Sarcoidosis develops when inflammatory cells form clumps in the lungs and lymph nodes. At the Rheumatic Disease Center offices in Milwaukee, Glendale, and Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, the experienced rheumatologists excel in diagnosing and treating sarcoidosis. With their help, you can better manage your condition and enjoy a greatly improved quality of life. Call your nearest Rheumatic Disease Center office today or book an appointment online to benefit from expert sarcoidosis treatment.
Sarcoidosis causes granulomas (small collections of inflammatory cells) to build up in places like your lungs and lymph nodes. The lymph nodes (part of your immune system) filter lymphatic fluid. They help rid your body of microorganisms like bacteria and viruses and remove waste products.
Sarcoidosis doesn’t always cause symptoms, but those you might experience include:
Sarcoidosis symptoms can come on suddenly and be severe. But they can also develop slowly and build up over months or sometimes years.
If you don’t exhibit sarcoidosis symptoms, you might discover you have the condition only when undergoing tests for other purposes.
It’s unclear what causes sarcoidosis, but research suggests it develops in people with specific genes. A problem with the immune system in these patients causes excessive inflammation that leads to granuloma formation.
You could develop sarcoidosis if you have these genes and suffer exposure to a trigger. Possible sarcoidosis triggers include bacterial and viral infections, mold spores, dust, insecticides, and other chemicals.
To diagnose sarcoidosis, the Rheumatic Disease Center team uses several tests and procedures, including:
Some patients might need a biopsy, extracting a small tissue sample for lab analysis.
Sarcoidosis has no cure, but it’s very manageable. If you don’t experience symptoms, you might not need treatment. But your Rheumatic Disease Center rheumatologist will recommend routine monitoring to ensure you get prompt attention if anything changes.
Patients with troublesome sarcoidosis symptoms usually benefit from a low-dose steroid medication like prednisone to reduce inflammation. But long-term steroid use is inadvisable. Prolonged use increases your risk of bone density loss (osteoporosis), cataracts (clouded vision), and glaucoma (optic nerve damage in the eye).
Your rheumatologist will likely help you move on to immunosuppressant medication when your symptoms are under control. These medicines reduce the over-reactivity of your immune system, which causes inflammation.
Call the Rheumatic Disease Center today or book an appointment online for expert sarcoidosis diagnosis and treatment.