Symptoms & Causes

Sarcoidosis

Patient and caregiver during lung test

Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that can affect multiple organs in the body; symptoms may vary and are dependent on the disease’s organ involvement. In general, most patients with sarcoidosis present symptomatically with cough like symptoms. Other patients may show no symptoms at all. In these patients, diagnoses occur through routine testing for an unrelated medical diagnosis.

General and Organ Specific Symptoms

Sarcoidosis can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms can mimic those of other diseases. Generally, patients require six or more physician visits until a diagnosis of sarcoidosis is confirmed.

General Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain and Swelling
  • Weight Loss
  • Night Sweats

Lung

  • Fainting / Passing Out
  • Wheezing / Abnormal Breathing
  • Chest Pain

Heart

  • Swelling
  • Chest Pain
  • Fainting / Passing Out
  • Irregular and / or Fast Heart Beat

Skin

  • Discolored skin (darker / lighter)
  • Lumps and bumps on your skin
  • Reddish in color bumps or patches on the skin

Eyes

  • Blurred Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Increased Sensitivity to Light
  • Dry and / or Watery Eyes
  • Eye Pain

Brain

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Stroke-Like Symptoms
  • Hearing Loss

Causes

The cause of sarcoidosis is still unknown, but current research suggests environmental triggers such as bacteria, viruses, dust, or chemicals may contribute. There is also increasing evidence that genetics, race, gender, age, and geographical location may also contribute to the root cause of the disease.

Risk Factors

While anyone can develop sarcoidosis, factors that may increase your risk include:

  • Age and sex. Sarcoidosis is most common in young people between the ages of 20 and 40. However, it can affect any age group and race. Women are slightly more likely to develop the disease.
  • Race. People of African descent and those of Northern European descent have a higher incidence of sarcoidosis. African-Americans are more likely to have involvement of other organs along with the lungs.
  • Geography. Geographically, sarcoidosis is more prevalent in the northeast, south, and midwest regions of the United States.