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Sarcoidosis is a disease of unknown origin that causes the immune system to overreact, leading to lung damage, skin rashes and other organ damage. This once rare disease now affects 200,000 peoplein the United States.

“The cause or causes of sarcoidosis are not clear, but most experts agree that sarcoidosis is caused by an environmental exposure, most often transmitted to the lungs,” explains Dr. Elliott D. Crouser, a lung specialist with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center who treats sarcoidosis, and a spokesperson for the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research.

He adds that, in sarcoidosis, this exposure causes clusters of immune cells, called granulomas, to form in the lungs or other organs. Symptoms can also come and go on its own, without treatment

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