Learn How to Combat Sarcoidosis Before It’s Too Late

human lungs

Story at-a-glance -

  • Sarcoidosis is known as a rare condition characterized by appearances of granulomas, or patches of red and swollen tissue, on the body’s organs
  • Read these Sarcoidosis pages to learn more about this potentially body-wide condition, particularly what causes it, the indicators you need to be wary of, the ideal foods you should be eating and the best ways to prevent it

If you’ve read “The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier,” a Sherlock Holmes story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you might have noticed a male character with a skin disease characterized by patches on his body.1 Although Sherlock Holmes is fictional, the condition mentioned in the story — most likely a case of sarcoidosis — isn’t.2

Sarcoidosis was first identified a century ago by two dermatologists, Englishman Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson and Norwegian Dr. Caesar Boeck, who were working independently. This is why sarcoidosis was previously called Hutchinson’s disease or Boeck’s disease.3 Hutchinson was a known contemporary of Doyle, and during their era, sarcoidosis was more of a dermatological curiosity. This is what led the author to incorporate the condition into the plot of the story.4

Eventually, because of the skin eruptions triggered by the illness, Boeck named the disease by combining the Greek words “sark” and “oid,” meaning “flesh-like.”5 Nowadays, sarcoidosis is known as a rare condition characterized by appearances of granulomas, or patches of red and swollen tissue, on the body’s organs.6

Sarcoidosis in Numbers

Sarcoidosis targets people at any age, but most especially those ages 20 to 40 years old. It’s rare in childhood, however.7 Sarcoidosis affects more women than men, and accounts for less than 1 percent of hospital admissions in the U.S.8 There is also a genetic link to this disease, as it may show up in a person with a family history of sarcoidosis.9

People with African descent have a higher chance of developing sarcoidosis and experiencing more severe conditions that are likely to recur and cause lung problems, compared to other ethnic groups.10, 11 To put this into perspective, in every 100,000 African-Americans, 36 may be affected with sarcoidosis, whereas only 11 per 100,000 Caucasian-Americans will develop this condition.12

Unfortunately, because sarcoidosis is mistaken for other illnesses or isn’t fully diagnosed, coming up with an accurate number of people affected by this condition in the U.S. is quite difficult.13 A 2012 article in the journal Respiratory Medicine echoes this sentiment, as sarcoidosis prevalence in the U.S. is virtually unknown. Estimates range widely from 1 to 40 per 100,000 people.14

Types of Sarcoidosis

What sets sarcoidosis apart from other autoimmune diseases15 is that it can target almost any organ in your body.16 As a result, there are numerous types of sarcoidosis.17 Arguably, the most common type is pulmonary sarcoidosis, which triggers development of small lumps of inflammatory cells in the lungs.18 Pulmonary sarcoidosis affects at least 90 percent of sarcoidosis patients.19

On the opposite of the spectrum is cardiac sarcoidosis. It’s a rare condition characterized by the formation of white blood cell clusters in the tissues of the heart, especially in the heart muscle. These clusters can interfere with the heart’s electrical system and cause irregular heartbeats or even heart failure.20

Be Informed About Sarcoidosis Today

Stopping sarcoidosis from harming you and your loved ones begins with tackling all the information about this disease. Read these Sarcoidosis pages to learn more about this potentially body-wide condition, particularly what causes it, the indicators you need to be wary of, the ideal foods you should be eating and the best ways to prevent it in the first place.

MORE ABOUT SARCOIDOSIS

Introduction: Sarcoidosis

What Is Sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis Symptoms

Sarcoidosis Treatment

Sarcoidosis Prevention

Sarcoidosis Diet

Sarcoidosis FAQ



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