The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Sarcoidosis of the lungs results from the growth of granulomas, or inflammatory cells, and is characterized by a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath, wheezing and chest pain. While sarcoidosis is resolved on its own in about half of all cases, it may linger for years, causing lung scarring and other damage. There is no cure, but certain treatments can help ease the severity and symptoms of the condition. Here are some sarcoidosis treatment guidelines.
For those with stage 0 or 1 sarcoidosis, where airflow may not be too compromised, simple lifestyle changes and medical checkups can help monitor the condition and address any changes in prognosis. Regular checkups with a health care provider may include a pulmonary function test (PFT) to keep an eye on advancing sarcoidosis.
In addition, a balanced diet and regular hydration – eight to 10 8-ounce glasses a day – along with plenty of sleep can help reduce the severity of symptoms. For certain patients, products and other calcium-rich foods may exacerbate the condition, as can Vitamin D and sunlight — so it may be wise to avoid excessive sunbathing and use sunscreen when exposed outdoors.
If possible, exercise and weight maintenance can also result in a better prognosis for sarcoidosis of the lungs.
Finally, if you smoke, medical professionals will recommend you quit to avoid further damage.
Often considered a first-line treatment for moderate to severe sarcoidosis, corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and prevent widespread damage. These are most likely taken via an inhaler for those with bronchial sarcoidosis. This type of therapy has been shown to benefit those with related dyspnea, or breathlessness. If inhalers don’t help, oral steroids may be necessary.
For less severe sarcoidosis, prednisone may be a better choice.
For those who can’t tolerate steroids, some treatment options may include immunosuppressants or antimalarial drugs, though these medications are used much less extensively than steroid therapy.
The Lung Institute offers cellular therapy for those with chronic lung condition, which may be an option for those with advanced or severe sarcoidosis. For more information on our treatment options and wellness programs, contact a patient coordinator today at (800) 729-3065.