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The Interstitium is a network of tissues in the lungs. It supports the functioning of microscopic air sacs in the lungs, known as Alveoli. Tiny blood vessels travelling through the interstitium help in exchange of gases between blood and air. In ILD or Interstitial lung disease, this important function of the lungs is disturbed. This can lead to ILD, including Sarcoidosis.
In general, the symptoms of ILD include shortness of breath, dry and non-productive cough and unexplained weight loss.
Causes Of Interstitial Lung Disease
It is estimated that regular exposure to irritants through inhalation, at work or otherwise, can precipitate ILD. Bacteria, Viruses, and Fungi are known to cause Interstitial Pneumonias. The following irritants can cause ILD:
Coal dust and other dusts, such as those inhaled during working in mines
Bird proteins (such as Chicken or Pigeon food)
Grain dust inhaled from farming
Drugs such as Amiodarone, Nitrofurantoin, Bleomycin etc. may also cause Interstitial Lung Disease. However, a fair chunk of the causes of Interstitial Lung Disease are unknown.
In Sarcoidosis, there is growth of tiny inflammatory cells in different organs of the body, such as the Lymph nodes, Skin, Eyes and the Lungs. Lungs are the most common organs which Sarcoidosis affects.
Symptoms of ILD and Sarcoidosis
Symptoms may include Fever, Fatigue, Shortness of breath, Weight loss, Persistent cough, Swollen lymph nodes, Chest pain, Wheezing etc.
There may be reddish-purple bumps on shins or ankles, sores on nose, ears and cheeks, growth of nodules under the skin, etc.
The patient may have Blurred vision, Eye pain, Severe redness and Sensitivity to light.
A patient may also suffer from Chest pain, Shortness of breath, Fainting, fatigue, Irregular heartbeats, Palpitations, Swelling due to Accumulation of Fluid, etc.
Treatment of ILD and Sarcoidosis
Antibiotics for Interstitial Pneumonia condition
Corticosteroids or Immunosuppressants for skewed immune response
Oxygen inhalation for low oxygen level in body due to ILD
Antioxidants to reduce the rate of decline in lung function.
Though there is no cure for this disease, a patient may be treated through medicine if the disease starts affecting the functioning of other organs.
The patient may be given Corticosteroids to Suppress Inflammation.
If the condition is worse, the patient may also be given Immunosuppressants and other medicines to overcome specific organic problems.
ILD and Sarcoidosis are common diseases nowadays due to increasing pollution all around. In case of any of the symptoms of ILD and Sarcoidosis show up in a patient, it is highly recommended to get advice from an experienced Pulmonologist. The treatment is mostly antibiotic-based, and curbs the infection out of the body. The sooner the treatment can start, the better it is.