Sarcoidosis refers to an inflammatory condition affecting more than one organ in your body. In most cases, though, it has a great effect on your lymph glands and lungs. Those who have this condition might have abnormal nodules or masses known as sarcoidosis granuloma. These nodules consist of inflamed tissues in specific body organs. Once these sarcoidosis granulomas form, they have the tendency of altering the affected organ’s normal structure as well as how it functions. We created the Best Diet for Sarcoidosis Guide with tips and ideas.
Causes and Symptoms
The actual cause of sarcoidosis still remains unknown up to the present. It might be a kind of autoimmune ailment linked to abnormal immune responses. However, the factors that trigger such a response are still unknown. There are times when the condition is triggered by dust, chemicals, viruses, or bacteria.
As for the symptoms, take note that they differ greatly based on the affected or involved organs. A lot of patients complain that they experience shortness of breath, fatigue, and persistent dry cough at first. Some sufferers of this condition also report experiencing the following signs and symptoms:
- Blurred vision or teary and red eyes
- Painful and swollen joints
- Hoarse voice
- Enlarged lymph glands surrounding your lungs and in your chest
- Tender and enlarged lymph glands around your groin, armpits, and neck
- Aching feet, hands, or any other bony parts of your body because of cyst formation in the bones
- Enlarged liver
- Kidney stone
- Missed or abnormal heartbeats
- Inflamed heart covering
- Certain effects on the nervous system, like seizures, meningitis, psychiatric disorders, like psychosis, depression, and dementia, and loss of hearing
Aside from that, you might also experience some sarcoidosis skin symptoms if you have this condition. These include:
- Reddish-purple bumps or red rashes often found in the ankles or shins – These bumps or rashes can be tender and warm to touch.
- Lighter or darker skin areas
- Lesions or disfiguring sores in the skin around and in your ears, cheeks, and nose
- Nodules or growths beneath your skin, specifically surrounding your tattoos or scars
There are actually a few stages of sarcoidosis that will help determine how severe your case is. To classify the stages, the Slitzbach classification is used. This classifies the condition from Stage 0 to Stage 4 and identified depending on the exact location of granulomas. It is also important to do a sarcoidosis X-ray or radiography as a means of determining the exact stage you are in.
In addition, your doctor might perform an imaging test, which makes use of low radiation as a means of forming a clearer image of your chest structure. This is the picture where you and your physician can view the granulomas. To give you an idea about the different stages of sarcoidosis, here is a brief overview of each one:
- Stage O – Also called no pulmonary sarcoidosis, this stage does not have any sign of granuloma in your lymph nodes or lungs.
- Stage 1 – Known as lymphadenopathy, this stage already comes with granulomas but only in your lymph nodes.
- Stage 2 – You can also refer to this stage as the lymphadenopathy and pulmonary infiltrate. If you are in this stage, expect granulomas to be found both in your lungs and lymph nodes.
- Stage 3 – The other name used to refer to this stage is the pulmonary infiltrate. Here, you can find granulomas but only in the part of your lungs.
- Stage 4 – Referred to as pulmonary fibrosis, this is the specific stage you are in if your lung tissues already experience scarring. This stage might also cause permanent damage.
Is Sarcoidosis Contagious?
The answer is no. It is not a contagious disease. If your condition is characterized by rashes and patches on your skin, then you may also worry about whether these symptoms are contagious. Fortunately, these rashes and patches are not contagious although they look unsightly. This means that you do not have to worry about spreading the symptoms or infecting other people, especially your loved ones.
Best Diet for Sarcoidosis
A good treatment plan for sarcoidosis will always include a diet plan appropriate or suitable for the condition. Following a healthy diet is one key towards solving this inflammatory disease. Make sure that you stick to a well-balanced diet because this can contribute to improving your overall health.
Your goal is to focus on including foods designed to lessen inflammation and stay away from those that trigger it. To create a good sarcoidosis diet plan, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Know what to incorporate into your daily diet – Among the foods that your regular sarcoidosis diet should include are fruits and veggies. It is also advisable to include foods that contain antioxidants in your diet plan. Some examples of these foods are squash, blueberries, bell peppers, and tomatoes. When it comes to meat, you need to choose the lean ones, like poultry and fish.Make sure that your diet plan also has foods with healthy fats. Among the foods rich in healthy fats are fatty fish, nuts, and avocados. Another thing to remember is to eat foods that have low calcium content but are rich in magnesium. In this case, your options include corn, brown rice, barley, potatoes, bananas, and oats.
