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Ask Dr. Gott 7/16
Prednisone solid treatment for sarcoidosis
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: My son was just recently diagnosed with sarcoidosis and is being treated with prednisone. I understand that this is becoming more common in recent years and wondered if you have any information about it.
    DEAR READER: Sarcoidosis occurs when inflammation causes tiny lumps of cells (granulomas). The granulomas can continue to grow and clump together to form larger lumps or groups of lumps. If many form in an organ, function is affected.
    Sarcoidosis can occur in nearly any part of the body but most often affects the lungs and/or lymph nodes. Other commonly affected areas are the skin, eyes and liver. Very rarely, sarcoidosis can be found in the thyroid gland, kidneys, reproductive organs and breasts. More than one organ is involved in nearly all cases.
    Symptoms vary according to what organ is affected. Besides organ-specific symptoms, some general ones include fever, night sweats, uneasiness, malaise, fatigue, sleep problems and loss of appetite or weight.
    Diagnosis is usually suspected during a thorough medical history and physical. If the doctor suspects sarcoidosis, he or she might order testing. There is no diagnostic test for sarcoidosis, so all testing must be ordered according the area of the body the doctor suspects is affected.
    Treatment will vary according the organ or organs affected, but most cases can be treated with prednisone. If symptoms worsen or the disease progresses, other options are available. If the diagnosis is made during testing for another illness and symptoms are not present, most cases do not need treatment and recovery takes place in time. However, some organs must be treated regardless of symptoms or a lack of them.
    Your son is on appropriate medication and should be followed up on regularly by his doctor.
    For others interested in learning more about sarcoidosis, I recommend the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's sarcoidosis Web site. It can be found at
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Pulmonary Disease."

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have been on your no-flour, no-sugar diet for nearly a year. It is the easiest thing I have ever done. There is no weighing, measuring or ridiculous restrictions. When I started, I didn't weigh myself or set a time limit. I told myself, whatever comes off, comes off. Not putting pressure on myself to lose a certain amount of weight in a certain amount of time has really helped. When I started, I was a size 16; now I am an 8 and still losing.
    I walk and ride my bike every day. I am no longer on blood pressure medication, and my synthroid was decreased.
    I don't know why I waited until I was 54, but I now feel 24. People still ask me how I lost the weight, so I tell them and let them borrow my book. It is thoroughly worn from being lent out so much. I just purchased the cookbook and have tried a few of the recipes. So far everything is easy and delicious!
    DEAR READER: Congratulations on your success. I have received hundreds of letters from readers who have successfully lost weight on my diet and are now living happier, healthier lives. Thanks for writing.
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