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End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What to Expect

End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What to Expect

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.

End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What to Expect

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
  • Depression
  • 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: What to Expect

Moving Forward

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.

Interested in our article on End Stage Pulmonary Fibrosis Life Expectancy: What to Expect? Share your thoughts and comments below.


  1. Lung Institute

    1 month ago


    There is really no way to determine life expectancy with a lung disease because each case is different. Please take a look at these blog articles to provide you with information. For many of our patients, treatment has helped them feel better and breathe more easily.

    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy for lung disease. Our dedicated medical team has a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and more. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with someone from our medical team over our secure phone line. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Lung Institute

    1 month ago


    We would suggest you continue to see your primary doctor and follow what ever treatment plans are recommended. If you do want to explore stem cell therapy for lung disease, you can learn more about stem cell treatments and have your questions answered by one of our qualified patient coordinators. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  3. Debbie

    2 months ago

    I have mild pulumonary fibrosis, how long have I got to live …….”I also have COPd.

  4. Phoebe

    4 months ago


    Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affects everyone differently and at varying rates of progression. We recommend discussing your questions and concerns about a tracheostomy with your doctor. Because your doctor knows you and your health situation well, he or she will be able to best guide you, answer your questions and discuss your concerns.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  5. Unknown

    4 months ago

    What do you think of putting in a tracheostomy to a person with IPF

  6. Phoebe

    7 months ago

    Dear Alice,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear that Mike has passed away. IPF, pneumonia and the conditions that come along with having chronic lung diseases are very challenging. Again, we send our deepest sympathies to you and your family during this difficult time.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  7. Alice Fonda Henson Workman

    7 months ago

    My husband had stem cell replacement therapy soon as he was diagnosed with IPF. As far as we could tell, it did nothing. However, the Lung Institute was very frank about stating up front that it might not help at all. The incessant coughing and struggle for breath was nerve wracking for all of us.

    His father died from some sort of lung problem. We were told pneumonia, but my mother had mentioned that something was wrong with Dr. Workman months before hand. We were living in MT at the time and Mike’s parents were in Picayune. When he was hospitalized in Feb. 1997, Mike was unable to get a plane ticket to be there before he died. I have often wondered if his condition was not more than pneumonia. Dr. Workman was a navy doctor who specialized in hyperbaric medicine and had made many dives.

    We are grateful to the Lung Institute and Genentech (sp?) for the help and support they gave us during this process. Mike lost his battle in the early hours of Feb. 14.

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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