The lungs are usually the first area to be affected by sarcoidosis: 9 of 10 people with sarcoidosis have some type of lung involvement. Pulmonary sarcoidosis can be serious, leading to the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the lungs. This complication can interfere with breathing.
Recommended Related to Lung Disease/Respiratory Problems
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) causes scar tissue to grow inside your lungs. Usually, when you breathe in, oxygen moves through tiny air sacs into your bloodstream. From there, it travels to organs in your body.
IPF scar tissue is thick, like the scars you get on your skin after a cut. It slows oxygen flow from your lungs to your blood, which can keep your body from working as it should. Low oxygen levels and the stiff scar tissue make it hard to breathe.
There’s no cure for IPF. The illness...
Other symptoms include skin rashes or red bumps (erythema nodosum) on the legs. In about 20% to 30% of cases, sarcoidosis affects the eyes, causing redness, tearing, or, rarely, more severe complications, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and blindness. Sarcoidosis can also affect the brain and nerves, heart, liver, and various hormone-producing glands.
The granulomas or clumps of cells that characterize sarcoidosis may occasionally be associated with high levels of calcium in the blood and urine. Too much calcium in the urine may lead to kidney stones.
The course of sarcoidosis also varies among individuals. Usually, patients who experience more generalized symptoms, such as weight loss and fatigue, develop a mild form of the disease. Patients suffering from shortness of breath and skin rashes may develop more chronic, severe sarcoidosis. Race also seems to play a role; Caucasians are more likely to develop a mild form of the disease, while African-Americans tend to develop the more chronic, severe form.