The official blog of the Lung Institute.
When physicians cannot determine the precise cause of a patient’s pulmonary fibrosis, it is classified as idiopathic (of unknown origin). Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is extremely common. In fact, most cases of pulmonary fibrosis are not linked to one specific cause.
In most cases, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is actually the result of several different factors. These may include:
- A genetic predisposition to lung damage
- An autoimmune condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis, that causes the immune system to attack the lungs
- Occupational exposure to asbestos, silica, coal dust or other toxic chemicals
- Environmental exposure to certain bacteria, proteins or organic dusts
- Radiation exposure (specifically, radiation therapy delivered to the chest)
- Certain prescription medications, including propranolol, nitrofurantoin, bleomycin and oxalipatin)
- Smoking or using tobacco products, which can increase oxidative stress and promote the progression of pulmonary fibrosis
Physicians usually treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the same ways that they treat inherited (familial) pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary fibrosis caused by one specific, known trigger. Medications, respiratory therapy and supplemental oxygen are the most common treatments, although they are not the only options. Some patients consider alternatives, such as stem cell therapy, as well.
As the world’s only stem cell center that focuses exclusively on the treatment of lung conditions, the Lung Institute is an invaluable resource for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Our caring team has helped countless people alleviate their symptoms and improve their quality of life through our stem cell treatments, which can help relieve inflammation and potentially even slow the progression of the disease.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, the Lung Institute can help you start to breathe easier. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 and we’ll help you determine if autologous stem cell therapy is right for you.