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Interstitial Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Interstitial Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Many people living with interstitial lung disease often wonder about their interstitial lung disease life expectancy. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a category of chronic lung conditions that affect the interstitium. More than 200 types of interstitial lung diseases exist, such as pulmonary fibrosis. Many factors go into interstitial lung disease life expectancy. Here is the information you need to live the best life possible.

What is Interstitial Lung Disease?

As we mentioned before, there are more than 200 types of interstitial lung diseases, and they affect the interstitium. The interstitium is a lace-like network of tissues that flow throughout the lungs. It provides support to the tiny air sacs or alveoli. Tiny blood vessels travel through the interstitium. These blood vessels allow gas to exchange between the blood and the air in the lungs.

Normally, the interstitium is so thin that it cannot be seen on a chest x-ray or CT scan. In people with interstitial lung disease, the interstitium thickens from scarring, extra fluid or inflammation. Interstitial lung disease affects everyone differently and progresses at varying rates. In general, ILD causes scarring of the lungs’ delicate tissues and lung stiffness.

What Causes Interstitial Lung Disease?

Interstitial Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Some doctors broadly categorize ILD into known and unknown causes. Some of the known causes include environmental factors, having certain autoimmune disorders and taking certain medications. Interstitial lung disease may develop from autoimmune disorders, including scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome.

A type of bronchiolar disorder called bronchiolitis can also cause ILD. In addition, some medications may cause ILD. These medications include cytotoxins, certain antibiotics, statins and some antiarrhythmic medications. Environmental factors that can cause ILD include long-term exposure to asbestos, silica dust, coal dust, cigarette smoke and radiation therapy to the chest.

Sometimes, ILD doesn’t have a known cause. In that case, interstitial lung disease is called idiopathic or without a known cause. The most common type of idiopathic ILD is idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Other types of ILD of unknown cause include idiopathic interstitial pneumonias and sarcoidosis.

Interstitial Lung Disease Symptoms:

The type and severity of interstitial lung disease symptoms varies. ILD includes many different pulmonary disorders, and some symptoms may vary based on an individual condition. However, there are some common symptoms, which include:

  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Weight loss
  • Acute pneumonia
  • Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin)
  • Shortness of breath at rest or during exertion

In general, symptoms develop and progress gradually. At first, people with ILD experience shortness of breath after physical activity before other symptoms. Eventually, they will have trouble breathing while at rest. Life expectancy with interstitial lung disease varies from person to person. For some people, ILD develops rapidly. ILD will progress over time, but early diagnosis and treatment can help.

How is Interstitial Lung Disease Diagnosed?

Interstitial lung disease can be challenging to diagnose. Other conditions mimic or have similar symptoms, so doctors must rule out those conditions before making an ILD diagnosis. Your doctor may recommend that you have a chest x-ray, CT scan, echocardiogram, pulmonary function tests or lung tissue analysis.

Chest x-rays show structural changes to the lungs and track disease progression. CT scans and high-resolution CT scans display detailed images of the lungs and can reveal fibrosis in the lungs. Heart problems are often associated with pulmonary conditions. An echocardiogram can help your doctor assess your heart and any abnormal pressures inside it.

Specific lung function testing, such as pulmonary function tests, helps doctors diagnose lung disease, measure its severity and develop a treatment plan. For some people, lung tissue analysis may be needed. For this procedure, a small tissue sample is taken from your lungs and analyzed in a lab.

Interstitial Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Interstitial Lung Disease Life Expectancy

Interstitial lung disease life expectancy is different for everyone. ILD is a progressive disease, and there isn’t a cure. Some forms of ILD have staging systems. Staging systems exist for pulmonary fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Typically, doctors place lung diseases into stages to help them understand the severity of the lung disease. Sometimes, this helps doctors better estimate the life expectancy of someone with chronic lung disease, including interstitial lung disease life expectancy.

Treatments for Interstitial Lung Disease

Treatments for ILD depend on what specific type of ILD someone has and what symptoms are present. For example, people with pulmonary fibrosis or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis may take medications to reduce inflammation, suppress the immune system and slow the development of fibrotic tissue.

