Symptoms and Signs of Sarcoidosis

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 9/20/2022

Doctor's Notes on Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis is a disease in which inflammation affects various tissues of the body. Sarcoidosis can appear in almost any body organ, but it starts most often in the lungs or lymph nodes. Other commonly affected organs include the liver, skin, heart, nervous system, and kidneys. In sarcoidosis, microscopic lumps of a specific form of inflammation (granulomas) develop in the affected tissues. In most cases, these granulomas go away with or without treatment. In the few cases in which the granulomas do not heal and disappear, the tissues involved can remain inflamed and become scarred (fibrotic).

Symptoms of sarcoidosis depend on the area of the body that is affected and may include

  • shortness of breath and a cough that won't go away,
  • skin rashes (tender, raised, red bumps on the shins of the legs, or less frequently on the arms, are common and can cause leg or arm pain),
  • inflammation of the eyes, 
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • fever, or
  • an overall feeling of ill health.

Sarcoidosis is usually not crippling and it often goes away on its own within 24 to 36 months.

What is the treatment for sarcoidosis?

No cure for sarcoidosis exists although some people have the disease resolve over time. Medications are usually prescribed when symptoms increase or organ function is disrupted.

  • Medications

Other treatments like physical therapy, pulmonary rehab, and/or cardiac pacemaker/defibrillator may be required, depending on the severity of symptoms.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.