SarcoidosisWhat is Sarcoidosis?
Sarcoidosis is the growth of small groups of inflammatory cells called sarcoid granulomas, most commonly found in the lungs, lymph nodes and less commonly the eyes and skin. Sarcoid granulomas are believed to occur as a result of the body’s immune system response to an unknown substance inhaled from the environment. Some people experience no symptoms at all and are surprised when a diagnosis is made. Others may experience symptoms including:
- Chest pain
- Dry cough
- Feeling flat and unwell
- Shortness of breath
- Swelling of the joints
The infection is most common in individuals aged 20-40 years but may occur in younger or older individuals. Sarcoid granulomas are not considered to be a form of cancer or any other malignant tumour. In many cases the infection resolves on its own within a few years, although in a small number of cases it may last longer with a possibility of organ damage. Dr Steinfort has considerable expertise in treating this disease and has published a recent document outlining its prevalence in Australia. Dr Steinfort has a large practice population with sarcoidosis and is well placed to recommend treatment and management plans. Sarcoidosis appears common in the Geelong and Western Victoria. Chronic sarcoidosis requires ongoing monitoring of symptoms, X-rays, lung function at 3 to 6 monthly intervals.