Sarcoidosis (or Besnier-Boeck disease) is a systemic disease characterised pathologically by granulomas (local accumulations of inflammatory cells). The lung is the most frequently involved organ, but symptoms also frequently come from lymph nodes, skin, and eyes. Sarcoidosis is one of the most frequent types of interstitial lung disease. The onset sometimes is acute, but mostly is gradual.
Symptoms are vague (fatigue, lack of energy, weight loss, dry eyes), but more serious symptoms pains, arthritis, swelling of the knees, shortness of breath, cough, blurry vision, and skin lesions can also occur.
Sarcoidosis is frequently accompanied with increased production of active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D by macrophages inside the granulomas. This phenomenon called hypervitaminosis D is compensated by physiological mechanisms such as suppression of the PTH levels and may prevent the patient from developing hypercalcemia. This condition may be aggravated by high levels of estradiol and prolactin (hyperprolactinemia), leading to hypercalciuria and/or compensatory hypoparathyroidism.
Sarcoidosis is also associated with thyroid disease, mainly in women. Female patients have a significantly elevated risk for hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity.