Arthritis means there is inflammation in the joint. This may cause pain, warmth, redness, and stiffness. There are many different causes of arthritis; including infection and trauma. Arthritis may also be immune-related, meaning that the body is reacting against itself in some way.
Sarcoidosis is a very complex disease with many different symptoms, including arthritis. Sarcoidosis often affects the lungs, skin, and eyes. It can also cause enlarged lymph glands. This is a chronic disease that can last from several years to a lifetime. Some people have symptoms that last only a few months, which is sometimes referred to as Lofgren’s syndrome.
Patients with sarcoidosis form small, warm, swollen nodules (bumps) in different areas of the body. These are called granulomas, and they most commonly affect the lung, eyes, and skin. Erythema nodosum is a skin condition linked with sarcoidosis; causing painful, red areas on the lower legs.
Sarcoidosis is most common in young adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years old. It is more likely to occur in women than in men. The cause is unknown. For proper diagnosis, a complete medical history and physical exam will be needed to see which organ systems are affected. In many cases, a chest X-ray will show enlarged lymph glands and/or nodules in the lung. Another useful test involves the removal of a tiny piece of tissue from the skin or lymph nodes. This tissue will be examined under the microscope to look for granulomas. This procedure is called a biopsy.
Treatment for sarcoidosis is aimed at relieving discomfort from symptoms like skin sores or joint pains. The usual medications include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Patients with more severe symptoms and whose disease has spread to internal organs may need systemic steroids.