with the disease are more likely to develop it themselves. 
Symptoms Some symptoms of pulmonary sarcoidosis include:
  • Fatigue
  • A persistent, dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing 
  • Chest pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes  
  • Unexplained and/or rapid weight loss
If you experience any of the above symptoms unexpectedly or for a prolonged period of time, please consult your doctor. 

References

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