Sarcoidosis develops when abnormal cells inflame the lungs. This inflammation may also affect the liver, eyes and skin among other body parts. Weight loss, chest pain, fever and fatigue are some of the possible symptoms. The effects of sarcoidosis are usually mild, but the disease can also cause kidney and heart failure. Some foods may help ease the condition. Discuss any nutritional choices you make related to the treatment of sarcoidosis with your doctor.
Researchers have not determined what causes sarcoidosis, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Since cell inflammation marks the disease, antioxidants may protect cells that are still healthy from similar damage. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals, molecules that occur naturally during digestion, but also as a result of exposure to radiation and tobacco-smoke inhalation. Left to run amok, free radicals can damage cells. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends eating antioxidant-rich sources such as berries, tomatoes, sweet peppers and other fruits and vegetables.
Eating foods that contain magnesium may offset the effects of sarcoidosis on the cells to a certain extent by supporting cell function. Try avocados, potatoes, corn, oats, soy, brown rice and other sources of magnesium, recommends the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium facilitates about 300 body functions, according to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The mineral is also essential for proper cell performance. Magnesium electric charges called "ions" fuel the enzymes that allow cells to transmit information.
Any food that keeps you healthy strengthens your immune system, making you less prone to disease. In the case of sarcoidosis, the University of Maryland Medical Center says some researchers think a malfunctioning immune system is behind the cell damage. Olive oil fatty acids may bring balance back to your immune system so it heals your body instead of harming it. Cook with olive oil and use it as a dressing for salads and steamed vegetables.
The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends tumeric for sarcoidosis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. A ginger relative, turmeric is usually used dried and ground as a spice. The orange root powder has an earthy flavor and it is common in Asian recipes. Turmeric is also available as a dietary supplement. Turmeric may reduce cell inflammation, ameliorating your symptoms. But the medical center also warns that turmeric may interact negatively with medicine and it may raise hemorrhage risk. Discuss the possible side effects with your doctor before including turmeric in your diet.
There is some speculation that inhaled toxins may cause enough cell damage to result is sarcoidosis, says the University of Maryland Medical Center. Though not proven, it won't harm you to stay hydrated, drinking six to eight glasses of water daily. Water flushes toxins out of your body and, therefore, may lessen any role that air contamination plays in the development of sarcoidosis.
- Cedars-Sinai: Sarcoidosis
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Sarcoidosis
- MayoClinic.com: Nutrition and Healthy Eating--Slide Show: Add Antioxidants to Your Diet
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: About Herbs--Magnesium
- MayoClinic.com; Nutrition and Healthy Eating--If Olive Oil Is High in Fat, Why Is It Considered Healthy?; Donald Hensrud, M.D.; March 26, 2011