In some cases, body inflammation gets out of control. That’s precisely what occurs whenever you are suffering from sarcoidosis, which is an inflammation disease. The incessant inflammation becomes bumps in the lymph nodes and other organs like the skin and lungs. The eyes and liver can also be affected, and, less often, the brain and heart. People worldwide are prone to this disease; it can surface in every climate and at every age. But sarcoidosis is a rare disease that affects just about 11 in every 100,000 people.
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No one knows the cause of sarcoidosis, and there is no definite course of treatment or progression. While this may be somehow unsettling, it can be a relief since it may not require treatment in many cases. In addition, people who have sarcoidosis often go into remission; that is, the symptoms eventually disappear even without treatments. You can manage the symptoms of sarcoidosis with natural remedies for sarcoidosis.
What is Sarcoidosis?
If the immune system detects a threat in the body, it sends a special cell to combat the invader or infection. The ensuing fight between the immune system and the threat results in inflammation – tissue damage, warmth, swelling, or redness. However, when the fight is over in most people, the inflammation disappears, and the tissue returns to normal. But that is not so in the case of sarcoidosis.
For a reason no one knows, inflammation continues in people with sarcoidosis. As a result, the immune cells begin to group into lumps known as granulomas. These lumps usually begin in the skin, lungs, and lymph nodes in the chest, but the condition can begin in any organ.
Many people experience lumps from sarcoidosis in the liver and eye. The condition can also affect more organs as it worsens, and it is most dangerous and severe when the lumps begin to impact organ functions or growth in the brain or heart.
What is sarcoidosis of the lung?
Sarcoidosis of the lung is also called pulmonary sarcoidosis. It is a situation when the lumps associated with this diagnosis can occur in the lungs and may affect your lung function. About 90 percent of people suffering from sarcoidosis have some association with the lungs.
Stages of Sarcoidosis
The stages of sarcoidosis are a way for doctors to describe or classify the type of disease you have. With most stages of sarcoidosis, you can either have severe symptoms or no symptoms whatsoever. So people can go back and forth with these stages, except when it reaches Stage 4, a point where scarring does not go away.
Stages of sarcoidosis include the following:
- Stage 1: Lumps (granulomas) appear in the lymph nodes but not in the lungs
- Stage 2: Lumps appear in the lymph nodes and the lungs
- Stage 3: Lumps appear in the lungs but not in the lymph nodes
- Stage 4: There are scars (fibrosis) in the lungs due to the disease
The prognosis of sarcoidosis is relatively good but gets a little worse with each increasing stage of the disease.
Although there seem to be environmental and genetic aspects to getting sarcoidosis, the disease is not contagious. If a family member has the disease, you cannot get it from them, but you are at an elevated risk of developing it than someone who is not from your family. In which case, the risk is still low. If your family member has sarcoidosis, you have less than 1 percent chance of having it too. Whichever the case, you can find relief from symptoms with natural remedies for sarcoidosis.
Signs and Symptoms of Sarcoidosis
Some people suffering from the disease exhibit no symptoms whatsoever. In this case, a doctor can only diagnose the condition when they arrive at a chest x-ray test for another medical condition, such as pneumonia. In other cases, people exhibit severe symptoms. The journey to a diagnosis can take a long time because evaluations of other things will be carried out first, such as lung cancer, asthma, or bronchitis.
In addition, symptoms may depend on the lump’s location, age, ethnicity, and gender. Since the condition most often affects the lungs, the symptoms of sarcoidosis often include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
Apart from symptoms in the lungs, many sufferers of sarcoidosis also experience the following symptoms:
- Skin issues, such as lumps on the scalp, arms, legs, back, or near the eyes and nose, or discolored or itchy sore, patches
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the groin, armpits, or neck
- Vision or eye problems
- Feeling depressed or uneasy
- Joint pain
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
A type of sarcoidosis rash known as Lofgren’s syndrome may last a long time. Lofgren’s syndrome is the one some people get when they first develop sarcoidosis.
Symptoms of Lofgren’s syndrome include the following:
- A reddish-purple or red on the shin and ankles that may be painful and warm
- Arthritis on the ankles
- Swollen lymph nodes in the chest
Even though it may not be noticeable, sarcoidosis may also cause your spleen or liver to swell. In rare cases, the disease may cause severe soreness in the fingers and face that can be disfiguring. In addition, vision problems, headaches, irregular heartbeat, and other symptoms may result if the lumps affect the brain or heart. Symptoms may include swollen or red eyes and skin sores in children below 4 years old.
Causes and Risk Factors of Sarcoidosis
What Causes Sarcoidosis?
No one knows the actual cause of sarcoidosis. Scientists have tried to locate noninfectious particles or particular infections that cause the condition, but there seems to be no specific trigger. However, the American Thoracic Society explains that people with a genetic predisposition for sarcoidosis react more strongly to what they inhale, such as construction dust, chemicals, or mold.
For instance, a person may inhale air-containing particles and have temporary inflammation, or some lumps develop but quickly disappear. At the same time, someone else could breathe the same air and form lumps that become sarcoidosis.