- Stay away from foods that can aggravate the inflammation – You also need to be informed about the foods and drinks that can worsen your inflammatory condition. This is important so you can avoid them as much as possible. Among the foods that you should stay away from are the refined ones, particularly sugary foods, as well as pastas and white breads.You should also minimize your intake of red meat. Just like what has been mentioned a while ago, stick with lean meats. You can also substitute red meat with other sources of protein, like beans, tofu, and cold-water fish. Another set of foods that you have to lessen or get rid of are those containing trans fatty acids.These include goods that are baked commercially, like cakes, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, margarine, onion rings, French fries, and other processed foods. Staying away from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine can also help in treating sarcoidosis.
- Ensure that you are fully hydrated – You can keep yourself hydrated by drinking enough filtered water, preferably 6-8 glasses daily.
- Go for foods that contain powerful nutrients – Among the nutrients that you should focus on to cure your inflammatory condition are antioxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. In terms of carbs, go for the ones that can provide you with power, instead of the empty ones. Some sources of power carbs are lentils, beans, and whole grains. Empty carbs, like those in white pasta, white rice, and white bread should be avoided. You should also add in some extra protein and fiber in your diet.
- Include foods that can fill your gut with good bacteria – These include probiotic foods that refer to those containing live active cultures present in good bacteria. What is good about these bacteria is that they can significantly lessen your inflammation. Just make sure that you feed them with the right kinds of food so they will continue to thrive. These include prebiotic foods, like fiber-filled veggies, designed to help the good bacteria in your gut thrive.
When creating your sarcoidosis diet plan, it is advisable to keep the mentioned tips in mind. Also, ensure that you talk to your physician and review any dietary changes with him in advance prior to implementing them. This is to ensure that your diet plan will not interfere with your healing and recovery.
You also have to learn a thing or two about the different recipes for sarcoidosis patients. One recipe that you can try is this anti-inflammatory designed to combat inflammation. The good thing about this recipe is that it contains pineapple, which is beneficial for your skin, a sure benefit especially if you want to protect your skin from all the negative effects of sarcoidosis. Here are the ingredients:
- 2 cups ripe pineapple
- 1 ginger
- 1 cup ripe mango
- 1 cup coconut water
- ½ cup celery
- 1 teaspoon fresh vanilla
Blend the mentioned ingredients in your blender for a few minutes until a smooth consistency is reached.
Best Sarcoidosis Diet Book
Living with Sarcoidosis: Defying the Odds Book
If you want to learn more about the struggles experienced by those who have sarcoidosis then you may want to check out this book from Amazon.com – Living with Sarcoidosis: Defying the Odds written by Adrienne Anderson. What is good about this book is that it is written by an author who truly struggled with the condition.
It, therefore, has a heartfelt content that will surely touch your emotions and inspire you to handle the condition more effectively. This 64-page book is probably what you need to inspire you to get up and fight no matter how challenging this condition is. The author will serve as your inspiration, raising your determination to fight this disease.
It will surely be an empowering read. If you are struggling with sarcoidosis, you can flip through the pages of this book and use it to motivate you to look for ways to deal with the condition in a more effective manner. You can start getting rid of the struggles of this condition by conducting a more comprehensive research about the best diet for sarcoidosis.
You can start researching for tips on creating healthy recipes for the condition and how to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle. With this inspiring book, surviving this inflammatory disease will become easier. This book will also give you some relevant information about the condition’s different stages. More importantly, it is written after doing comprehensive research about how a person with sarcoidosis should eat. We strongly recomend it.
Living with sarcoidosis can be hard and challenging considering its many uncomfortable, not to mention unsightly, symptoms. However, by knowing exactly what you should do, especially when it comes to crafting the best diet for sarcoidosis, you can finally say goodbye to this condition and live a normal life once again.