Sarcoidosis can present a number of symptoms or it may even be asymptomatic (presenting no symptoms at all). The disease can often appear suddenly and disappear. Or, it can gradually develop and produce symptoms that come and go, or can last a lifetime. The most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Skin rashes in the form of red bumps on the face, arms or shins
- Inflammation of eyes
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
To diagnose sarcoidosis, physicians will usually biopsy the tissue affected by the disease and examine it for the presence of granulomas. Usually, a pulmonologist that specializes in sarcoidosis is needed to make an accurate diagnosis of the disease. Patients may often be diagnosed by their medical history, routine tests, a physician examination and a chest x-ray. Based on the testing and the symptoms presented by the patient, the pulmonologist or sarcoidologist is usually able to rule out other diseases that cause granulomas or present similar symptoms, thereby diagnosing it as sarcoidosis. In some instances, a sarcoidologist may be able to diagnose a patient with sarcoidosis without biopsying tissue, but rather with a combination of patient symptoms and chest x-rays.