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What are Sarcoidosis and Amyloidosis?
In understanding the various conditions that affect people, you can offer assistance when the need arises. That’s also a motivation to people getting into various professionals. However, equipping yourself with knowledge, helping your loved ones, or even a stranger whatever your motivation is; it’s time you learned about sarcoidosis and amyloidosis.
Sarcoidosis is a condition that usually results from the buildup of the immune system cells in different organs. This is often characterized by the development of granulomas (small clusters that appear on the body due to inflammation. Among the most affected organs by the condition include the lungs, eyes, skin, and lymph nodes among others. It’s believed that a condition is a form of response by the immune system to some inhaled substance.
It’s the role of the immune system to protect the body against any harmful substances that affect the body. In so doing; it releases chemicals that help in the defense of the body against the harmful substance. Inflammation could occur during this time, but once the danger is eliminated, the inflammation subsides. With sarcoidosis, however, it’s hard for the inflammation to subside. Hence it could serve as a symptom of the illness.
Amyloidosis, on the other hand, is a condition that results from the buildup of amyloids (an abnormal protein) in various organs of the body or tissues. When this occurs, the proteins affect the shape of the tissues or organs, and often, affecting the functioning of the affected body organs. It hence is a severe condition, especially if not handled in time. There are different types of amyloidosis, which result from the various formations. The condition can be acquired or genetic.
Causes of Sarcoidosis and amyloidosis
Amyloidosis is caused by the accumulation of amyloid cells. Amyloid is caused by different proteins or a combination of proteins which hence facilitates the rise of quite some types of amyloidosis. The type of amyloidosis can also be determined by the place where the protein accumulates or the type of protein involved.
Whereas sarcoidosis is caused by abnormal immune system responses. It’s however hard to determine what exactly triggers the responses. This makes it quite hard to determine whether the condition arises from environmental conditions, heredity, or lifestyle. Or whether the factors affect the development of the condition, the severity, as well as the length and cycle of the condition.
Signs and symptoms
Sarcoidosis is characterized by the development of granuloma in the different body organs. The symptoms vary from one person to another. Hence they could be mild, severe, moderate, or absent. Major signs and symptoms include; fatigue, weight loss, persistent cough, joint pains, shortness of breath and fever.
The lungs are among the first organs to be affected by the condition; the condition could cause pulmonary sarcoidosis which is quite severe. It could also lead to the formation of fibrosis in the lungs which subsequently results in complications in breathing.
The condition is manifested in different ways in different people. Where some people could experience severe symptoms than others. Everybody reacts differently to different triggers. However, the symptoms may be affected by the proteins involved or the organ where the proteins accumulate. However, some of the common symptoms could include;
Fatigue, clay-colored stools, changes in skin color, joint pain, weight loss, low red blood cell count (anemia), feeling of fullness, tingling, and numbness in legs and feet, shortness of breath, weak hand grip, swelling of the tongue, weakness. The symptoms may, however, be similar to that of another health condition hence confirmation from the doctor would be much appreciated before concluding that you have the condition.
Other symptoms include; red bumps on the legs, skin rash, redness of the eyes and often tearing when it affects the eyes, and blindness in very severe cases. Further, the condition may attack the brain and nerves, the liver, heart, and hormone-producing glands. This could hinder the functions of a lot of body organs and the effective performance of roles by tissues and body organs.
Diagnosis and treatment of sarcoidosis and amyloidosis
Given that symptoms could overlap, the doctor will try to rule out other conditions that may cause similar signs and symptoms before the final confirmation. In the diagnosis, therefore, they will review your medical history up to that day, physically examine you then later carry out the tests. The tests could be a bit intensive and will include, a chest x-ray to reveal the structure and nature of granulomas or even show the enlarged lymph nodes in your chest, lung function tests, and a biopsy.
A detailed physical examination will help the doctor in their diagnosis of the condition. Since there is no blood test to reveal diagnose amyloidosis, electrophoresis is used by the doctors. A biopsy is also necessary for diagnosis and confirmation of the specific proteins that lead to the condition. The sample tissue could be drawn from the mouth, the rectal or the lower abdominal fat pad or any other involved organs that the doctor could opt.
Sarcoidosis has a different manifestation in different people. Hence it could be mild, and the condition gets better over time. However, for the person who suffers pain from the condition, corticosteroid drugs, are used alongside other recommended medication. The aim of the treatment is to minimize the severity of the disease and to enhance proper functioning of the affected organs.
There is also no cure for amyloidosis. The doctor recommends medication to suppress the symptoms and to help the patients manage it by minimizing the development of amyloid-forming proteins. In the event there are other underlying conditions the doctors may focus on healing those and this could be a relief of the pain on the part of amyloidosis.
Take the time to be appreciative for your health. You could also show the appreciation by caring for those who are ailing. However, in the event, you are suffering any condition, often talk to your doctor and keep track of the progress you make before paying them a visit. This will play a great role in enhancing your treatment.
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