Do you know idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, IPF is a lung disease which occurs when the lung tissue gets damaged? In simple terms, pulmonary fibrosis means stabbing in the lungs. Over time, the scar tissue can destroy the normal lung and makes it hard for the oxygen to get into your blood. It can be caused due to sniffing toxins present in the environment, or certain prescriptions or medical conditions such as pneumonia and lupus. In the early stages of the disease, its symptoms can mimic many other illnesses, however making it difficult to diagnose. Equally, this lung damaged caused by pulmonary fibrosis cannot be repaired but medications and therapies can sometimes ease its symptoms. Further, check on the warning signs of IPF to know more.
Causes of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
The cause of IPF is unknown, but the following are the possible risk factors of this disease.
- Long term susceptibility to some toxins and pollutants.
- Research proves that around 20% of people with IPF have another family member with interstitial lung disease. If more than one member of your family has pulmonary fibrosis, the condition is called familial pulmonary fibrosis.
- History of smoking
- Acid reflux – about 75% of people with IPF have symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux.
- Age – Almost all patients with this lung disease are more than 50 years old.
Warning signs of pulmonary fibrosis
Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath also known as dyspnea is the most commonly associated symptom of pulmonary fibrosis. It begins with shortness of breath during physical exertion but as the disease advances, patients will find they suffer shortness of breath even while resting.
Causes fatigue issues
Fatigue also is known as overwhelming tiredness is a common symptom of IPF. It’s characterized by a lack of energy that does not improve even after taking rest or having sufficient amounts of sleep. People with this struggle often find it hard to cope with daily activities which negatively affect their quality of life.
Clubber toes and fingers
Clubbing occurs when your body receives less oxygen through the bloodstream. In this condition, your fingertips may look swollen and red. And sometimes, your nails may become wider or rounder in the later stages of the disease.
Causes joint and muscle pain
Many times, coughing can give you aches and pains in your joints and muscles. Other than this, you might experience headaches, chest pain, and issues like tightness. Besides, some people may even report localized pain in their tongue and lips.
May experience weight loss
Eating becomes more difficult for individuals with IPF. For this reason, people with this condition experience loss in their appetites and may lose weight unintentionally.
Occurrence of Sleep issues
In healthy individuals, sleep represents a state of restoration but people with IPF may experience difficulty in sleeping. Equally, the use of different medications in the treatment can disrupt their sleep cycle, along with mood changes and weight gain.
IPF is a fatal disease without effective therapy. If you are having the above-mentioned symptoms which affectthe quality of your life – it’s time you communicate with your doctor.