Black History of Health: Tisha Campbell

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Most people knew Tisha Campbell as ‘Gina’ from the TV show ‘Martin’. She has been on TV, though, ever since she was six years old. In 1974, she had her first part on the PBS show The Big Blue Marble. She went on to play in a number of other shows and take part in talent shows. In 1988, she got her first movie part in ‘School Daze’ by Spike Lee.

She went on to be in a few more movies before getting a part in ‘Martin’ in 1992. Since then, she has kept on acting in movies and on TV. Campbell also won the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series NAACP Image Award for her work on “My Wife and Kids.”

Even though she is best known for acting, she has also released an album and several songs as a musician. People were surprised to hear that the actor had been living with pulmonary sarcoidosis for most of her life, given how good her voice was.

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What is sarcoidosis of the lungs?

Sarcoidosis is usually a disease that makes your immune system fight parts of your body. When the immune system overreacts, it can cause lumps called granulomas to form in the affected area. If these granulomas are in your lungs, you have pulmonary sarcoidosis, and most of the symptoms will affect how well your lungs work.

How the disease is found out

Usually, your doctor will start to figure out if you have pulmonary sarcoidosis by giving you a full physical exam and asking you about your health history. After that, they may use a number of tests to figure out what’s wrong. Blood tests, lung function tests, CT scans, chest X-rays, and bronchoscopies are some of the tests that can be done. Depending on what the scans show, you may also need a lung biopsy to find out what’s wrong with your lungs. 

Since there are other diseases that can cause similar symptoms to pulmonary sarcoidosis, your doctor will want to rule out everything else before giving you a final diagnosis.

How to Treat Pulmonary Sarcoidosis

Even though pulmonary sarcoidosis has no fix, its symptoms can be treated so that the disease doesn’t get worse or cause other problems. People who have the illness can sometimes even get better without help from a doctor. When making a diagnosis, the doctor will also need to know how bad your symptoms are so they can give you the right medicines. 

Most of the time, hydroxychloroquine, antibiotics, and drugs that weaken the immune system are the choices. Usually, it can take a while to find the right mix of medicines for you, so your doctor may keep making changes to your doses. If you have trouble breathing a lot, your doctor might also suggest physical exercise to help you get more air into your lungs and be able to do more physical activities. 

Finally, you can expect to be monitored for worsening symptoms or the development of complications. Sarcoidosis has been known to cause inflammation in the heart, kidneys, eyes, and nervous system. This inflammation can lead to damage that significantly affects how well the organs function. That’s why it will be important for your doctor to catch any issues as they appear.

Though it might take time for the symptoms to appear, you should tell your doctor if you notice any of the symptoms that are listed here. It’s not possible to cure pulmonary sarcoidosis but management works best when you catch the condition in its early stages.

Karen Heslop,

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