BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — April is Sarcoidosis Awareness Month.
According to medical researchers, the disease involves abnormal collections of inflammatory cells that form lumps known as granulomata that usually begins in the lungs, skin or lymph nodes and can affect any organ. It has no known cure or cause.
Symptoms have been reported to vary depending on which organ is affected. It can include shortness of breath, wheezing, chest pains, fever and weight loss. The disease is relatively rare, affecting one in every 200,000 individuals.
“Sarcoidosis is a kinda systemic and kinda whole body inflammatory disorder that typically affects individuals that are in the 6th to 7th decade of life,” Dr. Joshua Gautney, a pulmonologist at Ascension St. Vincent’s East, said. “It’s about 2 to 3 times more common in African Americans and generally more common in certain regions of the states, like down here in the South.”
Health experts say the disease can be treated with steroids for inflammation. For more information, visit Ascension’s website.