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Sarcoidosis, a medical condition in which inflammation occurs in various parts of the body, often requires no treatment. Generally, treatment might only entail monitoring through exams and x-rays until the signs and symptoms subside. In some instances, though, affected individuals might develop persistent symptoms that necessitate lifelong or long-term sarcoidosis treatment. If this is the case, management of sarcoidosis includes anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications. Surgery becomes a treatment option in the event of organ failure.
Long-term sarcoidosis treatment does not necessarily cure the medical condition. Instead, it temporarily relieves an affected individual of symptoms. These symptoms might improve with continued treatment, but if the treatment stops, they usually reoccur. This is why sarcoidosis treatment is considered lifelong, or at least long-term.
Corticosteroids are the primary type of sarcoidosis treatment. These anti-inflammatory medications help with treating symptoms in various areas of the body. They come in cream or oral form, with the application depending on an affected individual’s specific condition. Examples of corticosteroids include methylpredisolone and prednisone.
Medications that suppress the immune system can help reduce inflammation, which is why they might also help in sarcoidosis treatment. These immunosuppressive medications might supplement corticosterioid treatment, although they do have the potential to increase an individual’s susceptibility to infections. Examples of immunosuppressive medications include azaathioprine and methotrexate.
Surgery is also a type of sarcoidosis treatment. Severe cases of sarcoidosis can cause organ failure, in which case the individual might need an organ transplant. This treatment method is generally necessary only in severe and rare instances, though.
Many individuals with sarcoidosis do not require treatment, but for those who do, the need for treatment can last for several years, if not a lifetime. Permanent damage can occur as a result of the sarcoidosis, even though many people do generally overcome the medical condition as a whole, or learn to live with it. In some people, complications can arise and result in death. Complications that can lead to death include bleeding or scarring of lung tissue or problems that involve the heart.
Other complications can also occur because of sarcoidosis. It is the seriousness of these complications that can prompt sarcoidosis treatment. Complications include threat of organ failure due to the damage that untreated sarcoidosis can cause for different parts of the body. The eyes, heart and lungs are some of the areas in which complications can occur. The kidneys, nervous system and reproductive system are others.
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