What to Expect With Sarcoidosis
- In many people, sarcoidosis is mild. The inflammation that causes the granulomas may get better on its own. The granulomas may stop growing or shrink. Symptoms may go away within a few years.
- In some people, the inflammation remains but doesn't get worse. These people may also have symptoms or flare-ups and need treatment every now and then.
- In other people, sarcoidosis slowly gets worse over the years and can cause permanent organ damage. Although treatment can help, sarcoidosis may leave scar tissue in the lungs, skin, eyes, or other organs. The scar tissue can affect how the organs work. Treatment usually does not affect scar tissue.
If you have sarcoidosis, you should take steps to stay healthy. For example:
- Don't smoke
- Avoid substances like dusts and chemicals that can harm your lungs
- Follow a healthy eating plan, and be as active as you can without straining yourself
- Join a patient support group for help in learning to live with sarcoidosis.
Your regular doctor may be able to diagnose and treat your sarcoidosis, but diagnosis and treatment by a doctor who specializes in sarcoidosis is recommended. These specialists are often found at major medical centers. Even if you want to be treated mainly by your regular doctor, you should see a doctor who specializes in the organs that are affected by your sarcoidosis at least once. He or she can work with your regular doctor to make sure you have a good treatment plan.
(Click Living With Sarcoidosis for more information.)