Sarcoidosis

What is sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis – also called sarcoid – is a condition where cells in your body clump together to make small lumps called granulomas.

These granulomas can develop in any part of your body. They are most commonly found in the lungs and the lymph glands which drain the lungs. They can also affect your skin, heart, nervous system, liver, spleen, muscles, nose, sinuses and eyes.

When lots of granulomas develop in one area, they begin to affect how well that part of your body works. This causes symptoms.

What are the effects of sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis affects people in lots of different ways. It can cause symptoms in just one part of your body or many parts at the same time. Though sarcoidosis isn’t always a lung condition, the lungs are affected in about 90% of cases. When the lungs are affected, it’s called pulmonary sarcoidosis.

Who gets sarcoidosis?

You can get sarcoidosis at any age, but it commonly affects adults in their 30s or 40s. It’s unusual for children to get sarcoidosis. The NHS estimates that sarcoidosis affects around one person in every 10,000 in the UK.

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Last medically reviewed: January 2017. Due for review: January 2020

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.