Sarcoidosis (pronounced SAR-COY-DOE-SIS) is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas—tiny clumps of inflammatory cells—in one or more organs of the body. When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. When left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is the permanent scarring of organ tissue.This disorder affects the lungs in approximately 90% of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite increasing advances in research, sarcoidosis remains difficult to diagnose with limited treatment options and no known cure.When patients are first diagnosed, they often present with a classic set of signs described as Lofgren’s Syndrome:
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Swollen and painful joints, arthritis
- Erythema nodosum, raised, red, and tender bumps to form on the skin, usually on the front of the legs. Nearby joints are often swollen and painful.
Because sarcoidosis so often affects the lungs, other common symptoms of sarcoidosis include shortness of breath, wheezing, and chronic cough. Some patients will also experience chest pain and others will have no signs at all, even when inflammation is present.
Because sarcoidosis can affect any organ in the body, a wide variety of symptoms can be seen, including:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Night sweats
- Overall feeling of sickness
- Irregular heart beat
- Swollen legs
- Visual problems
- Weakness or numbness of an arm, leg, or part of the face
- Discoloration of the nose, cheeks, lips, and ears
- Scaly-appearing skin rash
- Joint pain
- Muscle swelling and soreness
- Burning, itching, tearing, or pain in the eyes
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Note that this is not an all-encompassing list. There are many more signs and symptoms that can be seen in patients depending on the organs involved.
Please remember that just because the authors state this is a rare case, nobody’s keeping score. Since testing misses so many cases, people are not getting diagnosed. Again, authors would be much more accurate by stating that this is the first recorded case. There may be many, many more, that didn’t make it into the literature. This is true for every aspect of Lyme/MSIDS.