Other Names for this Disease
- Sarcoid of Boeck
- Schaumann's disease
Your QuestionI have been diagnosed with sarcoidosis. This condition has caused me severe pain and I wish to learn anything that might be useful to share with my doctors. Could this condition be the result of working in a hot silk-screen paint shop? Will I ever get over this condition? How can I manage the symptoms?
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Shortness of breath (dyspnea) and a cough that won't go away can be among the first symptoms of sarcoidosis. Sarcoidosis can also show up suddenly with the appearance of skin rashes. Red bumps (erythema nodosum) on the face, arms, or shins, and inflammation of the eyes are also common symptoms. It is not unusual, however, for sarcoidosis symptoms to be more general. Weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, fever, or just an overall feeling of ill health can also be clues to the disease.
- Lymph glands
- Nervous system, including the brain
- Musculoskeletal system (the muscles and bones in the body)
Since the exact cause of sarcoidosis is not fully understood, it is difficult to say whether a specific exposure might be to blame. We recommend that you discuss your concerns regarding your occupational exposure with your physicians.
- the symptoms present
- the severity of the symptoms
- whether any of vital organs (e.g., your lungs, eyes, heart, or brain) are affected
- how the organ is affected.
Some organs must be treated, regardless of your symptoms. Others may not need to be treated. Usually, if a patient doesn't have symptoms, he or she doesn't need treatment, and probably will recover in time. 
Currently, the drug that is most commonly used to treat sarcoidosis is prednisone. When a patient's condition gets worse when taking prednisone or when the side effects of prednisone are severe in the patient, a doctor may prescribe other drugs. Most of these other drugs are immune system suppresants. This means that they prevent one's immune system from fighting things like bacteria and viruses. These other drugs include: hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), methotrexate, azathioprine (Imuran), and cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). Other drugs being studied for possible use in treating sarcoidosis include: etanercept (Enbrel), infliximab (remicaide), pentoxifylline, tetracycline, thalidomide.
More detailed information about the treatment of sarcoidosis can be found at the following links:
- Sarcoidosis. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. June 2007; http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/sarc/sar_whatis.html. Accessed 2/10/2009.
- Sarcoidosis. MayoClinic.com. July 15, 2008; http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sarcoidosis/DS00251. Accessed 2/10/2009.
- Sarcoidosis. MedlinePlus. January 13, 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sarcoidosis.html. Accessed 2/10/2009.
- Sarcoidosis. American Lung Association Web site. 2009; http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/nlnet/content3.aspx?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=4294229&ct=3052595. Accessed 2/10/2009.
- Podlipsky Gould K, Callen JP. Sarcoidosis. eMedicine. May 12, 2008; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1123970-overview. Accessed 2/10/2009.
- Sarcoidosis. Merck Manual. November 2005; http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec05/ch056/ch056a.html. Accessed 2/10/2009.