Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease that affects one or more organs in the body, most notably the lungs. Abnormal nodules, known as granulomas, form inside of the organs, which in time may change their structure and function. Though these effects are known, researchers are still uncertain about what causes the condition and, as a result, there is no cure. Most of the common treatments for sarcoidosis involve taking care of your body with good health practices and additional medical assistance when needed.
Because no one knows the cause of sarcoidosis, doctors recommend those with the condition attend regular doctor visits to keep symptoms in check. The doctor may run tests such as x-rays, blood tests, and respiratory tests. If pain develops in the muscles or joints, further action may be taken.
A well-balanced diet is a key to a healthier, happier lifestyle for people both with and without sarcoidosis, but eating clean and avoiding processed foods and sugar whenever possible can help alleviate symptoms of the condition. Watching what you put into your body is good for the gut which, in turn, is good for the mind. Bad diets can make symptoms more noticeable; eating right can help minimize the effects of sarcoidosis, for good.
Doctors recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day, but nearly 80% of Americans fall short of this goal. Chronic dehydration is becoming an epidemic, and it can affect physical and mental health as well as everyday life. Because the body primarily consists of water, we need to replenish its fluid intake throughout the day. Not drinking enough water can cause fatigue, exhaustion, and make the body feel weak and tired. Consequently, symptoms of conditions such as sarcoidosis or chronic fatigue can feel more extreme.
The age-old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" might have been disproven, but regular exercise will definitely help in this regard. Staying fit and healthy doesn't have to mean going to the gym a few days a week, either. Walking is one of the best ways to exercise with a condition like sarcoidosis because it isn't hard on the joints. At the gym, elliptical machines are easy on the body, as well. You can also talk to your doctor about swimming.
Tied into exercise and a well-balanced, nutritious diet, weight management can help to treat sarcoidosis. Excess weight can trigger the tougher symptoms of sarcoidosis. Eating a healthy diet not only keeps you well-nourished, but it will also help keep your weight under control, and you may feel much better.
Just like drinking enough water, a high number of Americans don't get nearly enough sleep. Sleep is important and getting enough when you have sarcoidosis can be the difference between a bad and good day. Spending the day tired exhausts the body and leaves the brain foggy, affecting work and socialization. How much the body needs to feel fully rested varies from person to person, with some people needing only six hours and others requiring eight or even nine. If you feel like you're sleeping but consistently wake up tired, you might have restless sleep issues which, ironically, could be due to sarcoidosis.
If you're a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Getting on top of this could also help treat sarcoidosis, as the condition primarily affects lungs, which are already weakened in smokers.
In addition to smoking, dust and spores can aggravate the airways and make it difficult to breathe. Again, because it has to do with the lungs, if you have sarcoidosis, this can trigger your symptoms. Some researchers think sarcoidosis may, in fact, be a response to environmental triggers. Dust, chemicals, and other such irritants can be some of the biggest detriments to lung health in general, and sarcoidosis, specifically.
People who have sarcoidosis tend to have high levels of calcium in their blood or urine. As a result, those with the condition should avoid taking calcium or vitamin D supplements, and may even consider avoiding foods rich in calcium, unless recommended by a doctor or medical professional. Most calcium and vitamin D comes from diet and daylight respectively, and it is unlikely the body will require more.
Your doctor may prescribe painkillers to help with symptoms, specifically those containing steroids. Courses of these types of medication are specifically formulated to curb unwanted side effects such as weight gain and indigestion. If you have sarcoidosis, you'll usually be okay after a single course of steroids. In rare cases, however, you may need long-term pharmaceutical treatment.
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