Interstitial Lung Disease
About Interstitial Lung Disease
Interstitial lung disease is an umbrella term used to categorize over 100 different types of pulmonary disorders that affect the absorption of oxygen into the lungs. It includes a diverse collection of illnesses with a variety of causes, treatments and prognoses. Individuals who suffer from interstitial lung disease often have difficulty breathing and moving from place to place due to a consistent feeling of shortness of breath. Disorders classified under interstitial lung disease are often characterized by scarring of the lung’s delicate tissues, and a subsequent dry, pestering cough.
However, interstitial lung disease may also develop without a known cause, and in that case it is known as idiopathic. The most common form of idiopathic interstitial lung disease is pulmonary fibrosis. As interstitial lung disease is a progressive disorder, identifying a known cause for the disease is especially important. Due to the fact that interstitial lung disease can be caused by environmental factors, removing these triggers may slow the progression of the disease and damage to the lungs. If the disease is idiopathic, stem cell treatment for lung disease, and other forms of regenerative medicine have been found beneficial.
Symptoms of Interstitial Lung Disease
Sometimes symptoms will progress very quickly, and other times symptoms will remain mild to moderate for years until progressing rapidly in later stages. Sufferers may experience episodes in which their symptoms suddenly worsen; these episodes are referred to as acute flare-ups of the disease. Shortness of breath is the most common complaint of interstitial lung disease sufferers, other symptoms include:
Treating Interstitial Lung Disease
Smoking cessation is always the first step in treating a lung disease. Once you’ve visited with a pulmonologist you will likely get prescribed some medication to help your lung functioning, but note that interstitial lung disease does not have a known cure. It is also important that you regularly exercise your lungs and moderate your diet to help slow the progression of the disease. With all of these things, you may still not be satisfied with your ability to live a normal life.
The Lung Institute offers stem cell treatments for interstitial lung disease. The stem cells used by the Lung Institute are autologous, which means they come from the patient’s own body. The stem cells are extracted from bone marrow or the patient’s blood (venous) depending on the patient’s current condition and health history. Adult stem cells have the capacity to form many types of differentiated cells, so when the stem cells are returned to the patient, they will target the damaged tissue, which leads to improved lung function in patients with a chronic lung disease. Our minimally invasive, outpatient stem cell procedures are changing lives by helping patients breathe easier.
Once the desired volume of stem cells are available, they are extracted from the patient’s blood or bone marrow. The stem cells are isolated and returned to the patient intravenously. Once the cells are returned to the patient, they may begin to slow down the progression of the disease. Since stem cells can continually replicate, the lungs can progressively grow stronger, and patients may see improved lung function.