Sarcoidosis | Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of sarcoidosis?

The symptoms of sarcoidosis vary depending on which part of the body is affected. Symptoms can involve several parts of the body, or only one. Most people who have sarcoidosis have few, if any, symptoms. Less than half of people who have this disease need any treatment.

The most common symptoms of sarcoidosis involve the lungs, skin, eyes and liver.

Lungs
The lungs are the most commonly affected part of the body in people who have sarcoidosis. They may have a cough or chest pain. Some people have breathing problems, but most people have few or no breathing problems.

Skin
Sarcoidosis may cause skin problems, such as rashes or nodules (small bumps on the skin).

Eyes

Eye symptoms caused by sarcoidosis can make it hard to see, but they rarely cause blindness. Eye symptoms usually include dry eyes. However, sarcoidosis can also cause swelling of the tear gland, which makes the eyes water.

Liver
Sarcoidosis can cause a person’s liver to become enlarged. Some people have abnormal liver tests and/or a liver problem called cirrhosis. However, this is rare.

Symptoms are much less common in the other areas of the body, but may include the following:

Nervous system
Although the nervous system isn't usually affected by sarcoidosis, the disease can cause muscle weakness or paralysis, seizures, tremors (shaking), poor coordination, hearing loss or problems walking.

Heart
Sarcoidosis can cause the heart to beat abnormally. It can also cause the heart to be unable to pump blood properly. This is called congestive heart failure.

Bones
Symptoms involving the bones may include pain, swelling and joint stiffness. The hands and feet are most often affected.

Kidneys
A very small percentage of people who have sarcoidosis have symptoms involving their kidneys, such as kidney stones.

Source

Sarcoidosis: A Primary Care Review by MH Belfer, M.D., and RW Stevens, M.D. (American Family Physician December 01, 1998, http://www.aafp.org/afp/981200ap/belfer.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 01/11
Created: 09/00

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