Sarcoidosis

DISABILITY BENEFIT AND TAX CREDIT

FOR SARCOIDOSIS

 

Introduction

Sarcoidosis, referred to as Boeck’s sarcoid in the past, is a systemic inflammatory disease that can affect any body tissue or organ, yet it somehow manifests first on the lungs, the skin, the eyes, and/or the lymphatic nodes (especially those on the chest). This condition is a collection of inflamed lumps or lesions called granulomas. This is the result of the gathering of immune system cells that are supposed to fight infection. The resultant nodules or masses can change the normal structure of the affected organ, thereby also affecting its ability to function properly.

 

In the United States, incidence of the condition ranges from 5 to 40 cases per 100,000 people, with African Americans accounting for most of the cases. Worldwide, incidence rate is considered high in Northern Europe (Scandinavian countries) compared to nations in Asia like Japan. It is also an occurrence in developing countries, but it is often confused with tuberculosis, thus it is usually misdiagnosed.

 

Causes

The exact cause for sarcoidosis is not yet known. It has been speculated that there appears to have a genetic predilection for some individuals to acquire the disease, which in turn in triggered by environmental factors such as chemicals, dust, and microorganisms like viruses and bacteria.

In general, the immune system is responsible for protecting the body against the attack of harmful pathogens. Chemicals are usually released to defend the body by attacking the foreign bodies, thus causing inflammation. So when the invading microorganisms have been taken cared off, the inflammation is also supposed to go away.

With those who have sarcoidosis, the inflammation remains on the different organs of the body; and the granulomas are then formed.

 

Signs and Symptoms

The time of onset of the symptoms of sarcoidosis peaks at 20 to 40 years old; and this condition occurs twice as often in women than in men. Some people who have sarcoidosis do not present symptoms, but when they do, the following are included:

  • Fever;
  • Fatigue and weight loss;
  • Persistent joint pain;
  • Enlargement and tenderness of the lymph glands, especially close to the affected organ;
  • Nosebleeds; and
  • Abdominal swelling or distention.

Other symptoms (depending on the affected system) include:

  • For the lungs – dry cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain focused right by the breastbone);
  • For the skin – rashes, sores, hair loss, and presence of scars;
  • For the nervous system – weakness of the facial muscles, headaches, and seizures; and
  • For the eyes – dryness, itchiness, pain, blurred vision or loss of vision, and exudates from the eyes.

 

Treatment

There is still no known cure for this condition. The symptoms of sarcoidosis can disappear over time, and can even have 3-10 years of remission. The objective for managing this disease then is focused on the reduction of the immune response of the body. Thus, medications such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressant drugs are prescribed to the patient.

 

Disability Tax Credits for Sarcoidosis

Sarcoidosis can affect any body organ, thus normal functioning of the concerned body systems will be affected. Being diagnosed with this inflammatory condition can possibly mean that you may be entitled to disability tax credits from the Canadian Revenue Agency. To help you with this, a HandyTax agent will be available once you pick up the phone and set and appointment. Give yourself a break from being sick, call the HandyTax hotline now.