Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

The term idiopathic means unknown, making it a good name for a disorder that many are unfamiliar with. It’s also unclear why idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) develops.

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is a disease of the lungs that causes stiffness of the tissue of the lungs. This makes it harder for you to naturally take in air and breathe. Each IPF case is different, so consult with your doctor about the progression of the disease for precise information.

What is Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)?

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a serious pulmonary disease. Oxygen travels through tiny air sacs in your lungs and through your bloodstream as you breathe in. It flows to your organs from there. Within your lungs, IPF causes scar tissue to develop and makes it difficult to breathe. Over time, it worsens.

Like the marks that you get on your skin after a wound, IPF scar tissue is thick. It reduces the flow of oxygen into your blood from your lungs, which can prevent your body from functioning as it should.

For IPF, there's no cure. Symptoms do not get better for most individuals, but medications will slow down the damage to the lungs. The outlook of everyone is different. Some individuals get worse quickly, while others, after diagnosis, will live 10 years or more. In order to help you breathe better and control your symptoms, there are therapies. It could be necessary for you to have a lung transplant.

Causes of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Infections, medications, environmental exposures, and even other illnesses are the product of certain cases of pulmonary fibrosis. In the majority of cases of IPF, physicians are unable to determine a cause.

Doctors can consider several possible causes when diagnosing pulmonary fibrosis. This may include:

  • existing conditions

  • genetic factors

  • medications

  • pollution and toxins

  • radiation therapy

The disorder would be called idiopathic if they are unable to identify a source.

Symptoms Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Scarring and stiffness in the lungs is caused by idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The scarring will intensify over time, and the stiffness will make breathing easier.

Common symptoms include:

  • Breath shortness

  • chest pain

  • chronic cough

  • fatigue

  • joint and muscle pain

  • legs swelling

  • weakness

  • weight loss

Lifestyle Changes for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF)

Learning to follow healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce symptoms and boost the attitude is a big part of managing IPF. These shifts in lifestyle include:

  • Eat Healthy

  • Exercise

  • Find a way to relax

  • Get a flu shot

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Stop smoking

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