Sarcoid is considered an autoimmune disease whereby the body over-reacts to a trigger like a bacteria, virus (like Epstein Barr) or irritant. Sarcoidosis symptoms are due to the formation of "granulomas" or clumps of abnormal immune cells in the body.
Sarcoidosis symptoms can vary between different people. In some people, symptoms are mild and go into remission on their own accord. In other people, symptoms can be debilitating, causing the patient to be bedridden for weeks, months or years. In severe cases, particularly when the heart and brain are affected, the disease can be fatal.
Sarcoidosis symptoms are most commonly seen in females aged 20 to 40, particularly in those of Northern European or African American descent.
Sarcoidosis symptoms are best grouped according to the area the disease targets:
1) The lungs
It is estimated that 90% of sarcoid patients suffer from lung involvement. Symptoms like coughing, chest pain, breathlessness, fatigue and wheezing are often seen. In the early stages of the disease, symptoms are not always obvious.
2) The lymph nodes
Symptoms of swollen, tender lymph nodes are common. These swollen glands may be felt in the neck, armpit and groin. Sometimes they are picked up during X rays of the lungs or affected organs. Some patients experience a cyclical re-activation of their swollen glands.
3) The skin
About 20% of sufferers experience skin problems like a rash or purplish raised patches. These skin patches commonly occur on the face, arms, legs and buttocks and can make the patient feel embarrassed and socially isolated.In some patients the rash can be painful.
4) The liver
Liver symptoms may include nausea, malaise, anorexia, fever, yellowing of the eyes and weight loss. An enlarged liver, fatty liver and cirrhosis may also eventuate.
5) The heart
This illness can affect the heart muscle causing chest pain, abnormal heart beat and congestive heart failure. Once sarcoid affects the heart, there is a higher risk of complications and death from the illness.
6) The brain
Brain involvement can include facial weakness, dizziness, weakness, delirium, dementia and disturbances in hearing, taste and smell. Brain sarcoid symptoms need to be addressed urgently.
7) The eyes
Eye inflammation and visual symptoms like tearing of the eyes, blurred vision and field defects may indicate the eyes have been affected.
8) The bones
Pain and swelling can appear in the joints, especially in the hands and feet.
9) The kidneys
Sarcoid in the kidneys can appear as pain or the formation of kidney stones.
10) The nervous system
Sarcoidosis symptoms arising from nervous system involvement may include muscle weakness, shaking and poor co-ordination.
Because sarcoidosis symptoms are so varied, the disease is often mis-diagnosed. To confirm a sarcoid diagnosis, a blood test which looks for elevated angiotensin-converting enzyme is often done. X-rays and tissue biopsy can confirm the diagnosis.
Standard conventional medicine treats sarcoidosis symptoms with corticosteroids. Although these drugs can disguise the symptoms, they do not address the underlying cause of the disease. Steroids also come with undesirable side effects like reduced immunity, osteoporosis, liver damage, high blood pressure and an increased cancer risk.
Fortunately sarcoidosis symptoms can be relieved in many sufferers with the use of natural treatments. A new protocol from Dr Jani Hajjri – a medical doctor from Ohio claims an 82% success rate. This protocol called "The Aden Protocol" detoxifies the body, breaks down granulomas, dampens inflammation and protects the body from further injury.