What is IPF and How to Treat It
IPF is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a health condition that stiffens your lungs and makes it harder to inhale the needed amount of oxygen. There are no certain things that cause this disease; that is why it is called idiopathic.
What is more, people with IPF might have very different symptoms and causes of the disease. There are even cases when the diagnosis turns out to be some other respiratory disease, so it is very important to consult with specialists regularly.
IPF General Symptoms
Let us consider the most common symptoms of IPF:
- The most obvious sign of IPF is difficulty in breathing. As your lungs stiffen, it takes more and more effort to inhale and exhale, and you just don’t receive enough oxygen. This causes a discomfort feeling in the chest, which can even turn into pain.
- Also, people with IPF might experience chronic coughs and short breaths. What is more, you get tired very quickly and feel weakness in your body. Even the loss of weight can be caused by IPF.
If one does nothing to treat IPF, it can lead to some severe health problems. You might develop heart disease or a failure in your respiratory system.
Treatments for IPF
The only cure that can make you free from IPF once and for all is lung transplantation. As this is quite a serious medical procedure, it is done only in the last stages of the disease’s development, when nothing else can really help.
If your IPF is in its early stages, you will probably get prescribed some medications and special therapy. Lung medications help to decrease the pace of the lungs’ destruction. They relieve all the inflammation and help to protect the lungs from further damage.
Oxygen therapy is used as an exercise for your lungs to keep them functioning properly. It also helps with breathing patterns.
Living With IPF
Getting all the prescribed medications might not be enough. You will also need to alter your habits to make sure that your lungs don’t have to do any extra work. Such lifestyle changes include several different aspects.
For instance, the most evident thing is that smoking has to be completely cut out from your life. Moreover, if you have extra weight, it might be helpful to lose it to make it easier for you to breathe.
Also, don’t neglect all the necessary medications, vaccines, and other helpful supplements, if your doctor suggests them. What is more, it might be useful to acquire an oxygen monitor that keeps you updated on the oxygen level in your blood.
You should not forget that IPF develops quickly and that you cannot completely stop the disease by taking the prescribed medicine.
However, by following all the recommendations by the specialists, you can make it easier for you to live with IPF.