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Sarcoidosis (say "sar-koy-DOH-sus") is a rare disease that causes tiny lumps of cells throughout the body called granulomas. They can form anywhere on the inside or outside of the body and can cause permanent scar tissue. They often form in the lungs, lymph nodes, liver, skin, or eyes. Sarcoidosis may affect how an organ works. For instance, if it is in the lungs, you may be short of breath.
For some people, sarcoidosis is a long-term disease that lasts several years or a lifetime. But for other people, it may go away in a few months. Experts have no way of knowing how it will affect you. For some people, the disease may cause no symptoms at all. For others, symptoms may include fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, shortness of breath, painful joints, and numbness. It may lead to lung or heart problems. Sometimes sarcoidosis can cause high calcium levels in the blood.
Although the cause is not known, the disease does not spread from person to person.
Not everyone who has sarcoidosis needs treatment. Sometimes the disease goes away on its own. It may be treated with corticosteroids and other medicines, especially if it causes symptoms. You may also have regular checkups and tests.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: November 14, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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