Board Certified Pulmonologists & Board Certified Sleep Medicine Physicians located in Joliet and New Lenox, IL


About Sarcoidosis

The body’s inflammatory response is essential for healing, but it sometimes leads to harm, like it does when inflammatory cells clump together and cause sarcoidosis. When sarcoidosis affects your lungs, you need specialized care from the team at Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. in Joliet and New Lenox, Illinois. Its board-certified pulmonary specialists have the expertise to diagnose sarcoidosis in your lungs and provide customized care that maintains optimal lung health. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today to learn if your symptoms may signal sarcoidosis.

Sarcoidosis Q & A

What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis develops when inflammatory cells from your immune system cluster together, creating swollen lumps (granulomas). Granulomas can develop in your skin, heart, joints, and many other organs. However, in 90% of people with sarcoidosis, the lumps develop in their lungs, a condition called pulmonary sarcoidosis.

The granulomas may heal without treatment. If they don’t heal, they cause a chronic (long-lasting) condition with ongoing inflammation and scarring.

The scarred lung tissues stiffen and can’t keep working. As a result, your lung function diminishes, and you notice changes in your breathing.

Having sarcoidosis also raises your risk of developing other lung conditions like pulmonary hypertension and bronchiectasis.

What causes sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis may begin when an infection triggers the immune system’s inflammatory response and leads to granulomas. Your risk is higher if a parent, child, or sibling had (or has) sarcoidosis.

You can also develop the condition after exposure to environmental toxins and substances that trigger lung inflammation. However, in many cases, the cause often remains unknown.

What symptoms does sarcoidosis cause?

Pulmonary sarcoidosis causes:

  • Dry cough
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

You may also have general sarcoidosis symptoms like fatigue, fever, skin rashes, and muscle aches.

How is sarcoidosis diagnosed? 

The Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. team may run one or more of the following tests, depending on your medical history, symptoms, and the results of your physical exam:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Pulmonary function tests
  • Blood tests
  • Bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Lung biopsy
  • Bronchoscopy

During a bronchoscopy, your Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. provider guides a thin, flexible scope through your throat and into your lungs. A camera in the scope sends magnified images of the airways to a monitor, allowing your provider to examine the tissues.

Your provider may perform either endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) or ION navigational bronchoscopy, an innovative procedure that creates a map of your airways and guides them to granulomas so they can take a tissue sample.

How is sarcoidosis treated?

When treating pulmonary sarcoidosis, your Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. provider focuses on easing your symptoms and maintaining lung function.

Since granulomas are caused by inflammatory cells, they often prescribe corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. They may also recommend medications that suppress your immune system, helping to prevent ongoing inflammation and future granulomas.

You may also undergo a pulmonary rehabilitation evaluation. Pulmonary rehab helps improve your ability to breathe and stay active, as sarcoidosis affects your lung function.

Call Midwest Respiratory, Ltd. today or use online booking to seek an evaluation as soon as signs of sarcoidosis appear.