The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) is a disease characterized by the excessive build-up of scar tissue within the lungs, restricting breathing. And for those that live with it, they are well aware of the incremental stages of the disease’s progression. Although these stages are classified into terms such as mild, early, severe and advanced, it is the later stages of pulmonary fibrosis that can be of the most concern to those with the disease. As the disease progresses to the end stage, these effects can have a significant effect on disease symptoms and life expectancy. With that in mind, it’s best to be aware of one’s disease and how it progresses to gain a better understanding of what to expect and how best to prepare.
With your health in mind, the Lung Institute is here to give you the information you need on End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What to Expect and How to Prepare.
End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What Is It?
Let’s start with the basics: as we mentioned before, end stage pulmonary fibrosis staging is conducted using a patient’s forced vital capacity (FVC) score taken from a pulmonary function test. Where scores above 75% would equate to being mild PF, scores within the range of 25 to 49 (or less) are considered to be severe. Those within the severe to very severe category of pulmonary fibrosis staging are considered to be within end-stage pulmonary fibrosis.
As with any disease, PF disease progression is highly specific to the individual themselves, meaning that the decline in pulmonary health can occur rapidly for some or more slowly for others. This can mean the difference between a life with months left, or years, depending on one’s personal genetics and health-conscious habits (diet, exercise, abstention from smoking), but more on that later.
What Can I Expect? Signs & Symptoms
So you’ve been told you have end stage pulmonary fibrosis either by your pulmonary specialist or primary physician. What should you expect? The primary symptom of end stage pulmonary fibrosis is shortness of breath, a symptom that grows more acute as time goes on. As the diseases develops into this final stage, other commonly associated symptoms include:
- Chest pain
- Poor appetite
- Increased anxiety
- Bothersome cough
- Becoming housebound
- Reduced lung function
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Need for intensive home support
- Frequent flare-ups and hospitalizations
- Increased severity in shortness of breath
- Difficulty maintaining a healthy body weight
How Can I Prepare and Improve My Health?
Although end-stage pulmonary fibrosis is a difficult position to be in as it pertains to respiratory health, it is not the end. Various lifestyle changes to diet, weight, exercise, and smoking cessation can have a profound effect on the frequency and severity of flare-ups within those with advanced PF. To start, learn to eat healthier. Avoid fatty, salty, and spicy foods that could spark symptom flare-ups. Instead, focus on oxygen-rich food such as antioxidant fruits, smaller portions, and balanced meals of whole grains, non-cruciferous vegetables, and grilled protein.
In regards to weight and exercise, you can do a variety of healthy exercises from the comfort of your living room. Simply get the heart-rate moving to improve blood-oxygen flow–a standing squat should suffice. Lastly, quitting smoking is by far the best decision you can make for your respiratory health. This can be an extremely difficult proposition, but the time you will gain from giving up cigarettes will be well worth the sacrifice.
End stage pulmonary fibrosis life expectancy is a topic that many would rather avoid, however, it’s vital to understanding one’s options as they navigate the management of their health. Though PF can seem impossible to overcome, changing one’s diet and consistently exercising are among the best lifestyle changes one can do aside from quitting smoking. When lifestyle changes fail to improve your quality of life in the way that you may expect, it may be time to consider stem cell therapy. Rather than simply addressing the symptoms of lung disease, stem cell therapy may directly affect disease progression and may improve quality of life and pulmonary function.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, ILD or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute may be able to help with a variety of adult stem cell treatment options. Contact us today at (800) 729-3065 to see if you qualify for stem cell therapy, and find out what stem cell therapy could mean for you.
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