To get a solid answer to this question it would be best to take a detailed look at just what Sarcoidosis is. The condition was first identified by an English doctor in 1877. His report told of an unusual skin ailment which he first associated with one particular patient. Another European doctor gave the malady a different name, choosing the word “sarkoid” because he believed it was some sort of tumorous growth. Eventually his word was transformed into the current name, Sarcoidosis.
The true cause of this condition is still a mystery, though doctors have learned that it can affect the salivary glands, lungs, liver and even the lymph glands. Sarcoidosis is one of a number of inflammation diseases characterized by granulomas – nodules on the tissue of the affected areas.
White blood cells gather in a particular area to combat bacteria or harmful substances that have entered the body. When immune cells gather in groups in certain situations the condition known as Sarcoidosis is the result. This malady is not contagious. But medical research indicates that there is some family-history connection. Age doesn’t seem to matter with Sarcoidosis. It occurs in only one person among several thousand.
As for the connection between panic attacks and Sarcoidosis, it’s interesting to note that people often feel tired, have pain or tightness in the chest, and have difficulty breathing or dry mouth in addition to the granulomas mentioned earlier. These symptoms are also common with panic attack sufferers. Some people even report they feel as if they are having a heart attack or experience unusual heartbeat or heart rate. This may be why many people associate panic attacks with Sarcoidosis – the symptoms are very similar.
Whether this condition actually triggers panic attacks is probably a matter of medical opinion or experience. Certainly, someone who has visual evidence of Sarcoidosis nodules and feels tightness in the chest, or has difficulty breathing, may think that the onset of the physical condition caused the anxiety/panic symptoms.
It is also possible that the chemical changes that occur during a Sarcoidosis episode could trigger the panic-attack symptoms. Again, this is something that should be taken seriously and should be discussed with a doctor. Doctors often treat this condition with corticosteroids, a treatment designed to dissolve the nodules.
To summarize, it’s common knowledge that stress may trigger a panic attack. Certain foods or food additives can also cause individuals to exhibit symptoms such as nausea, difficulty breathing etc. If a person’s body is allergic to certain substances and the body reacts with panic-attack symptoms, these can occur at the same time as the white blood cells move to attack the “intruder.” Chemical changes in the body can trigger panic attacks, even those that are necessary to combat illness and disease. Whether there is a direct connection between Sarcoidosis and panic attacks remains to be decided.