Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that causes masses of cells, called granulomas, to grow in various organs. The cause of this condition is not known, but it is believed to be linked to an abnormal immune response, triggered by viruses, foreign substances, drugs, chemicals or pollutants.

90% of sarcoidosis cases begin in the lungs. Other body parts that can be affected include:

  • Lymph nodes
  • Skin
  • Eyes
  • Liver
  • Heart
  • Nervous system
  • Kidneys

Sarcoidosis occurs in both sexes and all races globally, but young African American adults and people of Scandinavian descent are at a higher risk. It usually appears between 20-40 years of age and can be mistaken for other diseases.

Symptoms of Sarcoidosis

  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Red bumpy rash on face and limbs; arthritis may accompany leg rashes
  • Eye inflammation
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Bone cysts
  • Salivary or tear gland enlargement

In most people, the granulomas clear up either on their own or with treatment. A small minority of those affected by this condition experience symptoms for long periods of time, and may suffer from organ damage.