Risk Factors Associated with Sarcoidosis
Even though there are no known causes of sarcoidosis, some things are still associated with the disease. The following may be considered the risk factors for developing the condition until there is further knowledge about the course:
- Being related to someone with sarcoidosis
- Being of Scandinavian, Puerto Rican, German or Asian origin
- Being a female
- Being black
- Handling building materials
- Being a member of the U.S. Navy, a firefighter, or a metalworker
- Exposure to inorganic particles, mold, or pesticides
A person is most likely to develop sarcoidosis between 20 and 40 years old, although it can develop at any age.
What Causes Sarcoidosis to Flare Up?
Most times, sarcoidosis either get worse or better, albeit slowly. A patient is not likely to develop sudden symptoms. However, you may notice some times when your symptoms become worse. These periods are called flare-ups. Like sarcoidosis, its flare-ups are unknown most times. Symptoms may appear and disappear periodically for unknown reasons. However, some patients may experience a flare-up if they stop using their steroid medication for sarcoidosis. You may need a change in medication during a flare-up, or you will have to continue the medication you stopped.
Conventional Treatments for Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis in most people does not require medicine. The condition disappears in a few months or years and does not trigger symptoms that affect daily activities.
However, few people have symptoms that require treatment, such as trouble breathing, vision changes, or skin sores. In common situations, a steroid, known as prednisone, is the first treatment against troublesome symptoms. Your doctor may also administer prednisone if your condition is affecting your eyes, brain, or heart. The function of this medicine is to decrease inflammation so that the lump can either disappear or shrink and decrease the risk of developing scar tissues in your lungs or other organs.
Prednisone can result in serious side effects, so it is usually administered at the lowest effective dose. The medicine may take a few months to begin to work effectively. Also, you should not suddenly discontinue the use of prednisone.
If you are experiencing severe side effects while using the prednisone or if the steroid does not help your condition, your doctor may administer another medication, such as TNF-alpha inhibitor, immunosuppressant, or antimalarial drug. In a significantly severe situation, you may require an organ transplant. This is only carried out in cases where your liver, lungs, or heart are no longer functioning well enough for your survival.
Your doctor may prescribe some treatments that will help you manage the symptoms. These treatments can include inhaled medicines to help you breathe easier, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, for instance, ibuprofen), or skin cream to treat sarcoidosis.
5 Natural Remedies for Sarcoidosis
Sarcoidosis treatments vary, but the central focus is on treating the underlying cause and getting rid of inflammation. The following are effective natural remedies for sarcoidosis:
A bloodroot is a natural substance that comes from the stem of the bloodroot plant. This compound is effective for treating various medical conditions, including sarcoid. In addition, the root from the bloodroot plant contains chemicals that reduce inflammation and fight bacteria. As a result, bloodroot is one of the rarest natural remedies for sarcoidosis.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a particularly safe antibacterial agent that’s made up of oxygen and water. Hydrogen peroxide effectively kills infections related to sarcoidosis through oxidation or a process that resembles burning. In addition, hydrogen peroxide is an effective cleanser, which acts as an agent against infections, and, in turn, reduces inflammation.
3. Electric Zapping
Although electric zapping is a somewhat unconventional treatment method, it has proved one of the most trusted natural remedies for sarcoidosis. Hulda Clar is the inventor of the electric zapper, and the invention electrifies the blood and kills any surviving bacteria, parasites, or other infection-causing organisms. Because sarcoidosis is often a result of fungus in the body, electric zapping is typically excellent for eliminating the condition.
4. Curcumin Capsules
Curcumin capsules are made from curcumin, a yellow chemical produced by plants of a particular species of the Curcuma longa. Curcumin is the primary curcuminoid of turmeric, which is a family of ginger. Curcumin capsules contain standardized and pure extracts of turmeric. The function of curcumin is to reduce cell proliferation and provide relief from inflammation and pain while inhibiting tumor cell formation. Curcumin prevents the unusual growth of cancer cells in different parts of the body. Therefore, curcumin capsules are considered one of the best natural remedies for sarcoidosis because it reduces swelling and inflammation while at the same time protecting all parts of the body. You can take the capsule twice daily with water after meals.
5. Additional Remedies
If your symptoms of sarcoidosis are mild or your condition does not affect the brain, heart, or eyes, you may require no treatment whatsoever. However, it is a pleasant idea to follow the following lifestyle changes if you have sarcoidosis:
- Avoid vitamin D supplements and calcium unless someone who knows about your sarcoidosis prescribes them because sarcoidosis can make these nutrients accumulate in your body
- Ask a medical professional about supplements and herbs to reduce inflammation, such as fish oil, bromelain, cat’s claw, etc.
- Eat healthy to reduce inflammation
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that contain low trans-fatty acids and processed sugars
- Attend regular check-ups with your primary healthcare professional and report any worsening or new symptoms
- Get regular lung function tests and eye exams since your disease can worsen without your knowledge
- If you are a smoker, quit smoking, and avoid inhaling secondary smoke
- Exercise regularly to improve your cardiovascular health
- Avoid lung irritants and pollution, such as chemicals and dust
- Join a sarcoidosis support group for assistance in coping with the condition and the emotional issues associated with it
Do not ignore the symptoms of sarcoidosis if you notice them, especially if they affect your breathing and eyesight. Consulting a healthcare provider before you begin these natural remedies for sarcoidosis can be crucial for protecting your health and safety.