Will regular blood tests help diagnose other diseases that may be disguised by my pulmonary sarcoidosis?

1 answer | Last updated: Apr 21, 2009
A fellow caregiver asked...

I have been diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis.Will getting regular blood tests help to diagnose any other diseases that might be disguised by the sarcoidosis?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Pulmonary sarcoidosis usually affects the lungs only, which would not make diagnosing other diseases problematic, as they should have different symptoms.  Sarcoidosis can sometimes affect other body systems, but it is usually limited to the liver or thyroid. With sarcoidosis, you should have liver function tests, thyroid level,  and calcium levels checked routinely to monitor for other organ involvement.

Most diseases are not diagnosed by blood tests alone.  In fact, blood tests are usually used in combination with the doctor's physical exam and your symptoms, to come up with a true diagnosis.  Therefore, if you get a stange new symptom, it would be best to let your health care provider know so that they can keep track of it to see if it is something that needs further work-up.  Then, blood tests or an exam may need to be done to rule out a new health problem.