Often, doctors prescribe oxygen therapy to help people maintain better blood oxygen levels. For severe cases, lung transplantation surgery may be recommended.

For some people, adding natural treatments to their current treatment plan has helped. These types of treatments can include dietary supplements, herbs, gentle exercise and stem cell therapy.

Stem cell therapy works to promote healing from within the lungs. In fact, many people feel better, breathe more easily and return to a more active lifestyle after treatment. Under the guidance of their doctors, some people reduce or come off their oxygen therapy. If you or a loved one has an interstitial lung disease like pulmonary fibrosis or pneumoconiosis and would like to learn more about stem cell treatment, contact us at (800) 729-3065.


  1. Lung Institute

    24 hours ago


    We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cell therapy for chronic lung diseases. We have a dedicated medical team who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy, cost and more. So, feel free to give us a call at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute

  2. Ubaid Ullah Anwar

    2 days ago

    Sir! I am ILD patient ct Scan chest chest X ray honey combing usual penumunium

  3. Lung Institute

    3 days ago


    Thank you for the comment and we are sorry to hear about your Mother’s condition.

    Our stem cell treatments can be given to anyone at any stage, though obviously, the sooner the treatments can begin, the better.

    We understand that each patient is unique and has individual needs. Because of that, we make sure to go over the patient’s history and our treatment options in detail with each patient. In order to determine if someone is a candidate for treatment, we need to gather more of their private medical history in a secure setting. The best way to do that is by giving us a call and speaking one-on-one with someone on our medical team over our secure phone line. We’re happy to answer your questions about stem cells, treatment options, candidacy and cost. So, feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149. We look forward to hearing from you soon.


    The Lung Institute


    5 days ago


  5. Phoebe

    6 months ago

    Dear Charlotte,

    Thank you for your comment. Because of the complexities of chronic lung diseases, to answer your question, it’s best to speak one-on-one with our medical staff. Our medical staff will be able to answer your questions over our secure line. Feel free to contact us at (855) 313-1149, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  6. Charlotte McGee

    6 months ago

    Do you treat hIstocYtoiSis x lch I was diAgnoSised in 1997 my docTor told me the less treatment i get the better i would be so i have not received any treatment.

  7. Matt

    7 months ago

    Hello Lillian,
    Thank you for your question. It’s important to have the best information possible about COPD and ILD. In regards to your situation, we suggest you discuss your concerns with your primary care physician. Your doctor may have recommendations for a pulmonologist who is in your network. You can also try contacting your insurance provider to ask for their assistance in finding a pulmonologist in your network. Thanks again and have a great day.

  8. Lillian M Bobbitt

    7 months ago

    In 2005 I was told I have COPD. This month I was told I have ILD. Would that be a progression From COPD? Right now I am suffering from lack of Information. At this time I cannot Find a Pulmonologist that accepts my insurance. My primary insurance is Medicare with my secondary being Medicaid. So far it is my Cardiologist that ordered the testing that found out I have this. THe pulmonologist that read the tests will not take my insurance, What can I do?

  9. Matt

    7 months ago

    Hello Maria,
    Thank you for your question. We do treat IPF with stem cell therapy. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way one of our patient coordinators can go over all your questions in greater detail. Thanks again and have a great day.

  10. Maria

    7 months ago

    I do have Ipf/Uip
    Whill stemcell therapy work for I was diagnosed in 2004
    Am on 24 h oxygen

  11. M R

    7 months ago

    Hello Phyllis,
    Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we do not treat LAM at this time. If you have any other questions, please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. Thanks again and have a great day.

  12. Phyllis Tackitt

    8 months ago

    My Diagnosis is Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) for short. Is stem cell treatment an option for this disease.

  13. M R

    8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The cost of treatment depends on which treatment option is selected. In order to know which treatment option is best, more medical information is needed. Please give us a call at (855) 313-1149. That way one of our patient coordinators can go over everything in greater detail. Thanks again and have a great day.

  14. Danceismusicmadevisual@outlook.com

    8 months ago

    Do u take monthly payments for stem cell treatment? Also how much does it cost to get it?

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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.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

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