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Sarcoidosis (sar"koi-do'sis) involves inflammation that produces tiny lumps of cells in various organs in your body. The lumps are called granulomas (gran"u-lo'mahs) because they look like grains of sugar or sand. They are very small and can be seen only with a microscope.
These tiny granulomas can grow and clump together, making many large and small groups of lumps. If many granulomas form in an organ, they can affect how the organ works. This can cause symptoms of sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis can occur in almost any part of your body, although it usually affects some organs more than others. It usually starts in one of two places:
Sarcoidosis also often affects your:
Less often, sarcoidosis affects your:
Rarely, sarcoidosis affects other organs, including your:
Sarcoidosis almost always occurs in more than one organ at a time.
Sarcoidosis has an active and a nonactive phase:
The course of the disease varies greatly among people.
Changes in sarcoidosis usually occur slowly (e.g., over months). Sarcoidosis does not usually cause sudden illness. However, some symptoms may occur suddenly. They include:
In some serious cases in which vital organs are affected, sarcoidosis can result in death.
Sarcoidosis is not a form of cancer.
There is no known way to prevent sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis was once thought to be an uncommon condition. It's now known to affect tens of thousands of people throughout the United States. Because many people who have sarcoidosis have no symptoms, it's hard to know how many people have the condition.
Sarcoidosis was identified in the late 1860s. Since then, scientists have developed better tests to diagnose it and made advances in treating it.
Currently I have it in my lungs, lymph nodes, skin, kidneys, adrenal glands, thyroid, hypothalmus, pituatary gland and liver. I have had to have my gallbladder removed and a complete hysterectomy before the age of 40. I also have a history of ulcers and kidney stones which they are now attributing to the disease.
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