Sarcoidosis is essentially an inflammatory disease, and for the past few years, I've been dealing with several of its various manifestations.
When I was first diagnosed, I was shocked, because I thought it was a lung disease that only afflicted African Americans...but I've learned a lot since then. I'm actually amazed at how many people--of all races--are diagnosed with Sarc (I see it under medical histories on charts I review)and the spectrum of their symptoms. It may be even more prevalent than statistics suggest, since it is relatively difficult to diagnose and the symptoms are not usually "textbook". For instance, in my case, I had a few lymph nodes that remained enlarged for a long period of time, and a biopsy confirmed the diagnosis.
While the worst forms of Sarc cause chronic (and sometimes fatal) lung problems, I have had NO evidence of lung involvement, for which I'm extremely grateful! My symptoms, among other things, have mostly been persistent eye problems that were initially treated as Chronic Dry Eyes with several unpleasant procedures and, currently, eye drops and anti-inflammatory meds.
Most doctors I've talked to have only a vague understanding of Sarc, and the only doctor I could find locally who would even treat me was a pulmonologist (even though I do not have pulmonary symptoms!) This alone speaks to the need for continued research and education in diagnosing and treating the disease.
I would appreciate whatever you may be able to contribute to the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research. I can't make it to Chicago for the 5K, but I plan to drag Razsha out for a "virtual" 5K walk on the 25th! If anyone wants to join us, let me know!