No one knows yet what causes Sarcoidosis. Some physicians believe that Sarcoidosis may result from a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Others feel that exposure to toxins or allergens in the environment are to blame. Most scientists do agree that Sarcoidosis is a disorder of the immune system, with some people vulnerable to getting the disease while the majority of the population remains healthy and unaffected.
To make a diagnosis of Sarcoidosis in a patient, the physician must first exclude other, known diseases that may be similar in appearance to Sarcoidosis. For example, infections like tuberculosis, and certain cancers, such as lymphomas, can mimic many of the signs and symptoms of Sarcoidosis. It is very important for a physician to thoroughly investigate a patient before giving the diagnosis of Sarcoidosis because other types of diseases might require much different treatments.
Nutrition and Dietary Supplements
Although there is no evidence that any particular herb or supplement helps treat sarcoidosis, a comprehensive treatment plan may include complementary and alternative therapies. Ask your team of doctors about the best ways to bring these therapies into your overall treatment plan. Always tell your doctor about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using, as some supplements may interfere with conventional treatments.
These nutritional tips will help your overall health:
- Eat antioxidant foods, including fruits (such as blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes), and vegetables (such as squash and bell peppers).
- Include foods rich in magnesium and low in calcium, such as barley, bran, corn, rye, oats, soy, brown rice, avocado, banana, and potato.
- Avoid refined foods, such as white breads, pastas, and sugar.
- Eat fewer red meats and more lean meats, cold-water fish, tofu (soy, if no allergy) or beans for protein.
- Use healthy oils, such as olive oil or vegetable oil.
- Reduce or eliminate trans-fatty acids, found in commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, cakes, French fries, onion rings, donuts, processed foods, and margarine.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
- Drink 6 – 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
- Exercise at least 30 minutes daily, five days a week. Ask your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
The following supplements may also help overall health:
- A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-complex vitamins, and trace minerals such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and selenium.
- Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 – 2 capsules or 1 – 3 tablespoonfuls oil, one to three times daily. Fish oil seems to help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Cold-water fish, such as salmon or halibut, are good sources to add to your diet. If you take supplements, check with your doctor because they may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin. Eating fish doesn’ t cause the same risk.
- Bromelain, a mixture of enzymes derived from pineapple, 500 mg per day. Bromelain may also help reduce inflammation in the body. Ask your doctor before taking it, because it can increase the risk of bleeding and may interact with other medications.
- Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus), 5 – 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day. These “friendly” bacteria help maintain gastrointestinal health. You should refrigerate your probiotic supplements for best results.